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Tattoo Artist Bio - Tony Lafemina


Date of Birth:

A woman never asks a man his birthday!!!!.....ok ok ...it's april 15, 1969.

When You Began Tattooing:

I started with an apprenticeship through a guy named Freewheelin' Franklin, in Ronkonkoma. I got some basics down. That was in the end of 1999, then in 2001 about a little over a year later, I opened up Inklinations. I got my permits on Sept 10, 2001 from the Health Dept. and the 11th was to be my Grand Opening - I'm a cop, so the Grand Opening didn't happen.

How You Became Interested in Tattooing:

My wife suggested it, and I had a sleeve plus in tattoos so i figured...ah what the hell....I'll try it out.

Favorite Style/Genre of Tattooing:

Thats a hard one...I love the tattoos that make the client happy....but I love old traditional Tony Polito and NYC style artists.

Tattoo Artists That Inspire You Most:

Tony Polito, Joe Nobody, Mike Perfetto - you won't usually see these guys at a convention or in your favorite tattoo magazine (except for Joey Nobody; he has been recognized the world over. He is without a doubt one of the nicest guys I have ever met in this business.) But if you go to their shops, there they are - tattooing - they've been doing it well over 20 years and they still do it, not for the fame and not for the recognition. They do it because they love doing it.

Secular Artists That Inpire You Most:

Art to me is like wine. People ask what is a good wine? I say, "the one that you enjoy the taste of. Whether it be a 100 dollar bottle or a 5 dollar bottle." It all depends on your tastes. So I look at some of the artists of the past - Monet, Dali, Michael Angelo, etc.

Other Interests and/or Hobbies:

Well aside from the NYPD, I have two children and a hot wife that keep me busy. I love Photoshop and creating digital art. I also own a 1969 Fleetwood brougham cadillac that keeps me tinkering. I am a professional photographer, I have been trained in photography by the FBI as well as the NYPD and NIKON inc. So I love taking pictures. I use a Nikon D1H digital SLR , which is the shit! I also take guitar lessons once a week. That's about it!

Current Studio and Position There:

INKLINATIONS TATTOO/THE DEVIL'S DEN INC. 1254 MONTAUK HWY COPIAGUE NY -and- The Joint Terrorism Task Force FBI/NYPD - Inklinations MySpace Page
ARTIST #1 Tony Lafemina
ARTIST #2 Joe "Ferzola" Black
ARTIST #3 Bill Galante

Best Way to Contact You:

Email: inklinations2@optonline.net
Phone: 631-225-6523
(If that don't work you can always try 911, but I'm not sure if you'll get me!)

Words of Wisdom from Tony Lafemina:

"Well first, let me say this: Being a tattoo artist is only ten percent of this business. The rest is cleaning the shop, fixing your machines, working with people, paying the bills, making time for other people in your life, etc. If you wanna be a tattoo artist and run your own shop, you better know how to change a spring, unclog a toilet, pay the bills on time, and how to properly clean and sterilize.

"For those artists just starting out, all I can say is don't get discouraged. Every time you ink someone, you will learn something new. Once you can say to yourself, 'That's it! I know it all!', that's when you have become a jackass and a 'rockstar'. Stop tattooing, 'cause every - and I mean every - awesome and top artist in the world will tell you they learn something new every single time! Once you stop learning, you have given up!

"Second, make and keep your family your number one priority in life. They are the ones who will always have your back. I would not have this shop today if it wasn't for the support of my wife, my mother and father, and my cousin John Lafemina, who is more a brother to me than anything else.

"When Joe first came to the shop, he had just moved back to Long Island after living in Nolita for a while. He was born and raised in Greenpoint Brooklyn. So, being born and raised in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn, I immediately took a liking to Joe. What attracted me was his skills as an artist. (Not to mention his favorite restaurant is Peasant, one of three restaurants owned by my cousin John in Nolita.) He hadn't done many tattoos at that point. We had an immediate respect for each other. Maybe it's the similar backgrounds and the values that we were brought up on. Many people wonder if we get competitive about our customers - no we don't. We share them - Joe's client is my client and my client is Joe's!"


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