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Meet Howard Teman of T-Man Tattoo Studio in Studio City

Today we’d like to introduce you to Howard Teman.

Traveling in his custom self painted leopard coated Cadillac, Howard Teman arrived in Los Angeles to pursue his art career in 1984. He started designing flyers for hometown’s backyard keg parties as early as he could drink and draw. These first designs immediately caught the attention of the Bay Area’s thriving rock music scene, which kick started the young artist’s career.

At a tender age of 23, Howard became the hottest concert tour t-shirt designer under the mega rock and roll merchandising company, Great Southern. During his three year stint with the company, Howard designed t-shirts for such major acts as: Cher, Bon Jovi, Iron Maiden, Lynyrd Synyrd, Cypress Hill, including a world tour t-shirt for the group The Scorpions which became the Great Southern’s all-time top seller.

Aside from the famed artist’s ultra-imaginative designs in the art world, Howard is also an accomplished musician. His piano and percussion work can be heard on Gun’s and Roses’ albums “LIes” and “Use Your Illusion II” and has played on many sessions with the rock and roll musician’s A-list.

In the beginning of the 90’s, Howard began work on a series of lithographs reflecting the pop culture of the 20th and 21st centuries. This body of work envelops the full spectrum of characters ranging from Hollywood film legends, horror, and sci-fi, comedy, sports, television, political satire, to the most infamous serial killers of our time. Provocative, eye-catching,and filled with social content, each litho takes about a year to complete and represents a historical tribute to each respected theme leaving its viewers overwhelmed by the content which often incites a challenging who’s who guessing game. Howard’s top-selling poster “Rock N’ Roll Theatre” has sold over 400,000 copies alone to date.

It was these posters which led Howard to his next craft and medium. His old pal from the old rock n roll days Lou Bone, owner of Art to the Bone one of Los Angeles original tattoo shops had just bought a poster rack and knew exactly what posters he wanted to fill them with. When Howard brought by the posters, Lou seeing the potential in Howard offered him a job on the spot as an apprentice tattoo artist. Lou promised Howard he would not have to perform the traditional one year of flunky duties normally associated with apprenticeship and he would teach Howard the essential mechanics of tattooing and he can start tattooing as soon as he feels up to the task. Howard was up and running within two weeks tattooing any and all brave friends he could find.

Howard quickly built a large client base. On 09/09/09, five years from his outset he opened his own up-scale tattoo parlor smack dab in the center of downtown Studio City, T-Man Tattoo. T-Man Tattoo has quickly become one of the top-rated Tattoo Shops in Los Angeles and has attracted quite a diverse client base including top A-list celebrities such as Pete Rose, Terri Hatcher, Rob Schnider, James Gandolfini, and many more.

Seven days a week at T-Man Tattoo you can find Howard engaged in either tattooing or dotting away on his latest inspired lithograph.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I was not very welcomed when I first moved into my up-Scale neighborhood. Even though I promised everyone that I was opening an up-Scale tattoo Parlor, the local Yentas thought a tattoo shop would run down the neighborhood. They actually called City Building and Safety on me complaining about my shops window display. Sure enough, an Inspector told me that neon signs were not allowed on Ventura Blvd. I pointed out to him that the mattress store across the street had one in all 6 of their windows. He told me they were complaint driven! They sited me and my two immediate neighbors to remove everything in our windows and submit architectural drawings of the front of our stores with our plans for our displays and submit them for approval. Now everything is wonderful!!! In short time I endeared myself in our tight community and proved my shop is indeed an upscale tattoo parlor. In fact, I feel everyone thinks my shop brings a good vibe and are Proud to be on the hip part of the block!!

In my private life, I had a wild party life up until I turned 40. I wouldn’t change a thing except maybe shave around five years off of the drinking and drugging. I did turn my life around at the age of 40 and stopped all drugs and drink and remain Sober to this day!!! I was lucky because I put out my first poster in 1990. It was slow at first but this provided me with a small income to live my wild lifestyle.

T-Man Tattoo Studio – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am proud of my little shop on Ventura Blvd! In September this year, I will be here ten years. The shop has paid for itself from the day I opened on 09-09-09. I specialize in my rendering and composition. I am an artist that started tattooing. I have been tattooing 15 years and have learned in that time what not to put in a design rather than what you can jam into it!

What sets me apart is my experience and my bedside manner!

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My proudest moments at my shop are many. I tattooed Pete Rose’s first tattoo on his 72 birthday. I had a jam session with Dave Stewart on guitar and me on my shop piano. We have wonderful annual anniversary parties that pour out of the shop onto the sidewalk where we have a full band set up with everyone dancing and singing. I have had the pleasure of sharing so many special times in peoples lives, and be able to celebrate or memorialize their moments with a tattoo.

Pricing:

  • For tattoos I charge $200/hr. with a $100 minimum .
  • All shops basically charge the same price give or take $20 an hour. People should not pick their artist by price but, by body of work

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Robert John, Erynne Rosen

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

4 Comments

  1. Michelle Nugent (Hippie Chick)

    July 9, 2019 at 19:12

    Howard is the only Artist who Tattoos Hippie Chick maaaan!! 🙂
    LOVE you Howard!!

  2. Sylvana Gusich Kaliterna

    July 11, 2019 at 04:42

    We have a Howard Teman poster proudly framed in our home!!

  3. Janet Teman

    July 11, 2019 at 05:08

    Wonderful article! I’m so proud of you, Howard ❤️

  4. Keith donaldson

    July 14, 2019 at 11:01

    One of the BEST artists around.I was in town for a couple days and he worked his schedule so he could give me a awesome tattoo.We also have a couple of his posters hanging in our house.Can’t wait to get another tattoo next time we are in town!!

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