Local Tattooers: Aleki Manu
Salt Lake City has fostered a steadfast tattooing scene for a couple decades now. It seems like no matter where you go within the city limits or beyond, there is an established shop to be found with committed, knowledgable, skilled and wise people on the tattoo machine. So you may have time to plan your next custom piece or esoteric flash once the heat dies down, SLUG has compiled images of tattooers’ work and their thoughts on their craft. Since it’s impossible to include everyone involved in local tattooing in one issue of SLUG, we’re mixing it up with a range of tattooers from different shops with a range of professional backgrounds, experience, etc. to depict a segment of the current local-tattooing mosaic of SLC/Utah.
Shop: Artsy By Nature Tattoo • 4901 S. State Street #B • 801.261.3109 • @artsybynaturetattoos
Years tattooing: nine
Where you apprenticed and for how long: I apprenticed under a studio by the name of Samoa Ink in 2009.
What styles of tattooing do you favor/specialize in: I am originally a “graf writer,” so any wild style or loose texture catches my eye.
Favorite subject matter: Hip-hop.
Favorite flash: Traditional.
Favorite custom piece you’ve done: A favorite custom tattoo I have done is any large scale custom tattoo. Freedom and customizing makes a favorite tattoo.
Tattooer you admire: Tofi Torfinkski.
Other visual art you make: Other visual art I make are murals/paintings, preferably aerosol and acrylic.
Tattooing guilty pleasure: Cartoon characters.
Nerdiest thing you know about tattooing: We’re all nerds. We like art.
Best tattooing tunes to play in the shop: Reggae, because it’s neutral and can be relaxing.
Shoutouts: Huge shoutout to my wife for investing into me. She’s the brains of the businesses, while I just do tattoos. Another shoutout goes to my homie Kier Defstar. i wouldn’t be the artist I am today without him.
Find a selection of Manu’s works below:
All photos courtesy of Aleki Manu