Chris Garver Biography
Chris Garver is an American tattoo artist and television personality. He is best known for his appearance on the TLC reality television show Miami Ink.
He studied at The Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. He then attended the School of Visual Arts.
Chris Garver Age
He was born on September 11, 1970 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America. He is 48 years old as of 2018.
Chris Garver Parents
His mother was an artist and encouraged his interest in painting and drawing.
Chris Garver Wife | Chris Garver Married
He is married to Alena Garver since 2013.
Chris Garver Tattoo Artist
His first experiment in tattooing was when he was at age 17, after selling his bass guitar in order to purchase his tattoo equipment.
Before Garver started tattooing clients on his own, he was employed for six months before tattooing, and repaired old tattoos that needed touch-ups.
Garver moved to New York City in his early twenties where he became a full-time professional tattoo artist.
Chris Garver Net Worth
Garver has an estimated net worth of $3 million.
Chris Garver Artwork | Chris Garver Paintings | Chris Garver Art
- Mother of All Skulls
- Koi with Maple Leaves
- Tattooed Geisha
Chris Garver Coloring Book | Chris Garver Colouring Book
From Chris Garver–in-demand tattoo artist, illustrator, and former star of TLC’s Miami Ink–comes a richly illustrated coloring book that explores the beauty of nature. With double-sided pages of mostly hand-drawn images, Color Odyssey features elaborate butterflies flitting among gardens of flowers, an octopus in the ocean waves, a fantastic elephant, and many other creatures. Garver’s stunning, intricate drawings will thrill grown-up fans of coloring books.
Originally published: February 4, 2016
Author: Chris Garver
Chris Garver Book
- Animal Odyssey: Coloring from the Familiar to the Fantastic – 2017
- Color Odyssey Fabric Transfer – 2017
- Flash: Coloring in the Tattoo Style – 2016
- Color Odyssey – 2016
- Color Odyssey: A Creative Journey – 2016
- Color Odyssey: Artist’s Edition: Artist’s Edition
Chris Garver Tattoo Shop
The Tattoo Shop is an eight-episode American reality web television series for Facebook Watch that follows James and his former Miami Ink costar Chris Nuñez, more recently known as a judge on Paramount Network’s Ink Master, as they attempt to strike gold once again with the newly opened Liberty City Tattoo in Wynwood.
The show airs two episodes per week, with Thursdays episode offering a behind-the-scenes look into the lives of the artists and their clients. Friday’s episodes feature a live tattoo experience on “Mystery Tattoo”.
Each week, a client agrees to get a tattoo, sight unseen. This tattoo is left in the hands of the Facebook community, who make the creative decisions on the design and where the art is drawn on the body.
Chris Garver Tattoo Prices | Chris Garver Hourly Rate
As far as the hourly rate of a tattooist is concerned, an average tattoo artist salary is around $40 to $150 per hour. Now, as you will increase the caliber and professionalism of a tattoo artist, the price increases up to $200 to $350 per hour. The hourly rate totally depends on the caliber and professionalism of a tattoo artist.
If you search out for a tattoo artist salary per annum, it will range from $20,000 to $90,000. PayScale.com shows that per annum salary of a tattoo artist is around $ 22,456 to $87,713. On the other hand, Salarylist.com shows that a professional tattoo artist earns around $46,561 per annum. The tattoo artist salaries, for sure, vary from country to country. Where there is more exposure to tattoo designs and traditions, there are comparatively more salaries of a tattoo artist.
Chris Garver Miami Ink
Four master artists and an apprentice take viewers inside the world of tattooing as they work to open a tattoo parlour together. The series explores the sometimes poignant stories behind some of the designs and the meaning the wearers attach to them.
First episode date: July 19, 2005
Final episode date: August 21, 2008
Executive producers: Ami James, Charlie Corwin, Clara Markowicz
Chris Garver Tattoo | Chris Garver Tattoo MachinesChris Garver Tattoo and Machines
Chris Garver Facebook
Chris Garver Twitter
Chris Garver Instagram
Color Odyssey Chris Garver
Chris Garver Flash
Chris Garver Interview
You have been tattooing since the late 80’s, early 90’s and have seen the whole tattoo culture change; what are your thoughts on it?
Chris Garver: Well in the beginning, there was random derelicts, people with blue collar jobs. They wanted to get tattoos. You were either going to get a cartoon character like a taz (tasmanian devil) or something off the wall. If you were a lady you would get a rose or a butterfly and guys would get eagles, skulls, grim reapers and stuff of that nature.
Basically off a traditional flash sheet styles?
Chris Garver: Yeah, we were doing some custom work but it was definitely tattoo imagery. Nowadays people are getting everything from movie posters, computer generated designs and realistic pictures. It is awesome that people now have all this to choose from when selecting what they want to get tattooed.
Do you think that Miami Ink helped take tattoos mainstream?
Chris Garver: I think so, but I don’t want to give television too much credit (laughing). I do think for some people who had a negative opinion of tattooing; these are the people that were never going to get tattooed anyways had their views changed or at least their minds opened some. Some of the viewers saw it as, hey they (tattooers and collectors) are normal people. They have kids, have morals and are not bad people just because they have tattoos. It made it more legitimate is society’s eyes. It did show celebrities getting tattoos like Angelina Jolie, etc.. I think everything started happening at the same time, from Ed Hardy showing tattoos as art and tattooing on TV. This got more people with an art background looking at tattooing as a form of art. It definitely moved it from being an underground craft to something legitimate artists did.
You do see more graphic artists getting into tattooing and designs then in the past.
Chris Garver: Sure more people started taking art classes than they did. I think social media has helped more to spread the art of tattooing. I have customers that come into the shop and want an obscure japanese character. Which is great to me as it’s more than just koi or a hannya mask. When I started to tattoo, I did not have a computer. If the client wanted something I did not know, you had to research it by going to a reference book or a library.
The internet sure makes researching easier for both the artist and the client.
Chris Garver: I have a whole storage locker full of reference books from the 80s and 90s and I don’t need any of them anymore. Google has them all (laughing). Customers can reference any tattooer or style they want now, not like how it was back in the day. I am glad it is easier now. I am enjoying the popularity of tattooing and where it has gone.
The popularity of tattooing sure makes it being a tattooer or collector easier.
Chris Garver: Sure, you take your kids to school and someone asks what you do, and now they don’t run from you like you were on drugs. Oh that kid is probably bad. I welcome the change to some degree, I feel bad for the ones who feel that the magic is gone from tattooing. It’s not as obscure that it once was, and some feel that the secretness is gone and lost that allure to it. I don’t feel that way personally, thank god. To me it would a really horrible feeling especially it is my passion to do tattooing.
How did you get into the Japanese tattooing style?
Chris Garver: I got into the style for many different reasons. One reason that is interesting, my uncle Joe taught english in Taiwan and bought a Japanese oni mask back from that region and gave it to my family. As an artist, my mom made a paper mache mold of the mask, painted it red and put a burlap bag on me. I had to be about 8 years old and was running around in a “devil” mask (laughing). My parents were also into watching foreign films and would take me to see a lot of movies with samurais and trips to museums tended me towards the Asian sections.
Around 1992 I got back into it because they were bigger. There was an artist who during the winter would be busier. He would do the outlines in the summer and would do the shading and or coloring in the winter. They used to call it the outline club (laughing). So he pretty much guaranteed work all year round. I figured that was a good idea. The more I started to learn about it and buying reference books and living in Japan it was just something I was really interested in. The more I studied it the more I realized I did not know. It is a very sophisticated style of tattooing.
You lived in Japan, how long where you there for?
Chris Garver: I worked for Three Tides in Tokyo for 6 months in 2000, but I traveled a lot to Japan before and after that. Last time I was in Japan I tattooed at Tattoo Soul in Tokyo, run by the Horitoshi Family.
Living and traveling to Japan, did you get any odd or weird looks due to all your tattoos?
Chris Garver: Tattooing is still unacceptable in Japan, the first time I went to Japan I did not feel weird wearing a shortsleeve shirt but when I lived there it was a bit different. My landlord could not know I had tattoos or he would have kicked me out. The tattoo shop was in a young area and were more open to tattoos and you could show them off more, but if you traveled into more conservative areas you needed to cover them up. They would not want you to come into their restaurants or bath houses. I went to join a gym and was told I had to wear a long sleeve shirt. There are hotels that won’t allow the tattooed in them too.
So I try to plan my trips over to Japan for the fall or winter so I will be comfortable in long sleeves. The summers are just too hot there for long sleeves (laughing)
You have been tattooing dragons and kois for a while now; any worries about coming up with a new design?
Chris Garver: There are a million different ways to lay it out I guess. I get the direction from the customer after I meet them for their consultation. Listening to what they want or vision helps lay out the design. I am not afraid or worried about doing the same one twice either. They all will all look different somehow or someway.
Now you worked with Ami James at Fun City Tattoo; how was that experience?
Chris Garver: Yeah, he did not work there for very long. It was a small shop with a lot of artists and they offered him to work 12-6am in the morning. He was like forget that. I later saw him around town and we became friends. When I started to tattoo in Miami during the NY winters he was living down in Florida and we would hang out a lot. We both worked for Tattoos by Lou in Miami.
How did you like working down in Florida?
Chris Garver: It was great, it was fun. Miami is a small town and there was a lot younger people. They were into skateboarding and punk rock. So it was a breath of fresh air for me, plus it was easy living compared to NY. NY can be and is hard, especially when you’re young. It costs a lot of money which can be brutal.
When did you realize that tattooing is what you wanted to do for the rest of your life?
Chris Garver: I think pretty much as soon as I started tattooing, I knew it is what I wanted to do. I had no plan b, and I still dont. Tattooing I think chose me, everything has led me up to this. From all the art I was into, the friends I hung around with and the music I listened too. Skateboarding, biker stuff I was hooked.
I started tattooing all these guys in bands that were my idols since I was 14 years old. I was tattooing like Mike Ness and was thinking this is the best. I get to sleep in and party all night, tattoo people that I looked up to as a kid. It was like a dream come true, my dream life and it still is. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
What does the future hold for you?
Chris Garver: I would like traveling more again, keep myself free, but for now I am going to develop my art, do some more painting and stay healthy. I just want to keep enjoying tattooing. I don’t ever want to think of it as a job. I got like that once before, it felt I was working in a sandwich shop, “Do you want mayo on that?” I never want to feel or think that way again. I think that happens when you work yourself too much and it take the fun right out of it. I want to keep that at bay. If you enjoy what you do and surround yourself with people you enjoy you will have a happy life.