Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
"Your Legacy Is More Than a Name" - Watch Michael B. Jordan in First Trailer for 'Creed' "Your Legacy Is More Than a Name" - Watch Michael B. Jordan in First Trailer for 'Creed' Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman & Julia Roberts Seek Justice in First Trailer for 'Secret in Their Eyes' Remake Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman & Julia Roberts Seek Justice in First Trailer for 'Secret in Their Eyes' Remake Issa Rae's HBO-Bound 'Awkward Black Girl'-esque Comedy Gets a Director Issa Rae's HBO-Bound 'Awkward Black Girl'-esque Comedy Gets a Director Watch Trailer for Fascinating New Documentary About Black Men and Chess - ‘Sideline’ Watch Trailer for Fascinating New Documentary About Black Men and Chess - ‘Sideline’ The Irresponsibility of 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' The Irresponsibility of 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' Full List of BET AWARDS Winners (Taraji P. Henson & Terrence Howard Take Actor Nods) Full List of BET AWARDS Winners (Taraji P. Henson & Terrence Howard Take Actor Nods) Zadie Smith Will Make Her Feature Screenwriting Debut, Teaming up w/ Claire Denis for Sci-Fi Project Zadie Smith Will Make Her Feature Screenwriting Debut, Teaming up w/ Claire Denis for Sci-Fi Project Review: Arriving on Netflix TODAY, Definitive Nina Simone Documentary, 'What Happened, Miss Simone' Review: Arriving on Netflix TODAY, Definitive Nina Simone Documentary, 'What Happened, Miss Simone' Haiti and the Dominican Republic - A Conflict Captured on Film Haiti and the Dominican Republic - A Conflict Captured on Film Fried Chicken & Drugs: 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' Writer Charla Lauriston Creates the Anti-­Strong Black Woman in 'Clench & Release' Fried Chicken & Drugs: 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' Writer Charla Lauriston Creates the Anti-­Strong Black Woman in 'Clench & Release' A Muscle-Bound Michael B. Jordan Hitting a Speed Bag w/ Stallone's Encouragement in Pic from 'Creed' A Muscle-Bound Michael B. Jordan Hitting a Speed Bag w/ Stallone's Encouragement in Pic from 'Creed' Greetings From 'The Walking Dead: Season 6' Set as Daryl Plants an Unexpected Kiss on Michonne Greetings From 'The Walking Dead: Season 6' Set as Daryl Plants an Unexpected Kiss on Michonne PBS Yanks Ben Affleck 'Finding Your Roots' Episode + Puts Off 3rd & 4th Seasons Until Editorial Standards Improve PBS Yanks Ben Affleck 'Finding Your Roots' Episode + Puts Off 3rd & 4th Seasons Until Editorial Standards Improve Here's Your First Look At Taye Diggs in the Title Role in 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' Here's Your First Look At Taye Diggs in the Title Role in 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates 'Supremacy' Director Deon Taylor Talks Race, Horror, and Working With Lela Rochon (LAFF Premiere) 'Supremacy' Director Deon Taylor Talks Race, Horror, and Working With Lela Rochon (LAFF Premiere) Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Review: Doc 'Color Outside The Lines' Educates On Black Tattoo Artists & Breaking Industry Mold

Shadow and Act By Vanessa Martinez | Shadow and Act July 3, 2012 at 9:30AM

Now available on DVD for purchase through the film’s website, the feature length documentary Color Outside The Lines was conceived by Tattoo artist Miya Bailey, owner of the Atlanta, GA tattoo shop City of Ink. The doc, in the making for five years, is directed by Artemus Jenkins, who is mostly known for directing music videos.
2
Color Outside The Lines

Now available on DVD for purchase through the film’s website, the feature length documentary Color Outside The Lines was conceived by Tattoo artist Miya Bailey, owner of the Atlanta, GA tattoo shop City of Ink. The doc, in the making for five years, is directed by Artemus Jenkins, who is mostly known for directing music videos.

Color Outside The Lines, which features the crème of the crop of Black tattoo artists including Bailey, Zulu, and veteran artist and New Orleans shop owner Jacci Gresham, educates viewers on preconceived notions about Black tattoo artists and Black owned tattoo shops.

The doc begins with a quick history of the tattoo industry and what it means for Black culture as a whole. Renown artist Zulu, who owns the prestigious Zulu Tattoo shop in L.A.., early on clarifies that tattoos have been part of African culture from the beginning of times.

There is an enduring perception, one that has changed somewhat over the years, that real tattoo artists are Caucasian. Jacci Gresham, who has been in the tattooing business for over 35 years, talks about her struggles, as a woman nonetheless, setting up shop in the segregated south.

And it’s not just an underground movement. With the rise of rap artists and the “tatted-up” look, tattoos are in high demand. However, as the doc will reiterate, there is a lot of ignorance among those looking to acquire a “look,” as the emphasis becomes more on quantity at a low cost regardless of the consequences, which include a botched tattoos and/or infections.

The doc emphasizes the passion and struggles of true Black artists who have worked arduously for years on perfecting the craft. These artists have to fight stereotypes that have emerged from the illicit business, more like the hustle, of “scratchers” - mostly non-professionals who use rudimentary tools and unsanitary methods to tattoo, or scratch, for a quick dollar.

And it’s really nothing new, most tattoo artists start as scratchers; but unfortunately, these methods of backyard tattooing - much of which is commonplace in prisons – can tarnish the practice and image of real Black tattoo artists and their shops.

These tattoo artists take pride in their art, which has evolved through the years, from using two tones, to a vast variety of colors and shading techniques to add dimension and vivid realism to tattoos. Another interesting and important aspect is the art on tattooing darker skin, which is totally different than tattooing fairer types.  

It’s not easy work, and it’s work that requires time and dedication. We see also get to see how the long hours can leave little time for personal relationships. There were also so many stories – which are quite interesting - that I felt I didn’t have enough time to fully engage with one of them.  I also wish that the doc would’ve focused the process of tattooing darker skin, and perhaps shown interviews with patrons about what their tattoos mean to them. But then, I’m not a real fan of tattoos per say, although I have admired the work on some people; plus the work shown in the doc is pretty stunning. 

Color Outside The Lines is definitely a must-watch for aspiring artists and fans, especially for the former. The film documents subjects trying to get an apprenticeship, which by the way, can be a long process for little pay, if any. For those fervent about pursuing this line of work, perfecting the craft, just like any other artistic pursuit, can lead to a rewarding career.

Watch the trailer below:

Color Outside the Lines (Trailer) from artemus jenkins on Vimeo.

This article is related to: Trailer


Shadow & ActNewsletter