Color Outside the Lines – Film Review [Write-up]
Monday, July 2, 2012 by Stevo | No Comments | Category: Art, Movie Review, tattooing
Photo: Phil Colvin
Thursday, June 21, 2012, Miya Bailey, the talented, innovative tattoo artist, gathered some of his closest family and friends, co-workers, and most renowned tattoo artists in the country for one special night. The occasion? The premiere of his self-produced documentary, Color Outside the Lines. Luckily, the Greedmont Park family was invited to cover this event. Color Outside the Lines is a film (Directed by Artemus Jenkins and scored by Dreamer) about the struggles of being a black tattoo artist, not just in the south, but around the country and the difficulties they endured on their way to becoming the cream of the crop. With appearances and commentary from some of the top tattoo artists in the nation, White, Black and even Latino, this film is sure to make lovers of not only tattoos, but art, appreciate the creators’ talent, mind, and vision.
The premiere was held at the Midtown Art Cinema in Atlanta, Georgia and was filled with people of every color, background, and creed. From white dread heads to the corporate black guy. From the tatted up girl with gauges to the standard hip hop fan. Everyone was there to see a film that they could feel inspired by. At the door you could catch Miya himself, greeting and thanking everyone for coming out and supporting. Around 7:30pm, the theatre started to swell to maximum capacity. The City of Ink artists came in and grabbed their seats around 7:45pm. But, when the legendary Jacci Gresham, walked in, the entire theatre went wild! A standing ovation was given immediately. Shortly after, Miya said he couldn’t start the film until Ms. Jacci arrived. Miya and Artemus Jenkins (Director) stood at the front of the theatre to make a few statements on how much the film meant to them, the hard work and effort that was put into it, and to thank everyone who was involved and hoped everyone walked away with something memorable from the documentary. Then it was show time!
Color Outside the Lines contained everything that would be expected from a documentary mostly about the plight of the Black-American tattoo artist in the United States. It tells the history of tattoos or body marking in the African and African-American culture and when blacks started to actually become tattoo artists in the US. Commentary from a few of the black tattoo forefathers Jacci Gresham and Zulu, also two of the oldest in the film, explaining the trials and tribulations they went through becoming professional tattoo artists really put in perspective of how hard blacks had to work to get on a level playing field as their white counterparts. It even gave perspectives from white tattoo artists on how they felt about tattooing on black skin and black tattoo artists. The hilarious, creative Brandon Bond was one of the few white tattoo artists highlighted who kept the audience entertained almost the entire length of the film. He was also present at the premiere. Ms. Julia, the white woman who had no clue how to even do a tattoo, who hired half of the present-day black popular artists in Atlanta with their first professional tattoo job ,also gave great commentary that was filled with several quotables about artists, Tuki Carter, Miya Bailey, and others. This film shows the journey of where tattooing can take artists if they simply put the time and effort into their craft and present quality work. Traveling the world, creating clothing lines (Such as Ed Hardy, who is tattoo artist, often confused with being a designer), and even merchandise, such as shot glasses, cups, etc, are just a few of the benefits outside of making money. The film also captures the life of tattoo artist interns, black women tattoo artists, and even a few “scratchers”, from all over the country.
If one loves art, tattoos, or just loves to see people passionate about their craft, Color Outside the Lines is a must-see. With eye-popping tattoos by dope artists, this film will keep your attention for the full hour and a half. Appearances by the entire City of Ink crew, Duel, Derrick Verley, Phil Colvin, Red, Gino, Ryan Henry, Seven, Twig Sparks, and many more, the viewer is guaranteed to walk away with a new perspective and respect for tattoos and the artists who create them.