Greg James love for tattoos began at a young age when he started drawing flash tattoos for his brother, Tennessee Dave. He was only fourteen at the time. His drawings turned into an apprenticeship in 1976. During the following nine years he worked on honing his craft. Greg had done it all from single-needle black-and-grey to classic Americana tattoos and large custom Japanese artwork, which he has become famous for.
Greg wanted to do superlative work and decided that he had two options either quit tattooing or try to work for Cliff Raven at Sunset Strip Tattoo. Well, I think we all know how that turned out! Greg joined Sunset Strip Tattoo in 1985 and worked closely with Cliff Raven to hone his Japanese style tattoo, since Cliff was a pioneer of that style. Greg contributed in building the legacy of the legendary Sunset Strip Studio while he was there for over twenty-five years. He became the real star of Sunset Strip, the tattoo artist’s tattooer.
In September 2012, Greg decided to open his own shop, which we have all come to know and love, Tattoos Deluxe in Sherman Oaks, CA. Greg is known worldwide and is at the top of the tattoo industry but has not lost sight of staying down to earth. Clients have said that he is modest, understated, a genuinely nice guy, and his work is truly amazing.
In Greg’s eyes tattooing is a personal thing between two people, not so much about the art, the craft, or being a cool guy. A tattoo should look like it has always been there, like its part of your body. He says that tattoo artists really put a lot of effort, time, and communication into what they do. Tattoos are permanent; they can’t just be torn up and thrown away when the tattoo artist is done with it. Greg says that all the tattoos he has done over his thirty years are carried around in his head with him.
Greg has apprenticed numerous tattoo artists, including Eric Blair of Subculture Tattoo and Dollar Bill of Sunset Strip Tattoo. He is also know for tattooing celebrities like Sarah
Michelle Geller, Denise Richards, Charlie Sheen, Motley Crue, Jesse James, Joan Jett, Ozzy Osbourne. He has also worked on tattoo artists, like Kirk Alley, owner of Eleven Eleven Tattoo; Johnny Hollywood, owner of 13 Roses Tattoo Parlour; and Chris Cashmore, owner of Tattoo Power in Canberra, Australia.
Check out Greg James Wikipedia site for more information