James Dentice is the owner and senior artist at Inkstitution Tattoo. He’s a local; he was raised in the Bays and has been tattooing in Browns Bay for 15 years. Growing up, James says BMX and the Browns Bay skate ramp were a huge part of his youth and his goal has always been to open his own tattoo shop in the community. He says that his favourite styles of tattoo are American traditional and Japanese, but the team has seven artists each specialising in different styles of tattoo so there’s something for everyone. When he’s not making art, he reckons he’s at the skate park with his kids, Jake and Emmy. James talks all things Instagram and inspiration for Gramworthy this month.
Channel Mag: Tell us a little bit about your business and how it came about.
James Dentice: BMX and tattoo culture were the two biggest influences for me growing up. I remember being six years old and sneaking into Mary O’Connor’s shop, Auckland Tattoo, just to watch them work. Fast forward 18 years and my wife Lacey and I opened Inkstitution Tattoo. We both bring very different skill sets to running our business, both of us are passionate about bringing quality tattoos in a welcoming and friendly environment. We have loved watching our brand grow over the last decade. Instagram has been a huge tool in doing that.
Is Instagram a source of inspiration for you? Who do you recommend following and why?
Instagram plays a huge role in shaping our industry. You will see style trends from all around the world that influence what our clients are wanting and what styles of tattoo and body placements are more popular in the moment. We use Instagram to connect with and support other artists in our industry; it really has opened up the industry for travel and guest spots. I love following @aotearoa_tattoom - they share so much New Zealand tattoo history. I love reading and learning about the industry in the early days; they share some really interesting photos from when tattooing had a very different culture.
@traditionalartists is another account worthy of a follow. This is my preferred style of tattooing; it’s a rad place to follow what other trad artists around the world are doing with their art and a source of education and inspiration.
Which other local businesses do social media well?
@bradtothebonetattoos is one of our senior resident artists and I rate his 'Gram and his style. His content is a good mix of flash (available tattoo designs) videos, current projects and finished work.
@bettr.than.before isn't a business but worth a mention for the work they do; empowering and educating people in a time where mental health is at its worst. Their content is valuable and relatable and offers a new approach to tacking life’s challenges, especially creating a space for men to speak more freely on their struggles and emotions.
What’s next for your business?
We have just relocated to a new tattoo shop on Anzac Road which was a huge move for us after 15 years but it’s an incredible space that we are really proud of. Come down and check us out! For the next little while at least, we will be busy getting through the crazy summer season and enjoying our new space. Who knows what 2024 may bring.
Summer’s here and Milford Motel looks like the perfect place for an afternoon drink and snack.
We’ve started our Christmas shopping early and the books in store and online at Crave will make some great gifts.
It’s a need, not a want. A chocolate advent calendar needs minimal explanation.