GGMontecarlo, aka Nora Sanchez, interviews the tattoo collector, Grit Grammar. Let’s discover more!
A little introduction: who is Grit Grammar?
My name’s Jamie, you can find me online as @Grit Grammar. I grew up most of my life in and around London.
Hey Jamie! I have to confess that I’m really impressed with your collection. Tell me more about you and your tattoos… When did you start to get tattooed and why?
I started getting tattooed around 15 years ago. I always wanted to get tatted as a kid growing up. After I got my first piece I started getting covered pretty quickly. I’ve also always been big into rap since I was a kid, and you can’t ignore the connection between B&G tattooing & the rap game in the late 90s and early 2000s.
Why you choose those artists? Could you tell more about your Collection and what each piece means to you?
Most of my collection is from Eric Marcinizyn, Chuey Quintanar & Jose Lopez, but I also have pieces from Josh Duffy, Jun Cha, Carlos Torres, Carlos Rojas, Miguel Ochoa, Alex Garcia, and Norm. I usually have a rough idea of the type of image I want and where, but most of my pieces are figured out on the day. I’m always flexible with it, and in most cases the pieces turn out better that way. The pieces don’t have any special meaning, having to have specific meaning to all your tatts is super corny to me.
I was only ever into Black & Grey, and I just wanted to get work from the best artists out there. It isn’t much deeper than that.
I just like classic Black & Grey imagery, chicks and skulls with some religious pieces thrown in. Just big pieces that look cool and read well. Of course, I also consider what artists’ styles are going to work well together so the overall look is right. Usually I get one artist to do a whole body part like an arm, or a leg sleeve, so they get a big canvas to work with. For me Tattoo is a way of life, but the game’s very different now from when I started getting tattooed.
Who do you admire – in Art, in life?
Just artists that do original shit and have their own style. There are so many artists nowadays who are great with a tattoo machine, but I only want to get tattooed by the best in the game who are OG, or came up under the OG’s, and have their own style. I couldn’t care if you are the best B&G artists in the world if you don’t have any heritage in the game. Outside of tattooing I admire people who are driven no matter what they do, and people who aren’t into drama and bullshit.
Do you think your roots influenced your Collection?
To a degree. I got family in LA and I went there a lot growing up, so I think seeing tatts out there as a kid influenced the work I ended up getting. I’ve also always been big into rap since I was a kid, and you can’t ignore the connection between B&G tattooing & the rap game in the late 90’s & early 2000’s. Only want to get tattooed by the best in the game who are OG, or came up under the OG’s, and have their own style.
Which is you favourite style in the Art of tattooing? And the most inspirational for you?
I’ve only ever really been into Black & Grey and the street end of tattooing, so when I started getting work done I mainly went for the dudes who were taking that style to the next level.
What do think about tattoo nowadays? Is tattoo a trend or a way of life?
For me it’s a way of life, but the game’s very different now from when I started getting tattooed. Even when I started it was much more of a lifestyle thing. You had to really dig around to find the world’s best artists and travel halfway across the planet to some hood spot to get the best work. It was way less commercial, and artists at that time were travelling much less. There also weren’t a lot of international collectors around at that time, most of the collectors with the best work were usually local or other tattoo artists.
How long has it taken you to acquire your entire collection?
Hundreds of hours! No idea how many at this point.
What do you think about Social Media in the Tattoo World?
Social Media’s cool, and I like seeing new pieces from my favourite artists, but it takes away from why I first started getting tattooed. It just commercialises everything.
What is your fave tattoo show?
Got to be my hometown show London, especially in the early days. I like Milan too, I got tattooed there a few times and it’s always a decent party.
Nowadays you can find a lot of differents styles on the tattoo scene but which styles do you think will never die?
Styles go in and out of fashion but Black & Grey Realism, Lettering, Japanese and classic Traditional are all timeless to me.
What new project are you thinking of now?
Eric M. is still working on my front panel and left leg sleeve. I don’t have a lot of room left, but I got a couple of other gaps I’m holding for a couple of artists I still want work from. I’m also getting a couple of old bits lasered off to make way for my last big projects. Once I’m fully covered, I will go back in on more sessions to finesse the pieces I got. My boy Stoney Tattoo is an up and coming artist and he’s got a sick UK influenced gangster style so I’m saving a spot for him as well.
What is the Art of tattooing to you?
It’s just the style that represents me best, and if you’re going to get covered nothing beats Black and Grey for an overall look.
Is there anything you would like to have talked about in the interview and we have not asked you?
Just want to shout out the artists that have worked on me over the years, and of course Tattoo Life magazine.