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gone…in a flash!

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

Hello Earthlings!

This is your tattoo apprentice Marléna, here to deliver you with your weekly Speakeasy Tattoo Los Angeles news update! And It isn’t just this post coming to you hot off the press, but the weather in LA has finally gotten all sunny and hot.  This is the weather everyone loves so much, and me, I’ll just be over here melting beneath my normal costume of black clothes.

I didn’t have much homework for the week, but what I did have was a terrible summer flu! The okay thing about being too sick to do anything, is that you have so much time to think. I spent a lot of time thinking about all the tattoo art I want to make soon, which leads me to the body of this post- tattoo flash! If you aren’t already familiar, flash, is what we call those sheets of tattoo designs you see lining the walls of ye good olde walk-in shoppe. As I continue trying to refine my own process and materials for creating tattoo flash, I’ve been wondering more about the origins of flash. Why is it called flash? I went digging around the dark web, and this is what I found…

Tattoo flash finds it’s early beginnings right alongside the beginnings of American tattooing, in the Big Apple, NYC baby! In the beginning, tattooing was not a legal practice. The first folks getting tattooed? Mostly sailors and soldiers. Though tattooing became popular quickly, it would remain an underground trade, as it wasn’t legal. Most tattoo artists at the time did their work across a variety of venues, this included barbershops, carnivals, and often bars. Artists were mobile, carrying their supplies in briefcases. They would transport their tattoo designs on lines of string, because this was the fastest way to pull them all down at once! This was important to avoid police busts, or a bar that got too out of hand. The sheets came to be called flash, because the way they were strung allowed the artist to pull them down in a flash!! 

Thats it for this week kids!

Over and out,


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