Tat2X: How long have you been involved in the tattoo business?
Master Mike: I’ve been tattooing for about 16 years and opened Inkfiend Art Tattoo Studio in 2004.
Tat2X: What made you decide to become a tattoo artist?
Master Mike: I’ve always been fascinated by the art of tattooing, as a kid growing up poor, I spent a lot of time just drawing. Growing up in L.A. Chinatown I came in constant contact with both Chinese and Japanese art. I love Asian Art especially seeing yakuza body art and posters, also L.A. style black and gray tattoos. And that’s what gave me the drive to learn and hopefully to do tattoos like these on someone one day.
Tat2X: How did you learn the art of tattooing? Did you apprentice?
Master Mike: No, I never apprenticed, I learned tattooing while practicing on friends, my brother, and myself as a pastime, researching books, magazines and drawing all day. A hobby that eventually evolved into tattooing full-time and I was able to land a job at a professional shop.
Tat2X: Are there any artists tattoo or otherwise that you admire?
Master Mike: Too many to list, there are so many artists that I have admired throughout the years and still do.
Tat2X: Has any individual in particular influenced your career?
Master Mike: My wife has always driven me to keep pursuing my art, my kids and my family have always been the driving force in my career. Without them pushing me to my limits I wouldn’t be where I’m at today.
Tat2X: What would you say is your favorite part of the job?
Master Mike: The best part about my job is seeing my customer’s faces when they see their tattoo done, how happy they look and love what I’ve done… and for them to carry that on themselves proudly for the rest of their lives. That’s the best part.
Tat2X: How would you describe your style?
Master Mike: My favorite tattoo images lean to the dark and macabre, an evil twist with a traditional Asian art flow, but not so much traditional, I infused L.A. style black and gray shading, fine lining. It’s a style infused with the things I grew up admiring.
Tat2X: Do you have any advice for aspiring artists tattoo or otherwise?
Master Mike: For those aspiring to become tattoo artist, find a notable shop to apprentice at. Work hard, practice drawing and don’t give up. It’ll get tough, hang in there. Nothing comes overnight. It takes years of practice and trial and error. Keep evolving, keep pushing and don’t stay satisfied. Above all be humble, don’t forget where you came from and who helped started you off.
Tat2X: Is there anything else we should know about you or your studio?
Master Mike: My shop is located in Alhambra, CA about 10 minutes East of Downtown L.A. We are open 7 days a week. We take walk-ins and I only work by appointment. You can check out our work on our shop Facebook fan site or www.inkfiendart.com for my work you can check and follow me on instagram mastermike_inkfiendart, I’m looking forward to working on new ideas and designs.
About Tattoo Artist Master Mike:
Master Mike has been tattooing for over 16 years and opened Inkfiend Art Tattoo Studio in 2004. You can see more of his amazing work by visiting his portfolio page. Tat2X is proud to have Master Mike’s work and his story posted here at our blog.