Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Meet Marcus Kuhn!

September 12th, 2010 by

I have tattooed long enough to realize that technique and not content is the most important element of tattooing.

– Marcus Kuhn

The above quote barely scratches the surface of the sort of wisdom that tattooist Marcus Kuhn seems to have up his sleeve.  Not that I’m trying to kiss anyone’s ass, it’s just that the more I read about this particularly and notoriously fastidious Portland, Maine tattoo artist, the more I see that Kuhn sees his art as it needs to be in order to first and foremost satisfy himself. That’s not to say that Marcus Kuhn doesn’t care about his customers, I think it’s more of a case that Marcus Kuhn cares so much for his customers that he’s as hard as he can be on himself before he actually takes the time to put his art on someone’s body.

In fact, everything about Kuhn’s work ethic comes off as completely straight-forward and refreshingly uncomplicated, right down to the name of his tattoo studio itself: Just Good Tattoos.  Perhaps this is a result of Kuhn’s past, which courted the fast paced, superficial LA lifestyle, working as a scenic artist in film and television and getting more than a little mixed up in drugs.  By the mid 1980’s Marcus Kuhn was tattooing, but getting dangerously deep into heroin and paying a price for it.  He spent two years in prison and emerged a changed man with a plan, a man who wanted a second chance at life and wasn’t going to stop until he got it.

You can keep chasing this carrot to be the top tattoo artist forever and you’ll never catch it.  There’ll always be someone better than you.

Fast forward to present day and Marcus Kuhn is a tattoo artist who cares about the work he does and the work he does for his clients.  He’s very much a practitioner of the K.I.S.S. rule (Keep It Simple, Stupid) and keeps his tattoo work traditional in both Americana and Japanese.  He’s not a tattoo artist who wants to make a big deal about incorporating massive amounts of flare into his work, he simply wants to do good work and that is exactly what he does.  Marcus Kuhn is talented and straight forward and I don’t think it’s unfair to assume that any tattoo artist who follows those guidelines keeps a long list of loyal customers and a strong reputation as the real deal.

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