BERKELEY'S NEWS • OCTOBER 01, 2022

Meet Berkeley's Southside tattoo artists

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ANTHONY MARTINEZ | FILE

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OCTOBER 16, 2014

Southside has a few notable tattoo parlors clustered on Telegraph Avenue: Zebra Tattoo and Body Piercing, Industrial Tattoo and Piercing and War Horse Tattoo. Many a UC Berkeley student has walked into these fine establishments to get themselves their first tattoo or piercing; it’s practically a rite of passage in college. We at the Daily Clog sat down with tattoo artists from Zebra and War Horse to get to know the person behind the artist:

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Staff/Anna Nolan

Name: Pavel Brodsky

Tattoo shop: Zebra Tattoo and Body Piercing

How long have you been a tattoo artist?

About 5 years.

What got you interested in tattooing?

I just came into a tattoo shop and I thought it was cool, so I made an effort to try and learn!

How would you describe your signature style?

Courtesy/Pavel Brodsky

I just do what people want me to do. Like, I try to make it bold so it will last.

Have you gotten any weird requests before?

I had to do a Geico gecko on a guy’s palm.

What is your advice to someone looking to get their first tattoo?

Do your research. Look through books … tattoo books. I’ve seen some good ones in some libraries. Just not to go for the first google image that they find, and try to find something that’s a little bit deeper. Something that connects to their history, rather than just finding the first thing that they like.

If you could be any article of clothing, what would you be?

I wanna say shoe, but that sounds really, really negative. That’s a useful piece of clothing, and I try to be useful.

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Courtesy/Paul Bosch

Name: Paul Bosch

Tattoo shop: War Horse Tattoo

How long have you been a tattoo artist?

I’ve been tattooing for 12 years.

What got you interested in tattooing?

Skateboarding, heavy metal music, bikers. Generally that “tough guy” type of stuff.

How would you describe your signature style?

I do heavy black and grey, kind of biker-style tattoos. But I can do pretty flowers too!

Courtesy/Paul Bosch

Have you gotten any weird tattoo requests before?

Oh yeah, I’ve been tattooing for 12 years, I’ve done a lot weird stuff … but I always try to remember what they are, and
whenever I get put on the spot, it’s always hard to remember! But yeah, I do all kinds of weird stuff.

What is your advice to someone looking to get their first tattoo?

Don’t worry about how much it’s going to cost. A lot of people come in here and the first thing they ask is, “How much?” It’s gonna be there forever. Twenty dollars shouldn’t make you walk out the door. You should look at the portfolios of the tattoo artists that are going to tattoo you. See if the quality of the work is up to your standards, and see if their style is what you want, rather than coming in and asking price first.

If you were an article clothing, what article of clothing would you be?

Either a pair of blue jeans or just a plain T-shirt, I guess!

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Courtesy/Greg Dyer

Name: Greg Dyer

Tattoo shop: War Horse Tattoo

How long have you been a tattoo artist?

Almost 5 years out of my apprenticeship now.

What got you interested in tattooing?

From when I was pretty little, I’d just always done a lot of drawing and tracing out of comic books. I always thought tattoos were kinda cool when I was little. I started getting tattooed when I was, like, 15 years old. I think when I was young, it just was a means to just trying to be able to get free tattoos … I just started tattoos, and I realized I could do something with it.

How would you describe your signature style?

Courtesy/Greg Dyer

I like to try and do as much of everything that I can as possible. If there is a tattoo that looks like I did it, it’s probably really bold, very black, bright colors, pretty solid. But I try and do as much of what people want as possible … within reason.

Have you gotten any weird tattoo requests before?

I’ve tattooed a few different men’s genitals with different things that they wanted. If somebody’s willing to pay me to hold their dick, then it’s not that weird.

What is your advice to someone looking to get their first tattoo?

Do your research. Look at people’s portfolios, and don’t be worried about price up front. Don’t let that be the indicator of whether or not you’re going to get a tattoo from someone, because it’s gonna be on you for the rest of your life, and if you saved $80 or $40 or even $20 in the grand scheme of things and you’re bummed out about the tattoo that you have, it wasn’t a good deal.

If you were an article of clothing, what would you be?

A beanie. Because I lost my favorite one, and I really wanna find one that fits right. I dunno … I like to wear beanies, and it’s really hard to find one that fits right. They’re either too loose or too tight.

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Courtesy/Cameron Miller

Name: Cameron Miller

Tattoo shop: War Horse Tattoo

How long have you been a tattoo artist?

I’ve been tattooing for 8.5 years.

What got you interested in tattooing?

I always wanted to do something in the art field. I originally went to school for culinary and for oil painting, and quickly found out that culinary wasn’t something I wanted to do full time, and I just got a great opportunity to apprentice when I was living in Michigan, and kind of segued from that.

How would you describe your signature style?

When it comes to painting, I’m classically trained in figurative and portrait oil painting. I do some watercolor from time to time. Tattoo-wise, I do a lot of photo-realistic black and grey and color. And also traditional Japanese stuff, American traditional and very illustrative stuff.

Courtesy/Cameron Miller

Have you gotten any weird tattoo requests before?

It’s Berkeley, so everyday it happens! People are always trying to one-up other people as far as now having seen what tattooing can do. Even in the last decade, people are trying to always push the limits with that. So there’s always someone trying to make it as extreme or as weird as possible.

What is your advice to someone looking to get their first tattoo?

Do your research. Look at portfolios. Really look at the style or a motif that you want. I would say go as big as you are comfortable with going. Listen to your artist when it comes to different aspects of tattooing. A lot of times we get into situations where people want stuff extremely small or extremely detailed, and it’s just not possible.

If you were an article of clothing, what would you be?

I would go with blue jeans. Denim can be worn with anything!

Contact Lilia Vega at 

LAST UPDATED

OCTOBER 16, 2014