I’m humbled by all of the talented artists who trust me to provide an aftercare product for their clients’ tattoos. One of my favorite parts about owning SecondSkin is to be able to visit and chat with these artists. I very much like to meet people face-to-face, as I believe that is the best way to grow a relationship. So I decided to make a trip out to California, which seems to be the fastest growing market for me at the moment. Artists Ben Ochoa and Mat Hurtado from Black Anchor Collective were some of the earliest users of SecondSkin in Southern California, and I wanted to meet them in person. Not to mention that the level of work coming out of that shop is super impressive, to say the least.

When I got there, Ben was tattooing and Nikko was working on a design. They were both super gracious and Ben took me on a tour of the shop. Looking at all of the art hanging on the walls put the biggest smile on my face. Then I got to hang around a bit and watch Ben work on a Batman villains sleeve. Nikko was asking me about SecondSkin, and Ben was telling me why he preferred it to other "derma" products. Nikko is a really intense and driven guy, which you can obviously see in his tattooing. Talking to him and their office manager Tom Martinez Jr. (the early talent behind the success of Sullen TV) about business was really helpful, as SecondSkin has only been around since the beginning of this year.

Mat came by the shop, and I asked him if he had any of his lego paintings around. I'm a huge fan of them and was hoping to see some in person. He didn't have any in the shop but ended up taking me by his home studio nearby. Again, I was like a kid in a candy store. I've never been artistic, but I've always really appreciated art. He had a couple of lego paintings hanging around, and his other paintings were just as or even more amazing. Overall it was a fantastic experience. Thanks to the whole crew at Black Anchor Collective!

To the right are a couple of pictures from Matt's home studio, including some of his paintings and collections. Tom Martinez created a video of Mat's process and a time lapse video of one of his paintings. You can watch it at Black Anchor Collective's YouTube Channel.

Eric Marshall