Barnaby’s Wu-Tang Bear

More than halfway through September and we have a couple new design submissions for the Bambu-inspired Design Challenge! Rate them today on metalinkshop.com. Also cast your vote for the September Maiden of the Month before it’s too late!

Mom’s Body Shop
1408 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 864-6667
www.momsbodyshop.com

Barnaby

Barnaby

Barnaby Bryn Williams, Tattoo Artist

MI: What’s the funniest tattoo you’ve ever done?

Barnaby: Yesterday, I did a Grateful Dead bear waving a Wu-Tang flag.

Barnaby's Wu-Tang Bear

Barnaby's Wu-Tang Bear

MI: That’s hilarious.

Barnaby: It’s a hysterically insane tattoo. It’s awesome. I’ve been tattooing on this street for basically 15 years. I’ve done Elvis beating up Jerry Garcia. I’ve done the Grim Reaper getting beaten up. I have on me a dolphin pole dancing, while doing cocaine.

MI: Need to hear the story behind that one.

Barnaby: It’s actually really simple. There’s an artist who works here who came up with this idea, a dolphin who likes to party, called “Party Dolphin.” He rides a Razor scooter because he got a DUI and can’t drive.

MI: Did that artist get a tattoo of Party Dolphin?

Barnaby: A couple people here have it. I didn’t want to get the same one, so I got Party Dolphin’s girlfriend, who’s a stripper. Because I like strippers. Who doesn’t like a girl who’s trying to pay for college by taking off her clothes and has self esteem issues? Another tattoo I saw recently was done by a friend of mine. It was a rooster that was a junkie, shooting up his own wing. The fact of the matter is that for every stupid tattoo you know, there’s been a stupid tattoo done. Some people get more than their fair share. Tattooing doesn’t have to be this giant spiritual experience. It’s like, I have a pizza tattoo, and some people ask, why do you have a pizza tattooed on you? Because I like pizza. Who doesn’t like pizza? A tattoo doesn’t have to be a portrait of your baby.

Death to the Grim Reaper

Death to the Grim Reaper

MI: What percent of your jobs are cover-ups?

Barnaby: I do a lot but that’s probably related to the fact that I’m really good at it. You know how some people look at a wall and see pictures in the grain? I can see a tattoo and visualize something over it. If someone comes in and has a badly tattooed eagle on their arm I can do a phoenix over it. It’s like being able to visualize beyond what you can see. Or it’s like going into Neiman Marcus and seeing a great dress and heels. A lot of people can see how it can integrate into what they already have, their jewelry and accessories. But the actual answer is a third.

MI: What’s the most interesting cover up job you’ve ever done?

Barnaby: I tattooed this one woman named Diane, and I did both of her sleeves. She had full sleeves of stuff she got done when she was younger, in the 80s, when she was into punk rock. But it was just a bad time of her life with bad decision making that she didn’t want anymore. She trained dogs so I gave her two Chinese guardian dogs, one running up and one running down. Cover ups are like giving something new to someone, so that they can walk away with something they can feel comfortable with.

One Response to “Barnaby’s Wu-Tang Bear”

  1. […] of that here. A few weeks ago, we spoke to a tattooer on Haight named Barnaby who had just done a Grateful Dead bear carrying a Wu-Tang flag on a skater kid. But what about someone like Paul Booth? His stuff is pretty […]

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