My Hustle: Kadriya, The Tattooing Bartender

Our #MyHustle series highlights our staff for some of the badass stuff they do outside of Angel City. This week? Kadriya Truvillion, who not only slings beers, but also slings tattoos throughout LA.

Dan Shapiro, person holding recording device: Kadriya, how’s it going?

Kadriya Truvillion, ACB Bartender: It’s going really fucking well, Dan!

DS: Glad to hear it! How long have you worked here?

KT: August 1st will be four years.

DS: But you also do other shit. What else do you do?

KT: I tattoo! It’s my hobby, my baby. It’s so different in the energy that you need to be there. It’s my zen.

DS: How did you get into it?

KT: The minute I started here, when I was a barback, I got an apprenticeship through Amber, my fiancé who’s an amazing brewer that works at Iron Triangle Brewery. She told me about it, I hopped on it, and I knew right then that tattoos and beer were my jam and I wanted to make it my passion.

DS: How does the apprenticeship work?

KT: You basically just go up to some tattoo place and you say, “Hey, I’d like to get into this.” If you’re serious, they press you for some artwork, so I gave them that – along with a hefty fee – and they took me on as an apprentice. And for the next two years I learned watercolor, the foundation and the fundamentals. The rest is history.

DS: What sort of art did you do before you were putting it on people’s bodies?

KT: I’d been drawing since I was a little kid. The first thing that I ever drew was Ninja Turtles and then Barbies. After that, I went into Bugs Bunny, Disney Characters, Anime. I wanted to draw graphic novels, but once I got into tattooing, it seemed like I could control that medium, draw what I wanted to draw, and people would actually pick things that I like to put on them. If I can get paid to draw, that’s a win-win.

DS: What’s your favorite style to draw as a tattoo artist?

KT: Probably Traditional, which is that Sailor Jerry, big bold line, bright color look. It looks very simple, but it’s very hard to pull off well, because every wobble, anything that doesn’t look traditional, can be spotted from a mile away. Much like the beer that we make here, as soon as you do something that lies outside of a style, you can’t technically classify it as that style anymore.

DS: Nice tie-in there. Have you tattooed anyone from Angel City?

KT: Most of my clients have come from Angel City actually! I have to give a big shoutout to my Angel City Fam – when I told people I was gonna tattoo, they came out in droves. My first 25 tattoos, 18 of them were people that worked here. I’ve tattooed the bartenders, the brewers and I’m supposed to tattoo you!

DS: I got some ideas for you. Have you tattooed Amber?

KT: So many times.

DS: Alright, lightning round. Everyone gets asked these three questions. What’s your favorite beer of all time, not necessarily from Angel City?

KT: Desert Dreams – I haven’t tasted anything like it. Outside of Angel City, Duchesse du Bourgogne. I like Flanders Reds. You don’t find them a lot. When you do, it’s interesting to see ech brewery’s take on it. We just came out with Nothing at All, our Flanders. If you haven’t tried it, maybe you should!

DS: Let the record state that I did not force you to say that. Next question: If you could be anywhere on this planet right now, where would you be?

KT: Jamaica. It’s hot and there’s good shit to look at and eat, all the time.

DS: Alright! Final question, what’s one fact about you that we should know?

KT: I’m probably the dopest, nicest person you’ve never met.

After that, Kadriya strutted away without looking back, high-fiving a passerby.

Kadriya Truvillion can be found on Instagram at @truvillainy  and at Body Art & Soul Tattoo on Sunset Blvd.

Meet more of our talented staff in the My Hustle archives!