Adam Facenda of True Love Tattoo Is Definitely Not a "One Trick Pony"

Categories: Heads Up
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When True Love's Adam Facenda opened a second tattoo shop so close to his original store, it was a big gamble. "I took a real chance in opening this place," Facenda admits. "I signed the lease, and then a couple of days later there was the announcement that the stock market was folding and we were headed into a recession." While most of us would have downed a handful of sleeping pills and chugged a bottle of hard liquor, Facenda saw it as a test. "I just kept thinking that if I can do it now, I can do it whenever. And luckily it worked out." Yes, lucky for all of us, Mr. Facenda, the odds were in your favor. 

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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.


"It's really hard for tattooers and their clients to get together because we've got kind of crazy schedules," Facenda admits. "So we thought, hey, let's make one day a month a day that people can plan for and get together, have some drinks, tell stories, and have a good time." 

Saturday night will hopefully kick off what Facenda calls "an actual social network," welcoming people to come out from behind the computer screen to meet and interact with those who run in the same circles. 

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.

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O'Malley's Sports Bar

1388 N. State Road 7, Margate, FL

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