The Nicest Badass Tattooer in Venice Beach Gets Almost All His Tats Removed
Tattooer Judd Bowman is having most of his tattoos removed or faded. A traditional tattooer who works out of Black Diamond Tattoo in Venice Beach, his specialty is old school tats from the early 1900s through the 1950s. He does whatever he can to avoid doing or donning the here-today-gone-tomorrow trendy ink popularized by celebrities, musicians, and models.
Judd came into our Dr. Tattoff Sherman Oaks clinic recently to get many of his tattoos faded in order to replace them with better tattoos. He is so resolute in his desire to start over, that he is no longer getting any new tattoos and does not plan to add any more until he’s substantially cleared the way for more awesome art. He can’t fathom the thought of having some super talented artist add a cool piece to his arm in between two crappy tattoos. So he’s taking a break, making big plans for his next coat of paint.
The tattoos that adorn Judd’s body are a mix of ink he got from friends, colleagues and apprentices, and some he did himself to practice. Growing up in a small town in Pennsylvania didn’t offer Judd the opportunity to tattoo people with the style of tattoos that piqued his interest.
He was into pin-up girls, snakes, daggers, roses, wolves and eagles – the kind of imagery you’d imagine on an old sailor with a flowing gray beard and a wooden pipe. If Popeye comes to mind, you’re not far off. But these weren’t exactly themes the kids back east wanted at the time. So Judd used his own body as a testing ground, to see what he could do with a needle.
As you’ll see in the photo to the left, he tattooed himself with the gypsy in the keyhole and the pin-up to the left. He’ll be replacing these with new art as soon as they’re faded enough to do so. Some of the new art will even be his own, but hugely improved over what it was back then.
Judd doesn’t regret his tattoos nor does he think they’re all that terrible, but he wants them to be exceptional. As he explained to us, since he’s a tattooer, people are always looking at his tattoos for inspiration, or because they expect every one of them to be a work of art. Judd’s goal is to eventually make that the case, but until then, we’ll be seeing him pretty regularly (every 6 to 8 weeks).
We expect Judd to come in for at least a few sessions until his ink is faded enough to do the cover-ups he’d like. His black ink will resolve the fastest, probably leaving him with some faded colors here and there, which he says are easy to cover. It’s the black ink that creates an issue.
When clients come to Judd for a cover-up, he often recommends they have two or three laser removal treatments beforehand, to fade or remove the darker ink.
To the right, you’ll see a tattoo Judd is not removing (on his lower extremities), partly because of the sensitive area in which part of it is located. You can probably guess which one we’re referring to – it’s the one you can only see part of and it features the color red.
We have to admit, this particular tattoo put a huge smile on our faces when Judd lifted his shirt to reveal it (our Facebook fans seemed to like it quite a bit too). Out of all Judd’s current tattoos, we think this one best reflects his upbeat sunny disposition and we’re happy he’s keeping it!
Watch Judd’s interview and his first treatment here: