I didn't know who Mario Barth was 2 years ago. Now, we run into each other all over the Southeast side of Vegas. Want to know who Mario Barth is, check out Starlight Tattoo, King Ink, and Intenze Ink.
Yes, Mario's Blue is named after him.
I first ran into him at the Albertson's deli counter last year right before the Tattoo Convention here in Vegas. He was very polite and seemed to be interested in what was going on in my short tattoo career.
He asked for my card and then ordered a pound of provolone and that was that.
One year later almost to the day, we meet again at the Starbucks just down the street from my apartment. I said the usual "hello, how's it goin", ya know being cool-ish. Of course this time Julia was in tow. Last time, she was still "in the belly" if you know what I mean. Anyway he was happy to meet her and again was very nice. After we ordered our drinks, we each went to our own tables. I had no intention of bugging him while he enjoyed his caffeine. I definitely wanted to respect his space. He on the other hand motioned for me to come on over and join him. So with Julia in tow, we sat down with Mario Barth.
Lots of small talk, as I didn't want to even begin pretending that I had anything regarding tattooing to this pioneer of the tattoo world. It was very encouraging to hear him talk about the future of tattooing and how tattooers were just as hungry as ever to push the boundaries of skin and ink. Told me to check out Buena Vista Tattoo Club in case I needed confirmation.
All in all, I walked away feeling great about the future of tattooing, despite "tattoo schools", TLC and the economy. Enjoyed sitting with a legend without the aloofness one might expect. Our coffer was great, our conversation light but poignant, and in the end I look forward to meeting up with him again somewhere down the road. Maybe one day he'll tattoo me. Free of course.