Just in time for Thanksgiving… here is my latest photo project. I took these pictures at City of Ink Tattoo Studio & Art Gallery, 323 Walker Street in Atlanta.
Miya Bailey is the founder of City of Ink. If you read Miya’s blog, you’d know that Miya often contemplates the significance of the appearance of birds in his life. Miya is a very spiritual person, and the bird has symbolic significance. So it was not suprising to see that Miya had added a bird to his collection of impressive ink.
For most people, tattoos tell a real story. Miya is no different. Besides being one of the most talented tattoo artists in the world, Miya is also a fan of good ink from other artists. We talked about the story his body art has to tell, and how he’s seeking to rewrite the story with fresh ink from another crop of talented artists. Some on the list include Tuki Carter, Melvin Todd, and Corey Davis.
It has been an amazing and slightly intimidating transition of acquaintance for me, from seeing Miya Bailey as a Google search hit for tattoo artists who specialize in ethnic skin, to meeting and coming to know the real person. Miya has achieved great success as a tattoo artist and mixed media artist. You’re just as likely to be impressed by what he paints on a scrap piece of wood or draws on paper, as what he puts on skin day in and day out. But Miya is not limiting his talents to pens and needles. Miya is working on FILM as well — moving art. He has been traveling across the country (and the world) working on his documentary pieces that will pave the way for City of Ink Films.
Miya Bailey is a WORKAHOLIC. But he’s not just doing it for himself. He’s doing it for his family, and for his people. He’s working hard to advance professionalism in tattooing, and the appreciation of tattoos as art on skin (not just a popular fad).
Miya’s work stays in high demand; most clients must book him 3 months in advance, based on a tattoo schedule that includes almost every day of the week. It seems like a pretty heavy pace for one person, but Miya’s strong spirit helps him push through with his mind ever focused on an ultimate vision. Miya openly shares his vision, goals, and dreams through his blog, as well as his Twitter and Facebook page. Miya will be letting us know even more about him in his upcoming book, “Before I’m Gone” (hopefully hitting bookstores in 2011).
City of Ink is also home to other dope tattoo artists such as Melvin Todd, Tuki Carter, Sophie C’est la Vie, and Chris Colbert.
As an art gallery, this location has hosted several exhibitions and art battles. “Thique & Focsi” just had an art exhibition here, and Paper Frank will have an upcoming show in December 2010.
There is always art on the walls and music in the air at City of Ink. I was really geeked to shoot here again!