Color Outside The Lines: The World’s Top Black Tattoo Artists Tell Some Of Their Stories


Cultural influences, personal style, and expression have impacted various aspects of society, including the tattoo industry. Body art connects people, tells stories, and shows internal struggles – on the outside. Now, the artists themselves have a chance to share some of theirs.

Color Outside The Lines is an in-depth look at some of the world’s top Black tattoo artists. Vivid, personal, educational, and empowering, it also speaks to any dreamer.

It took three years to bring this documentary to life, but once anyone sees it, the birthing process makes sense. Perfection simply can’t be rushed. Filmmaker and visionary, Artemus Jenkins, captured the small details, similar to what it takes to create body art, within the documentary. He worked closely with City Of Ink owner, Miya Bailey, and together they created a masterpiece that goes into intimate spaces of the lives of some Black tattoo artists.

Other times, it leaves you wanting more – highlighting seasoned and up and coming artists from across the county, including Jacci Gresham, Tuki Carter, Twig Sparks, Miya Bailey, Craig Foster, and numerous others, while also connecting them to one thing, their passion.

Blacks have always had to earn their spot in any White-dominated field, and tattooing is no different. Many of them speak on paying dues and becoming a true artist. They touch on not being a “scratcher,” or rookie, with no desire to train to be better. There’s a great deal of respect viewers will walk away with after watching so many talented people show why they deserve the pay and prestige in the tattoo industry.

As with a lot of things, because tattoos are popular, finding a quality artist isn’t always on the top of some people’s lists. Rappers and athletes are adorned in so much inking these days, that many everyday people follow suit. They don’t always research tattoo artists and, in turn, don’t always receive the best work. If those in the limelight, with such a heavy influence, put more thought into what they do to their bodies, others just may do the same. This documentary seeks to put quality and substance back into the art.

Color Outside The Lines is so relevant to today. It’s appropriate and can truly be appreciated.

Check it out. Order the DVD HERE.

Tawni Fears is a freelance writer and contributor to Follow her on Twitter (@brwnsugaT).