Adam Facenda of True Love Tattoo Is Definitely Not a "One Trick Pony"
From the ashes of the annual South Florida Tattoo Convention, the phoenix of Black Dagger Tattoo rose. Though juggling two successful shops is intimidating, Facenda isn't done making his mark on the South Florida scene. His newest venture is the South Florida Tattoo Social. The inaugural event kicks off this Saturday, December 8, at O'Malley's Sports Bar in Margate. Conveniently located a stone's throw from True Love, the Tattoo Social promises a mix of networking opportunities for tattooers and collectors, a venue for live music, and one helluva party.
We were lucky enough to snag some one-on-one time with Facenda at his shop last week, and we asked him about his experience in the tattoo industry and tales of the trade.
New Times: This may be a pretty cliché question, but when did you start tattooing?
Adam Facenda: I started tattooing when I was 26. That's when my apprenticeship started, but I was actually tattooing like for money later that year at Bulldog Tattoo on Fort Lauderdale beach. That was the dream team, me, Scott, Matt Bivetto, and Frank Lee. It was fucking awesome back then.
What was the raddest part about that would you say?
Well, it was the most fun I ever had at a shop. It was such a different atmosphere [from other shops]. Frank would just draw everything up in front of his clients, and that became like the "cool" thing to do. He was really the one that got all of us into drawing right in front of people, and they were just so wowed by it.
So it wasn't an expectation that an artist would draw something up on the spot?
Yeah, even if it wasn't the greatest design of all time, it was always a magic trick, and clients loved it.
Has that had an effect on the way you tattoo?
Of course! I really like drawing script and things in front of clients because they're always like "Wow! You made that from nothing!" I just love doing script.
I grew up in a generation of guys where that was becoming really popular because a lot of people were doing stuff off the computer. I wasn't happy with that, I wanted to draw right on people.
Have you ever tattooed your own handwriting on someone?
Yeah, it's kind of creepy actually. A friend of mine has my actual handwriting around his arm. It's the most personal thing to me, if you think about it, it's mine.
Are there any tattoos you don't like to do, besides fingers since you wouldn't tattoo mine?
Laughs. Well technically that's a body part I don't like to tattoo. As far as actual tattoos I don't like, I don't like doing peoples' names on other people. Like boyfriend or girlfriend stuff. Kid names are ok, but husband and wives, not really.
To say there's tattoos I don't like doing would be a lie though because I really love to tattoo anything and everything. I'm not a tattoo snob and only do traditional or Japanese or portraits.