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

Hi Shawn, how do you think about risk?
I think that it’s important for any creative person to take chances on pursuing their goals. Believing in oneself and the pursuit of advancement in your career, for me, has been the driving force of my life experience.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve been documenting tattoo culture and contemporary tattoo history with a series of paintings, The Tattooed Portraits Series.

I started painting tattooed artists in 2005, obsessively documenting the men and women that have pioneered the genre of contemporary tattoo art and the history of modern tattooing. My dedication and enthusiasm for the art form gradually opened doors for me to learn the craft from some of the greatest tattoo artists in the world. My life is consumed with tattooing, the art of tattoo and documentation of tattooing through painting works on this subject. Presently, over four hundred and thirty works have been made in this series.

I also co-own a tattoo studio in Los Angeles, Memoir Tattoo with my girlfriend, Kim Saigh.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
For friends visiting Los Angeles, there are a handful of places that we always go out of our way to experience. We love art, so there’s a trip to the Getty, the LACMA and local galleries if there’s a must see show that month. I tend to stay in my neighborhood for food and drinks; Angelini, El Coyote, Swingers on Beverly, Petty Cash and The Rainbow Bar and Grill are always in the mix. I don’t go towards the ocean that often, when we have visitors, we spends some time on Venice beach and driving up and down the coast. Our tattoo studio, Memoir Tattoo, is a hub for artists and creatives, we have a lot of guest artists from around the world that visit and make art from our space. There’s usually some live music to check out, we frequent a handful of smaller venues- El Rey Theatre, The Troubadour, The Roxy, The Fonda, Teragram Ballroom, and the Hollywood Palladium.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The worldwide tattoo community has played an integral role in inspiring my artistic endeavors and a life’s path to documenting and celebrating our community.

Tim Hartwig, Physical Therapist and PT has changed my life in helping me deal with and fix a lot of hand/shoulder arm issues from over use and years of painting and tattooing.  https://www.instagram.com/amped.performance/

Another friend, Jeremy Berman, is a phenomenal craftsman that makes custom drums for professional musicians. Jeremy’s dedication to his craft and his drum building are second to none. Jeremy’s Q Drum Co. creates functional works of art that resonate with beauty and style. https://www.qdrumco.com https://www.instagram.com/qdrumco/

Website: www.sdbarber.com / www.memoirtattoo.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shawndbarber

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/memoir-tattoo-los-angeles

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