Owner of True Blue Tattoo in Lakewood, Colorado, Russ Pearson is both illustrative, honest and approachable.
Russ got his start as a tattoo artist over fifteen years ago, when he served a traditional tattoo artist apprenticeship, rather than go the route as a professional graffiti artist.
Now his True Blue Tattoo shop is one of over 400 in the area. Located next to a hair salon, a nail salon, and liquor store, Russ jokes you can get it all done in just one day. He has a true passion for the art, whether it’s a large tattoo or a simple Infinity design. Here’s how True Blue Tattoo in Lakewood, Colorado, is staying true to the industry.
Tell me a bit about True Blue Tattoo in Lakewood, Colorado:
We’ve been open eight years now and mostly do custom tattoos. We also provide body piercing services. I’ve been a tattoo artist for about fifteen years. We don’t really do flash tattoos here. We do have some available for inspiration in books. We once had the whole walls filled with thousands of flash designs until I realized I hadn’t done anything except custom tattoos for months on end. I’m a very illustrative tattoo artist and “cartoony” tends to be my style.
The industry is really changing. What are some of the largest shifts you’ve experienced in your fifteen professional years in the industry?
With the Internet, everyone has tattoo pictures on their phone which can actually be annoying for us at times. There is also an over-saturation of tattoo artists in the industry.
What do you find most rewarding about being a professional tattoo artist?
I love doing all tattoos. Whether it’s a large piece or a small Infinity knot, it’s all fun to me.
Biggest pet peeve:
I would like it if customers would be more realistic- especially those that ask for a sleeve in one day, without any idea of what they want.
What was your first tattoo?
It was a clown. But then the Juggaloo (fans of Insane Clown Posse) ruined that for me. It was already bad to begin with, but they just made it worse!
Cover up or remove tattoos:
Live with your mistakes and just get a new tattoo.
Artists who have inspired you:
Jime Litwalk and many other Realistic tattoo artists. I’m always inspired by that. I strive to take my art to the next level because of them.
Tattoo trend you’d like to see disappear:
I tend to like all tattoos. But the words on the side of the finger just don’t work. People don’t take care of them properly and so they don’t heal right. Many artists will refuse them for this reason.
What makes True Blue Tattoo in Lakewood, Colorado unique?
Including myself, we have four talented artists. We have a very well-rounded shop full of artists that specialize in everything from Traditional, to Realistic, Black and Grey, and then colorful tattoos. We can design and implement anything.
New customers tell us we’re helpful, we don’t talk down to them, and we work with them. We really strive to smile at everyone and be friendly no matter their design request.
If you’d like to check out artist portfolios, leave a review, or book an appointment, be sure to visit True Blue Tattoo in Lakewood, Colorado.