For the first part of our Ziran Muse series we visited our friend and tattooer Max Hanson. Max tattoos at the world famous Shamrock Social Club in Hollywood, CA. Having a few questionable tattoos ourselves, we decided to pick his brain about his inspirations, expensive taste, and the rich history of tattooing and why keeping tradition alive is so important in his work.

Give us the low down on yourself. A/S/L?

Max Hanson, age 28. I’m from Hermosa Beach, CA. Right near da beach.

How did you get into tattooing. Was that the plan all along?

I’ve always been an artist… Drawing skulls in my notes instead of what i was supposed to be learning. When I was a teenager all my older friends had tattooes, so it was then i knew I wanted to get tattooed. I got my first tattoo at Shamrock social club and the second I walked in through those doors I fell in love with tattooing and knew it was what I was going to do.

Shamrock tattoo is known worldwide for a specific style of tattooing. Tell us about your style and why some people gravitate towards it.

Fine line black and grey. I apprenticed for Mark Mahoney and he is the godfather of black and grey tattoos, so naturally I was drawn to that style. I have also loved using greyscale in my artwork. Never was a big fan of color, so it was fate. Black and grey tattoos to me are timeless and that’s why I think they will always be popular.

What music do you have on rotation currently?

Everything from classic country to punk. A few artists are Whitey Morgan and the 78’s, Hellbound Glory, Nails, Hank Williams, Rudimentary Peni, and the Dead Milkmen. I also love Gucci Mane.

Does Los Angeles influence your personal style? What are some themes that make their way into your work?

Definitely that old school gangster black and grey style is there. Spider webs, girls with big boobs, skulls. I was also really drawn to classic traditional tattoo designs, all the old flash. The history behind that stuff is really important to me. Keeping tradition alive in tattooing is extremely important to me.

Who (or what) inspires you?

Mark Mahoney, Freddy Negrete, My father, music, surfing, skating, cars and California.

What’s your go to wardrobe for a long day at the tattoo shop?

A lot of black so I don’t get mad when I get ink on myself. Black jeans, Gucci Loafers, Black T-shirts. Maybe a flannel.

What do you splurge on?

I have an expensive shoe habit but I’m at work for 12 hours a day, my feet gotta feel good! At least that’s how I justify it.

Favorite flower to tattoo?

Roses. Can’t beat a classic.

Can you draw us a flower?