Chris Mensah | Pinz-n-Needlez Tattoo & African Alchemy

I actually find it strange … that people find it fascinating that so many black people are tattooing and getting tattooed. they think it’s new in our culture. when in fact it’s one of the most ancient parts of what we’ve always done.

~Zulu | Color Outside the Lines

Hi INKPLAY family, old and new!

Remember in my recent updates I said I’d come back for some black excellence in tattooing?!

Welp! I’m back~ *heehee*

I wanted to share the most important mentors I have, to date, as t relates to tattooing and my overall growth as an artist. These people are nothing short of inspiration, love and growth. And I can only aspire to be like them one day …

Today I’ll share about Chris Mensah, my tattoo master and owner of DC’s very own, Pinz-n-Needlez Tattoo.

Chris is more than my tattoo master, he’s my family … in the best traditional and no-traditional sense of the word. ^.^

Chris + my mom on Valentine Day

We have had a loooong history of 15 years together … and counting! And from my apprenticeship to daily life lessons, I don’t even know where to start with this post. <3

But I’ll save the mushy ‘things Chris taught me’ for my journal and share it another day. Today, I’ll keep it short, sweet and to the point. K?! ^.^

About Chris Mensah

From the Site:
Chris Mensah, a native Washingtonian, has an offering of over 12 years in the tattoo industry. In this time, Chris has worked at multiple shops around the area including Northeast Tattoo, Porttown Tattoos, Black Ink, and Paradise Tattoo. Developing a style of his own, Chris has always sought to make a statement as a black artist – YES! There are quality artists who specialize in and care about inking darker skin. in keeping with his mission, Chris has drawn inspiration from the works and actions of his parents, Maria Velez (the Holy Trinity), Sandar B. Williams, KRS-One, Bob Marley, Aaron Harris, Tom Renshaw, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Marcus Garvey to name a few.

Among Chris’ accomplishments, he has apprenticed three successful artists to carry out his teachings and values in the tattoo industry. In 2006, Chris opened the doors to allow others to experience his vision, DC’s premier full service tattoo studio, Pinz-n-Needlez Tattoo. The overall goal with atmosphere created is to allow people to not get just a tattoo, but to have a completely positive tattoo experience that leaves consumers wanting more.

🌸African Alchemy, by Chris Mensah

Chris makes the BEST tattoo butter on the market for tattoo aftercare … and skin care, in general, AFRICAN ALCHEMY!

We used to fuss often at our clients for their very basic skin care so I’m more than happy that African Alchemy exists.

If you’re interested in purchasing, you can buy from Starving Artist Supply. They have local delivery AND shipping, if needed 😀

I also try to keep a stock here in my studio for your convenience …

or just go to the source next time you stop through Pinz-n-Needlez ~

🌸Chris x Color Outside the Lines

If you want a super sweet treat, view Chris on Color Outside the Lines documentary (scroll to 1:07:06). His piece is nothing short of family & entrepreneurial inspiration. *whispers and he cries* 😅

Ok! Gonna go journal this all now LOLz so that’s it until next week …

We’ll visit my big bro Miya Bailey and City of Ink!

Chris and I at City of Ink

Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss a beat! And remember that while tattoos may be trendy, it’s still your skin and you don’t get it back. So always, always do your research!

HAPPY #TATTUESday, minna!


Let’s keep in Touch!

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