Villain Arts San Diego Tattoo Arts Festival Fundraiser Aug 18-20, 2023
Orange County tattoo artist, Lucky Bastard, is leading the charge in San Diego to help raise funds for a traveling tattoo art exhibit, which is touring in support of establishing the first National Tattoo History Museum in the U.S. Lucky Bastard of Fine Tattoo Work has done so by helping curate, design and organize the upcoming Tattoo Heritage Project fundraiser event at Villain Arts San Diego Tattoo Art Festival in San Diego, CA.
Lucky, along with Chuey Quintanar, Corey Miller, Antonio Mejia, Bill Canales, Jo Ann Atwood, Frank Chavez, Ben Rounds, tattoo legend Fip Buchanan and other tattooers already at the convention, will spend the weekend tattooing to help support the cause by working in the nonprofit's booth and donating a portion of their earnings to the forthcoming museum's traveling tattoo art exhibition.
Original artwork will also be raffled off, along with a plethora of other items with 100% of the proceeds going to support the First National Tattoo Art Museum.
San Diego holds a rich history in tattooing, there are over 120 tattoo shops operating in the San Diego area. Some still retain the history of tattooing with shops like Ace Tattoo (started in 1947) and Master Tattoo, which today is continuing the Tahiti Felix lineage since 1949. Port Side Tattoo also shares their love of tattoo history by sharing their knowledge and private collection.
There are 20 plus regional tattoo art history museums across the country, often attached to tattoo shops. The First National Tattoo Art Museum hopes to honor and partner with all museums in educating the general public of tattooing’s rich and diverse history in America.
Lucky Bastard has been tattooing since the age of 13, and 34 years later, he’s still “getting paid to draw on folks with the old electric pencil.” Supporting the art form’s history struck a chord with him. “My earliest tattoo related memory is of my father tracing an anchor on my arm from one of his navy uniform emblems. I was hooked without even knowing what it was that I was getting hooked on yet. In order to clearly tell our cultural story (about tattooing) I believe the ones that lived it should be the ones to tell it. Because if we don’t tell our story then someone else will tell it for us."
"When it comes to past artists that have inspired Lucky’s work, he says, “I draw most of my inspiration from the Coleman school of tattooing. A little bit carny hustle and whole lot of craftsmanship."
In addition to curating the Villain Arts Tattoo Convention fundraiser, Lucky is also organizing a community driven tattoo art installation, which will be the welcoming booth to this traveling art exhibit Tattoo Heritage Project is organizing, to be hosted in various museums across the US. Lucky Bastard will be inviting tattooers to this San Diego event in order to help build his vision, all of the funds raised in San Diego will go towards building this art installation, and the rest will be designated for the expenses of the traveling exhibit.
The Mejia Family will be starting off the fundraiser with a sacred blessing on opening day, Friday, Aug 18. Tattoo related artifacts from private collectors will be on display as well, and there will be legendary tattoo artists (Jack Rudy, Good Time Charlie Cartwright and Tim Hendricks to name a few) on hand to talk a bit about tattooing’s history.
Tattoo Heritage Project 501(c)(3), founded by Legendary Tattoo Artists, Good Time Charlie Cartwright, Jack Rudy, Chuey Quintanar, and Corey Miller, will both be attending the convention, spreading the word for the cause, and talking tattoo history. Also joining Good Time Charlie on the founding nonprofit board are the ever iconic tattoo artists Kari Barba and JD Crowe. Barba, who owns the longest continuously working tattoo shop in the U.S, Outer Limits Tattoo and Museum, is coming up on her own 20th anniversary of continuing the shop's legacy and preserving it's history and roots in the Long Beach community.
Together, they are all launching a series of nationwide fundraisers, in order to establish a National Tattoo History Museum, to be located near The Pike, in Long Beach, CA., a historically significant site that fostered many generations of American Tattoo Artists.
Charlie recalls, “The Pike was a naval port and tattoo parlors thrived in that area. A lot of notable tattooers got their start here, in the business. For that reason alone, The Pike or the area of Long Beach has played a great role in American tattooing. Working at the Pike was kind of a formative institution for Tattooers. People have grown to automatically associate Long Beach and the Pike with Tattooing. I worked there for three years in the early 70’s, and that’s where I started professionally tattooing, I would actually say publicly tattooing. I always did private stuff before that. But The Pike is where I got my chops too.”