Innovation is complex in a place where tattoo shops are everywhere.
Todd Santos, his tattoo bus, and its artists are alone.
Since 2009, Santos has been innovating with two luxury tattoo studios, Bamboo Tattoo, and Bali Tattoo. Santos’ shops became more popular as he introduced new techniques and borderline-wild ideas to his brand.
His latest crazy idea? The tour bus is 40 feet long.
The bus has been gutted, stripped of its original interior, and transformed into a fully-functional tattoo studio and event space.
While this might seem like a bit much for some, those around Santos know he has a taste for daring new ideas.
Santos’s first shop opened in Toronto to expose Toronto’s tattooing culture to a completely different style.
It was first the Tebori tattoo style. This is where an artist uses a bamboo splint with needles to produce the tattoo.
His next accomplishment was bringing artists worldwide to tattoo at his shops. These weren’t only guest spots.
He helped young; talented artists get to Toronto to be exposed to an audience willing to pay them for their work.
Santos has around 25 artists, spread between emerging local talent, solidified veterans, and overseas superstars.
The two shops he owns offer a high-end experience to clients with their expensive furnishings, dark details, and the $500,000 Swarovski crystal skull.
The new Tattour Bus carries the same spirit.
It’s about 40 feet long and a beautiful sight. It has been wrapped in matte black and is finished with murals on both sides. The left side will be completed in the next few weeks. Sumartist.
You enter the building from the right, passing velvet ropes and walking onto a red rug, then through the front door. Santos explains that building something like this without previous examples was a considerable challenge, but the hard work paid off.
Three artists can set up their chairs with full-size while listening to TV and watching music.
Artists can now make music while on the bus.
“Just last week, Smiley was here to shoot his most recent music video,” said Santos. “Drake pulled into the OVO Maybach, and the entire street was like a celebration.” This is the look I want for the bus.”
The Tattour bus, in its most raw form, is a place where people can come together.
The team took the bus to La Paloma in Woodbridge, famous for its late-night car meets. Bamboo’s team told me they tattooed eight people that night. Three of them were getting their very first piece.
Santos says, “I want to see this bus anywhere and everywhere.” “It will be at Pride and the CNE.” We plan to rent it as a party space for celebrities and rappers. The possibilities are limitless.”
Santos will have a monumental summer as he will tattoo 50 pieces of art at the various events he is scheduled to attend.
Your first tattoo could be on Toronto’s first-ever tattoo bus.
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