Meet Brian Blalock, our Black & Gray Specialist!

 In Tattoos

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Profile Interviews with Mantra Tattoo & Body Piercing’s Staff

Here at Mantra Tattoo we would like you to get to know us better, so we’ll be writing specific posts about each of our Staff members in Denver in the near future! Today is our dear Brian Blalock’s turn, so get ready and enjoy reading!

Brian Blalock tattoo artist Denver

Brian Blalock tattooing at Mantra Tattoo


Are you a Denver native?
No, I’m originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma

How old where you when you got your first tattoo, what did you get and where? Did it hurt? 
I didn’t get my first tattoo until I was 23. I got a phoenix on my right arm and yeah…it hurt as if someone was poking me with needles over and over!

Which of your own tattoos is your favorite and why? 
All of them are my favorite. Each one of my pieces have some significance to me.

What is your artistic background and how did you become a tattoo artist?
I have always enjoyed art, ever since I was in grade school. It was the only thing that held my interest in class (even in classes not pertaining to art). I started tattooing in Costa Rica back in 2011 when a tattoo machine was first put in my hands. Since then, I have been learning how to master this challenging yet satisfying art form.

How did you end up at Mantra Tattoo? 
When I moved to Denver I wanted to work in a studio where I would be surrounded by talented artists. Having a solid line up of incredible artists, each specializing in their own niche, allowed me to bring my Black and Gray Realism in Denver to the table.

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Black & Grey Knight Sleeve by Brian Blalock

What made you into a Black and Gray specialist? 
Ever since I started drawing I have always gravitated towards black and gray. My art medium of choice has always been pencil, charcoal, or pen. I would do color, but I have always enjoyed black and gray a little more.

How did you get so good at realistic tattoos? What type of training have you gone through?
I have always had an eye for little details or nuances and I’m always pushing myself to convey those details into my tattoos. Every day I feel like I learn a little more and the goal is to let those little lessons make me into a better tattoo artist.

Can Black and Gray tattoos have any color and would those still be considered as such? What makes a good Black and Gray tattoo? 
Yes, they can have splashes of color. I always recommend that the color is minimal if it is going to be added to a piece, otherwise it can look unbalanced. I’d say that what makes a good Black and Gray tattoo is a good contrast and value with plenty of black.

custom tattoos

Black & Gray Cheetah shoulder tattoo by Brian Blalock

Which has been the most difficult tattoo you ever had to perform? 
Haha…I was working on a piece for a dude who was apparently taking shots in the bathroom or something. I had to stop the tattoo a couple of hours in because he transformed from sober to obliterated drunk in a matter of minutes before my eyes. We didn’t even get to finish…

What is your favorite kind of tattoo to do on people and which is the coolest one you’ve done? 
I love doing Black and Gray photo realism, especially pieces of wildlife or landscapes. I don’t know, they are all cool in their own way.

Is there anything you would refuse to tattoo on someone? 
I’ll only refuse pieces if I feel it is outside of my artistic style or ability.

What other passions or hobbies do you have? 
Playing the drums, music, video games, guns, wrestling walruses, you know…the usual!

Finally, what advice would you give someone who is thinking of getting their first tattoo at Mantra?
To look at everyone’s portfolio because each artist at Mantra has a different style and approach to their tattoos. Choose an artist based on what kind of tattoo you are wanting to get for yourself. Old School or Traditional, New School, Realism, Black and Gray, Color, etc.  With so many talented artists, there is a good chance you’ll find the perfect person for the job!

Mantra Tattoo & Body Piercing: best custom tattoos and piercing in Colorado

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Come visit us to get your custom tattoo designed by one of our experienced tattoo artists in Denver. Or pick up a niece piece of body jewelry and get pierced by one of our professional body piercers.

1695 Wadsworth Blvd, Lakewood, Colorado
(303) 239-8282 / (303) 238-3736
Open: Mon – Sat 11:00 am – 9:00 pm, Sun 12:00 noon – 9:00pm.