Pat was a native of Vancouver, Canada. He started tattooing as a hobby, picking up pointers from the resident Vancouver tattooist Doc Forbes and his friend of many years, Huck Spaulding. In the 1960’s Pat was working further north than any known tattooist in North America. He set up in the inland town of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and turned his hobby into a booming business.

This shop was a big success so he opened a branch in Calgary. In 1970 Pat emigrated to San Francisco and worked at the famous “7th Street Studio” of Lyle Tuttle. He brought new life to that location and built up a loyal clientele. During this period Pat taught the trade to his own son and Lyle Junior.

In 1976 he decided to part ways with Lyle Sr., and opened his own tattoo shop at 3940 Geary between 3rd and 4th avenues, where he resumed the habits that earned him his nickname. “Picture Machine Tattoo” was founded in 1976 and “The Picture Machine” worked long hours in constant productivity: Pat was at the shop 7 days a week, and at any given moment he was either tattooing or drawing flash. In 1989 Pat died in the shop, basically while in the middle of a tattoo session.

Pat Martynuik, watercolour by Pepe
Pat Martynuik, watercolour by Pepe

The Picture Machine shop became the property of his son, Guy, who by this time also owned his own shop, “Body Graphics“, in Reno, Nevada. Guy maintained operation of the Picture Machine and his Reno shop for a year, and taught his own son Jesse, who now owns Body Graphics, to tat- too as well. In 2005 Guy Martynuik sold the shop to his former coworker Lyle Tuttle Jr., who was born and raised around tattooing.

By this time The Picture Machine building was sold by the owner and the shop moved down Geary to 5124 Geary at 15th avenue, where it is today. During its years of operation, the Picture Machine built his reputation as a street shop producing high quality tattoos in an unpretentious environment attracting some of the best young up and coming artists to seek employment there. The list of artists who have worked at the Picture Machine includes many, if not most of the names of tattooers who during the nineties became household names for tattoo fans, and who today are considered to be responsible for breathing new life into the world of tattooing.