I first met Georgia Grey when she worked at Handsome Devil Tattoo in Saddle Brook, NJ. We became friendly after constantly running into each other at tattoo conventions. When it came time for my wife's first real tattoo, Georgia was the person we went to.
Dan Lorenzo: Tell me about the moment you realized you wanted to become a tattoo artist?
Georgia Grey: There was never a moment, but more so many moments that would lead up to myself becoming a tattoo artist. Since I could pick up a pencil I have been drawing on everything. My Barbies, shoes, walls, and friends would wear my art for fun, but when I finally got my first tattoo I knew this was something I wanted to pursue.
Were you surprised that Bang Bang offered you a gig at his shop?
Being considered in the first place was the biggest surprise, but the moment I got hired was definitely a point of achievement. The whole team at Bang Bang is one of the finest I've ever had the privilege of working with; they produce the most amazing tattoos and the positive mental attitude (PMA) there makes going to work something I look forward to.
Are you going to become one of those people who moves to NYC and then denounces all things Jersey?
Jersey will always be home to me.
I saw on your Instagram that Odell Beckham JR. comes into Bang Bang. Is it hard not to gawk?
Odell is a cool guy for sure, but when it come to any other athlete... honestly I don't care too much. It's when I see Florence Welsh or Rihanna come in that makes me have to take a second to remind myself to not be a total creep.
What rules does Bang Bang give you when celebrities come into the shop?
When it comes to celebrities or any other clients, we treat them all the same.
What have you been buying most often from Painful Pleasures?
I buy everything I need from Painful Pleasures, they're a great tattoo supply company and something that I can rely on.
You liked the Recovery sample I gave you, right?
Recovery is something else. It's such a lightweight product and goes on so smooth.
What are your favorite pigments?
When it comes to my favorite, I use Eternal for just about everything. When I do my watercolor pieces, I use a lot of tones to create the look of one color bleeding out and with Eternal, they have all those in-between tones I need to get that smooth blend.
Do you have advice for young women getting into the tattoo game than you would for the guys?
Keep learning. It's a man-dominated career -- be strong!! Never stop learning and growing. Be humble. There's always someone better than you! Always be the best you can be or don't even bother! Keep your personal expectations of your work high -- be self critical. Expect constructive criticism.
What makes a great client?
Since I've switched to more abstract/watercolor/painterly styled tattoos, I've been getting very open-minded clients and that is the best client. Being open-minded and giving up creative control, past the initial concept, is always going to allow the artist to have fun with the piece and ultimately you'll end up with a better piece.