Anderson Luna is an artist based in Brooklyn, New York at Saved Tattoo. In this film, he speaks on his own experiences within the tattoo industry while we watch as he creates beautiful Illustrative pieces based on traditional African art.

Speaking about his own difficulty getting into the industry, Anderson Luna shares how the traditional apprenticeship role affects many people who have talent and drive, but can’t possibly afford to work for free for an extended period of time. He also mentions that there are many misconceptions tattooers have about tattooing darker skin, but that tattoos should be naturally customized for the people who receive them and that this is the responsibility of the artist. Anderson is an integral part of the tattoo community who is constantly pushing the evolution of a more progressive industry by supporting other artists to learn techniques and broaden their approach to all skin types.

Filmed in the fall of 2019, Ink the Diaspora brought people together for a two day event, “The Experience of the Black Tattooer” held at the Brooklyn tattoo studio Welcome Home. Both a flash day and a panel discussion, the event was a celebration of black tattooers and clients, as well as a critical look at the need for more diversity within the tattoo industry. Anderson Luna, as well as Sanyu, Doreen Garner, Oba Jackson, and Jaylind Hamilton came together for this flash event to tattoo clients with original flash they created. It is moments like these that are deeply empowering to members of the community who do not feel heard, seen or included. Creating inclusivity and visibility for particular populations who too often go unnoticed increases the beauty and connectivity of the tattoo industry. “The Experience of the Black Tattooer” is the epitome of progressing and evolving tattooing into a better future.

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