Black Misrepresentation Within the Tattoo Industry

There seems to be a stigma around tattooing dark skin tones – and that’s a major issue. Due to inexperience and negligence within the tattoo community, seasoned artists and apprentices alike are not being educated on how to properly tattoo black skin. This stems partly from lack of expertise and professionalism, not to mention ignorance and, oftentimes, racism. Luckily, times are changing and there are many black artists that you can support, who are both knowledgeable and highly renowned. This article will highlight three female entrepreneurs within the tattoo world, who do their due diligence and are highly recommended.

Miryam Lumpini

Miryam Lumpini, also known as “The Witch Doctor,” is a Swedish-born tattoo artist, who currently resides and works in Los Angeles, California. Miryam began tattooing in high school, using her thigh as her very first canvas. After moving to California, her work became very well known and she has since had the opportunity to tattoo various celebrities, including Chris Brown and Skrillex, giving her a boost in popularity. She has recently been seen in commercials, advertising Sharpie’s new line of colored permanent markers, called “BodyMark”. She is one of the few black women in the game and is known for her elaborate cover ups and her extensive use of color, on both light and dark skin. This is especially important as of late, since more and more tattoo artists are being called out for turning away black clients who request color tattoos, which is both racist and ignorant misinformation. Miryam is showing the world what a true artist looks like: experienced, professional and knowledgeable.

Brittany Randell

Brittany Randell, also known by her Instagram handle “HumbleBee”, is a tattoo artist in Toronto. She attended The University of Toronto, receiving her bachelor’s degree in fine arts. She works out of her cozy home studio and clients have been pleased with her gentle nature, kind demeanor and friendly personality. Brittany shows her support for the black community in many ways, including her most recent illustrations that showcase beautiful African women in traditional garb. Her technique involves tattooing with an exceptionally light hand, to avoid scarring and keloids that usually happen during or after healing, especially on dark skin tones. She also uses her large online platform to expose racism, sexism and homophobia within the tattoo community. She feels that the black community is horribly misrepresented, as artists have been known to “favor” light canvases, for their ability to “better showcase their work”. This is unacceptable behaviour and a mindset that is due for some major changes. Luckily, artists like Brittany use their online presence in order to serve justice and educate the public.

Katrina Jackson

Katrina Jackson, known as “Kattatgirl” on Instagram, is the first black, female entrepreneur to own a tattoo shop in prestigious Beverly Hills. Sporting 1.2 million followers on her Instagram handle, Kat has been featured in major magazines, including InkedMag, Refinery 29, and LA Weekly, showcasing her beautiful shading techniques and realer-than-life black and grey portraits. She was first featured on the popular tv series, “Black Ink Crew: Chicago, where she was a cast member for three years. Thanks to that amazing opportunity, Kat became a hit with clients worldwide, allowing her to open her very own shop, Enigma Beverly Hills. Kat feels strongly about tattooing within the black community and the stigma surrounding it. She told InkedMag back in 2019:

“Black tattoo artists used to be looked down upon in this industry, but that's changing and it's partly my responsibility to keep that progression going.”

These are just some of the exceptional black women that are not only talented and highly professional, but are remarkable people who fight for equality and peace within the tattoo world.


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