Skip to Content
Art

The First Tattoo of Chaz Bojorquez

2:14 PM PST on November 5, 2015

    On October 30th through November 1st, Black Claw presented the 11th annual Bay Area Convention Of The Tattoo Arts at the San Francisco Airport Hyatt Regency Hotel. The convention hosted tattoo artists from around the globe who came to this event to bring their unique styles; specializing in: American traditional, black and grey, color, Asian and Japanese, portraits, tribal, geometric, lettering, and more. Some of these tattoos were designed with modern machines, while some used ancient techniques and used a “tap” method with wooden sticks and mallets which used natural dye instead of ink.

    IMG_1681

    There was a two day exclusive lettering seminar with graffiti legend, Chaz Bojorquez and expert tattoo artist, BJ Betts. In addition, quite a few books were released during the event, which attracted both tattoo enthusiasts and art lovers. A short film documentary, “Jun Matsui” presented by Sang Bleu was featured in a separate room. The film, named after a Brazilian tattooist, documents his legacy as a tattoo artist and how he influenced Brazil’s underground subcultures.

    Old school tattoo legends that have made a mark in the tattoo industry made an appearance as well; such as: Don Ed Hardy, Good Time Charlie, Junii and Bill Salmon from Diamond Club Tattoo… just to give you an idea. Other featured artists and companies who attended were: Anderson Luna, Bishop Rotary, Chuco Moreno, Chuey Quintanar, Franco Vescovi, Greg Mayorga, Grime, Horichuy, Ink Sav, Jen Lee, Lucky Tattoo Supply, Megan Wilson, Mike Foley, Samoan Mike, Tattoo Life Magazine, Tim Hendrix, Valerie Vargas, and many, many more.

    Sunday was the last day of the convention. Roughly, by 9PM, most of the artists and vendors had called it a night. The enormous sized ballroom that previously hosted hundreds (to say the least) of people throughout the day was practically empty. Cleaning crews were scattered, as they began to vacuum floors and take apart what seemed like hundreds of tables and booths. Two small groups remained: a tattoo artist who worked overtime to beautifully master a detailed portrait on a client’s arm; and a small group of tattoo artists who helped make the event happen along with a few attendees who were determined to stay until the end.

    IMG_0163

    Next thing you know, Chaz Bojorquez returned to the ballroom and an excitement started to build. Word started to spread that he had agreed to do his very first tattoo ever. Highly respected for his lettering, he sat down and began to sketch what would soon be his first tattoo. His “client” was his seminar partner, BJ Betts who also offered advice and assistance throughout the process.

    Guided and mentored by tattoo artist, Taki, Chaz put on a pair of black gloves and listened carefully. He was a bit nervous, but very compassionate towards Betts. Most importantly, he was eager to absorb new knowledge and techniques on how to delicately apply some fresh ink into Betts’ skin. Using a coil machine, Chaz began to do the outline of his script on the inner side of Betts’ right knee. After the outline, Chaz brought up the option of someone else filling in the tattoo. No one entertained that option. “No, no! You’re gonna have to finish it!” Betts insisted with a smile. Chaz and the surrounding people laughed it off as he continued to fill in the letters with ink and short meticulous strokes. A small crowd gathered around Chaz and Betts with anticipation, as Taki carefully observed over Chaz’s shoulder until the session finished.

    IMG_1691

    Approximately one hour later, Chaz had completed his first tattoo. The crowd congratulated him as he removed his gloves with a look of achievement. The surrounding people felt extremely honored to have shared this special moment with a true Los Angeles OG. We had all witnessed something we will never forget and will be forever grateful for. History was made. You can see the sketches Chaz made below, but if you want to see the tattoo itself, you'll need to ask BJ Betts in person...

    IMG_1684
    IMG_1687
    IMG_1695

    Stay in touch

    Sign up for our free newsletter

    More from L.A. TACO

    What To Eat In L.A. This Weekend: Mexican-Style Pastrami, ‘Trashburgers,’ and Flamin’ Jim Morrisons

    Plus, a new shawarma spot in Tarzana and the country's first wine festival dedicated solely to orange "skin contact" wine happening in Hollywood.

    April 19, 2024

    The 11 Best Backyard Restaurants in Los Angeles

    Despite many requests to publish this guide, L.A. TACO has been somewhat protective of these gems to not "burn out the spots." However, we wanted to share it with our small, loyal pool of paid members, as we appreciate your support (and know you to be okay, non-NARCs). Please enjoy responsibly and keep these 'hood secrets...secrets.

    April 18, 2024

    Announcing the TACO MADNESS 2024 Winner: Our First Ever Three-Time-Champion From Highland Park

    Stay tuned for the new date of our TACO MADNESS festival, which was unfortunately postponed this last Saturday due to rain.

    April 15, 2024

    What To Eat This Weekend: Cannabis-Infused Boat Noodles, Thai Smashburgers, and “Grass & Ass”

    Plus, a pizza festival and a respected chef from Toluca, Mexico comes to Pasadena to consult for a restaurant menu, including enchiladas divorciadas, and more.

    April 12, 2024
    See all posts