August 30, 2010

Miya Bailey

Miya Bailey 
"We break all stereotypes at City Of Ink."

Photo By: Duwayno Robertson
Miya Bailey is one of the co-owners of City Of Ink located in Atlanta Georgia. His name is well known in the tattoo and overall art community. I originally found City Of Ink just by random browsing online. I had 4 tattoos prior to even finding City Of Ink, so once I saw their work in comparison to my tattoos I was immediately saddened. City Of Inks tattoos are all original. Thats right!, so the butterfly you want that your home girl has wont look anything of identical to what they create. As I did more and more research I came across Miya Baileys portfolio and was blown away because he is truly a talented man. I was able to personally meet Miya when I finally got my MB original tattoo and he is the coolest person ever. I was able to chat it up a little with Mr. Bailey himself.  Peep the interview:

Miya Bailey: 4 years ago

AJ: Who originally started it
Miya Bailey: Me, Tuki CarterChris McAdoo, Cory Davis, and Samba

AJ: What sets COI apart from other tattoo parlors?
Miya Bailey: We don’t call ourselves tattoo artist we call ourselves artist who tattoo. It’s a melting pot. Anyone is welcome at city of ink. We are custom. We do freehand work. We design depending on the customer’s budget. Very affordable.

AJ: I see that you often post you don’t do scratcher tattoos. For people who don’t know what that is; can you explain what it is; and why you choose not to do it .
Miya Bailey: A scratcher tattoo is a person who looks in the tattoo magazine, goes through no training and buys a tattoo kit... Anybody can buy a tattoo kit.
More Info On Scratcher Tattoos

AJ: Before you tattoo someone, what's your thinking process like? How do you get yourself in that creative mode?
Miya Bailey :I talk to the person first, ask them their name, start a conversation, let them look in my portfolio and see which styles their drawn to the most. I listen to their ideas and let them inspire me. While their telling me... I’m drawing it in my mind.

AJ: Have you ever tattooed someone and you weren’t proud of the finished product
Miya Bailey: I’m an artist; I don’t stop tattooing until I'm happy with it regardless of there budget. I take pride in my artwork. Even with limited ideas I did the best I could do.  I’m proud of every tattoo.

AJ: What’s next for COI? Any other locations in the making?
Miya Bailey: Yea we have a NY spot opening and Cory Davis is a partner of that. Were also working on a DC shop with Pinz N Needles ; and Atlanta will be getting more into merchandise with print and books. I like to think of COI as the Harlem Renaissance; all the traditions and just everyone working together. That’s how COI is... It's to meet and grind...All chairs filled up with everyone. There’s only one City Of Ink and its built out of love and people. That’s why it’s open to the people and you don’t have to come to get a tattoo just come to get inspired. As long as your not on no groupie-ish 
Photo by: Kamilah Benjamin

SN: What he's saying people is..if you come to chill expect to be put to work lol. jk :) 

AJ: What do you look for in a person when hiring them to represent COI? 
Miya Bailey: Its kind of hard to find tattoo artist. We look for someone with their own drive. Someone who will take the initiative to find their own clientele base. I’m looking for someone who’s ready to get it! If your really serious about our movement; do paintings when we do shows; I want to see how people respond to your work.  Hungry people... people who take the initiative. Not people who wait around to tattoo. I respect people who go out and get their clientele.  Real hard hustlers. HUSTLE HARD.
If i can do it, you can do it!... No excuses

AJ: Ok, now you personally have a film your working on as well as a book... can you tell us a little about those projects?
Miya Bailey: The book will be finished within 3months. Its entitled “Before I'm gone”. Its a last will and testament. If something happened to me tomorrow this is what you’ll need to know of me today...My life. The Film will be turned in by January. I'm just trying to take my time with that. My heart is in this film. I’m in love with it. It showcases the art and the lives of the artists that need to be known by the people.  Ej Harold and my man Dreamer are doing the music. Im shooting from Atlanta, to Los Angeles, New Orleans, Miami, Cincinnati, DC, NY all the way to London. I want this film to show you urban tattooing in America. The film is going to showcase these tattoo artists lives... You'll also learn about the first black female tattooist. Jacki Grayson  in New Orleans. I don’t want to dog out people in this film though because I was scratching at one point! Trying to find someone to train you especially when your black is hard. 

AJ: When tattooing is all said and done; what’s next for Miya?
Miya Bailey: I can honestly say when I get older, I know for a fact I want to do a lot more film and paintings. I want to start selling my work and im making them affordable. I want everyone to have some of my artwork. I want to see my artwork in everybody’s house. Later on the year around Christmas time I'm selling a lot more merchandise and books. I want to put out some of my artist books, and chill out and open up an art school.

AJ: An art school? Can you talk about that a little?
Miya Bailey: It will be an after school program for kids to do art. Currently I go to different schools; talk to the kids and do art. I want to reach out to more teens because I didn’t have that avenue and the ones I did had a real influence in my life.


If your ever in the atlanta area go visit CITY OF INK! Like Miya said you dont have to get a tattoo to come. The atmosphere is very laid back and they are very welcoming. It’s a very family-friendly environment. And if you want a tattoo... they take walk-ins! Not to mention they are affordable and everything is original! 

Im very thankful that Miya Bailey agreed to speak with me. Its kind of funny because whenever im on twitter; and someone tweets him. He says "google me" ha ha... I always thought google him? who is he a celebrity?..anyways..i decided to google him and look at all these results! keep up the good work miya! Your hard work in the community is not going unnoticed 

*Birthday: March 6 1975
*Favorite Candy: Astro pops
*Ocean or Pool: Ocean
*If you could be any animal what would you be: Crow; you can fly. Their the smartest’re a rebel 
*Favorite Movie: City of GOD*Interesting Fact:(This is where the name of City Of Ink was inspired from) 

Miya Bailey/COI Contact Info: 
or follow him on twitter @miyabailey

1 comment:

Melissa V. said...

I loved this interview...but then again I love all of your interviews..It was cohesive, coherent, and wonderfully expressed. Great questions and I definetely enjoyed the random facts....GREAT JOB!!!!!!!!! TWO THUMBS UP!!!!