We had the good fortune of connecting with Blake Aiken and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Blake, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I never wanted to have a boss, someone to tell me what to do. My father has been self employed my whole life and I think that is what made me want to work for myself. Which is kind of funny in itself because a father is the first person to tell you what to do.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Well my art is based around classic American tattoo imagery but I also love tattooing all black tattoo designs with two line weights, a thick and a thin. The classics will always be my first choice of style, there’s just nothing tougher or more appealing to me then an old badge tattoo on the top of the forearm. The other style I do I guess you could call it black traditional but technically with the two line weights, extra details and more out of the box drawings it’s new traditional. As far as getting to where I am and where I want to go it’s not easy but I wouldn’t say it’s hard either. I guess I just love tattooing so much that working myself to the bone is the same as spending life of vacation. Now don’t get me wrong when that client comes in that didn’t heal right or your having a Karen treat there tattoo design like a build a bear it sucks but hey it’s worth it.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well come on I can’t leave Main Street Garden Grove hanging. I’d say a perfect day would be coffee at Phin Smith, grab lunch at Louies, a show at The Garden Amp and finish out the night with a couple games and drinks at Barcode.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Oh wow, so many along the way leading up to now. Well the first person to let me even into a tattoo shop would be Joe Chavez, they called him Zombie Joe who used to own Zombie Tattoo in Norco CA I did my senior project for high school there. He allowed me into his shop where I got to watch him tattoo and I would draw in the break room. I remember sitting there in Joe’s station watching him shade this huge low rider tattoo on the lower back of a female client. He would drop his machine from side ways to straight up and down so quickly and efficiently it looked like a trick… like he was showing off or something, it was so damn cool.

Website: https://tattooing-by-blake-aiken.square.site/

Instagram: aikengang

Other: 12951 Main St. Garden Grove CA 92840

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