CRIMSON UNICORN FINE ART TATTOOING

By Susan Murphy

Crimson Unicorn Tattoo Parlour is Dow ntown’s newest tattoo shop located at 122 E. 5th Street. With their large floor to ceiling windows it is easy to see why they have attained success so fast after being open only four and a half months thanks to the expertise of Master Tattoo Artist Joe Truck and the young, gifted tattoo artist Colby Sue.   

Joe Truck is an icon among tattoo aficionados. Being a tattoo artist for well over 30 years he has gained the respect of many of his colleagues. Coming from the east coast, specifically New York City where he had his place called Alphabet City, the first legal tattoo parlor in New York City.  In 1961, the city council passed a law making it illegal to tattoo in NYC due to an outbreak of hepatitis. In 1997, the ban was finally lifted making tattoo parlors legal again.

Colby Sue, an affable young man of 26, is one of the co-owners and tattoo artists of Crimson Unicorn.  He was born in Torrance but raised in Singapore due to his stepfather’s work in the fishing industry. Colby moved back to Southern California after graduating from high school and decided to go to The Art Institute of California in Santa Monica. Feeling he had enough of school he dropped out and became a “shop-helper” at Joe Trucks Ace of Hearts , a landmark tattoo studio in San Pedro, where he quickly advanced to apprentice.  He apprenticed for three years learning the ins and outs of the art and then finally became a full-fledged tattoo artist.  His love of tattoos is evident by his colorful arm and chest tats.

Colby explained to me with great pride that Crimson Unicorn is very, very clean.  And it shows. He quickly brought out a gallon jug of Opticide–cleaner/detergent used by hospitals to keep clean and sterilize. Colby pulled open a drawer to show me his tools of the trade and I was very impressed with how well organized everything was. He proceeded to show me that they take all the needles and the all the equipment they use to give their customers tats, and carefully wrap it all up in plastic wrap before safely disposing of it. From the clean swept shiny white floors to the smudge free windows, everything is carefully maintained here.  All of the artists here must be certified in blood-borne pathogens and as a Registered Body Art Practitioner. They must take a refresher course once a year to keep up with standards.

Under The Safe Body Art Act, which regulates tattooing, branding, body piercing, and permanent makeup body art practitioners are required to register annually with the County of Los Angeles to obtain annual blood-borne pathogen training, provide documentation of Hepatitis B vaccination status, obtain specific health information from clients, and obtain “informed consent” from clients.  Crimson Unicorn employees hold themselves to a higher standard to better serve their customers.

There are also plenty of pictures of great skin art on the walls called ‘flash’ art for everyone to admire and if you see something you would like tattooed on your skin the artists will be more than happy to oblige you.  Or you can bring in your own design or request something custom made from your skin art experts.

Crimson Unicorn Tattoo Parlour has a number of fine artists on board: Casey Price, Franklin Allen, Danny Vasquez, Michael Kortez and the lone female in the bunch Soty Mae. They have a large portfolio of work on hand to help you make a selection if you are stumped.  They also have guest artists on occasion, as well.

Looking to make more investments in downtown area, Colby Sue and Jonny Valenti became business partners and thus The Crimson Unicorn was born!

For more info go to www.crimsonunicornparlour.com

Colby works part time at the newly revamped “King Eddy’s Saloon” where he met Jonny Valenti a partner in the Acme Bar Group.   The Acme Bar Group happens to be the new owners of the newly revamped King Eddy Saloon as well as a number of other watering holes in the  revitalized downtown Los Angeles.  Looking to make more investments in downtown area, Colby Sue and Jonny Valenti became business partners and thus The Crimson Unicorn was born!

on occasion, as well.  The day I was there a man named “Marc” was there.  For more information go their web site: http://www.crimsonunicornparlour.com

Colby works part time at the newly revamped “King Eddy’s Saloon” where he met Jonny Valenti a partner in the Acme Bar Group.   The Acme Bar Group happens to be the new owners of the newly revamped King Eddy Saloon as well as a number of other watering holes in the  revitalized downtown Los Angeles.  Looking to make more investments in downtown area, Colby Sue and Jonny Valenti became business partners and thus The Crimson Unicorn was born!