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A brief history of Bert Grimm | Buy Fusion Inks online

This week, we're taking a look at the work of Bert Grimm - one of the most iconic tattoo artists in traditional tattooing whose style still heavily influences tattoo artists to this day.  His recognisable traditional style is still emulated now by traditional artists, and is widely celebrated in the tattoo community.

Examples of Bert's most memorable designs include the truly iconic sun faces and his crying hearts which are a very popular tattoo of choice for fans of old school work. From his tiger heads to pinup style ladies, his remarkable work really has shaped the industry and given traditional artists a basis in which to take inspiration from.  One of his most famous designs is the 'sundancer' which depicts a Native American woman in a headdress, with her knee raised, whilst yielding a shield with her arm.

Bert Grimm's career began when he started hanging around tattoo shops in Portland, Oregon in his early teens.  The tattoo shops belonging to the likes of Sailor Gus, Sailor George and Charlie Western became a second home to Bert.  He was given the opportunity to tattoo in 1912, and for the next 70 years, Bert's career went from strength to strength as he unknowingly shaped the traditional tattoo community with his influential signature style.  He worked all over the world, operating in places like Chicago, Honolulu, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Seattle, and China, to name just a few. 

In his later years, Bert retired in the small Oregon town of Seaside, setting up a small tattooing business at his own home. He wrote a letter to renowned artist Paul Rogers, telling him that he was doing around 10 tattoos a week out of his house, so even though he was retired, he still couldn't get enough of the industry that he truly loved.  

After his death, Bert's home was at risk of becoming part of a Long Beach condominium development, however his 22 Chestnut Place residence was purchased by tattoo legend Kari Barba with part of it being turned into a museum, and the rest operating as a tattoo studio which is still in business today. 

We love Bert Grimm's work, and we're thankful for the legacy that he left us.  If you love traditional tattoos then make sure you check out our range of Fusion Tattoo Inks which contain a variety of the perfect colours for your old school needs.  Head over to our website to see the full range. 



Love Toni


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  • Antonia McLoughlin