Check out SanctionedTV’s “Tattoo Stories” with Shawn Barber:
Growing up in central New York, Barber ended up moving to Florida to go to art school and hone his artistic vision. 29 and done with school, he struggled with finding the right work situation that both paid and scratched his creative itch. Barber began illustrating political and hip hop magazines as well as teaching until 2003, when he moved out to San Francisco to be a part of the art scene.
Barber shared a studio with fellow creatives and was urged by his peers to move into tattooing. Barber was already a professional painter and artist for 15 years before he even thought about being a tattoo artist. Recognizing the difference in mediums, Barber switched his artistic focus in order to adjust to the deliberate and permanent nature of tattooing, as opposed to painting which has more leeway.
Shawn went through an apprenticeship with Mike Davis, and believes that doing so before becoming a professional artist is ideal. The way he sees it, the worst that could happen is you get an insight into industry, or at least from the perspective of your artist; you learn how to be an adult, tattoo history, and pay your dues, emerging a better person and artist.
Today, Barber runs Memoir Tattoo with his wife in Los Angeles, CA and is likely known as much for his tattooing as he is for his expressive painting and fine art skill set. A true renaissance man, he is a teacher, student, businessman, publisher, artist and is truly encompassed in all things art.
“Tattoo Stories” is brought to you by SanctionedTV from Mister Cartoon’s Skid Row Tattoo in Los Angeles, CA. Each episode showcases an intimate insight into the lives and history of some of the worlds best tattoo artists. Check out their other videos with Franco Vescovi, Jack Rudy, Rick Walters and more.