“I can only speak for myself personally, but business is doing good,” he says during a recent phone interview from Black Iris Studio, a tattoo parlor and art gallery in Fontana. “People have always been steady; my craft has always kept me afloat.”
Corbin, a 36-year-old Baldwin Park native, works full time at Black Iris and has been a professional tattoo artist for just under a decade. “I was just hanging around tattoo shops since I was 17, and I’ve always been an artist.”
Corbin’s first official gig in the world of ink slinging was at the legendary Six Feet Under [also featured in this Tattoo Issue!], a tattoo shop in Upland owned by the industry-revered Corey Miller. It was at Six Feet Under where Corbin versed himself in various styles, techniques and methods of tattooing, eventually clocking in more than nine years working under Miller, Corbin says.
“I decided to come to Black Iris because I like to paint as well,” he says, noting that Black Iris has an art gallery in the front where many of his pieces are displayed. “Oil painting has always been a passion of mine.”
Corbin said that he specializes in portraits, realism and black and gray, though he is proficient in all styles. He’s open-minded to just about everything, but does have limits.
“I’m not down with racist stuff like swastikas or Devil worshiping shit like pentagrams, inverted crosses or the number 666,” he exclaims. “Naked chicks and demon heads are cool, though.”
His experiences have been nothing but positive in the Inland Empire—and he’s seen quite a bit in his near-decade in the biz.
“I’ve seen a lot of history with all the old-timers, made a lot of friends and I’ve been lucky to meet a lot of down-to-earth people.”
Black Iris Studio, 14755 Foothill Blvd., Unit F, Fontana, (909) 829-2121, www.myspace.com/blackirisstudio.