It’s with a heavy heart that I write this post. It’s never easy dealing with the passing of a friend but Bob Baxter was more than a friend, he was family. He was a part of my family, he was family to many in our industry, an ambassador of tattoo culture, and he’ll be missed.

I vividly remember being interviewed by Bob Baxter years ago, and the interview was unlike others I’ve done. He stayed over at my house for days on in just to make sure he got all the information he needed. There were no pens, there were no recorders, there was no note taking. Bob’s form of interviewing was more like casual conversation, and his ability to recall what was discussed was as sharp as it gets.


In the end, he ended up writing an article that was a master piece. (You can view it here). Bob was a powerful writer, who blessed many of us with his brilliant articles, but even more impactful was the kindness of his heart. He was always willing to lend a helping hand, always looked out for those in need, and above and beyond what he did for this industry, are his unforgettable acts of kindness, the memories of his great character and the priceless moments, memories and stories he left us all.

Thank you for everything Bob.

Robert Pho


In Japan there’s an art form that by any standard would be considered extreme where the paint brushes are made of two dozen needles and the canvas is human flesh. This segment on Japanese full body tattoos talks about the life long commitment these tattoo collectors take on. Costing 10’s of thousands of dollars and some even reaching well into the six figures, body suit tattoos are not for the faint of heart or finance.



Shanghai Kate dropped on by the studio today and as always it was an honor for her to come through. Shanghai Kate is known to many as  America’s Tattoo Godmother. She’s been putting down the ink since ’71 and has worked alongside the industries best influencers and tastemakers. From Sailor Jerry Collins, Ed Hardy, Zeke Owen, and Jack Rudy just to name a few, she’s made her moves in this industry and forged her importance and influence through how she’s helped push our industry forward.



If you don’t know who she is, then get familiar. Shanghai Kate in an icon of our industry and a pioneer in the world of tattoos. She started tattooing back in ’71 and since then her contributions to the tattoo community are plentiful. 

She was instrumental in helping make tattoos a recognized art form, and she’s worked with some of the industries most respected artists such as Sailor Jerry Collins, Paul Rogers, Ed Hardy and more.  

During her work at an NYC ad agency, she was doing research on the underground world of tattooing in Manhattan with Michael Malone, when she was hired by the Museum of American Folk Art to help curate the contemporary section of the exhibit, “Tattoo.” This was not just any ordinary show as it was the first time that tattooing had been displayed on the walls of any museum.  We could go on about her contributions to the tattoo community but that would require thousands of words alone, so we’ll save that for a future post and interview. In the meantime, we just wanted to thank our sister Shanghai Kate for stopping by.

Much Respect,

Robert Pho

Shanghai Kate talking to Fernie Andrade

Shanghai Kate talking to Fernie Andrade


Integrity can open up avenues to make money, but money can never buy integrity. In itself, integrity is a commodity that appreciates with time. It’s a 9-letter word that represents your allegiance to your family as well as yourself. It’s about honor, it’s about self-respect, and in the end integrity is about having sound moral character and doing what’s right when people aren’t looking – or don’t know any better. The reason it’s valued so highly is simply because of the fact that integrity essentially reduces the risk(s) associated with dealing with a particular person.


In short, integrity is what builds trust, and trust is the foundation for any relationship, regardless if it’s in the arena of business, friendship or love. So realize the difference and don’t ever get the two confused, because money will fade and wither, but your integrity – or lack thereof it – will live on long after you’ve passed.