Q & A with Tim Hendricks of Miami Ink

Written by Shawn Buss Monsterville Tattoo and Sean Hoy

Tim Hendricks is a second-generation artist, taught by his father at a young age. Since Tim was old enough to grip a pencil and ride a surfboard he has been pursuing a life of art and leisure. Tim has been tattooing since the early nineties, he got his start by tattooing in the neighborhood he grew up in during his mid-teens tattooing local hispanic hoodlums and punk rockers. Tim’s lust for life and his continuing pursuit of knowledge, growth and travel combined with his background of a lengthy tattoo career have shaped his style of art into something described as unique and diverse. 

Now days Tim spends most of his time drawing, skateboarding and surfing away his days and nights, and at the moment is working on a new art show involving pin-ups, painting some new large scale mixed medias and filming a new project in New York. With a perfect amount of art and tattooing sprinkled upon his luscious life of leisure, he is quite possibly the happiest man he knows.

A quick dozen for Tim Hendricks

RIS: How long have you been riding for?

Tim Hendricks: Shit man, I don’t know, 90% my life I guess.


RIS: What influenced you to get into riding?  

TIM: My best friend’s dad in grade school used to take us on trips to glamis and shit like that, then when I was a teenager I got a hand-me-down streetbike and just went nuts on the thing, I’m surprised I lived through it all.


RIS: How many bikes have you had and or built over that time period?  

TIM: Not as many as I would’ve liked to! But I built my first Harley Davidson in my early twenties, it was a 1945 flathead, a 45 cubic inch. It was a good starter bike but it didn’t last long, It was too slow. Even though it was just a ‘bar hopper’ I wanted to get to the bar faster! I ended up getting a ’79 Shovelhead and fell in love with that bike. Since then I have built a few others for myself, bikes for friends and helped out on a some really cool projects.


RIS: If you have more than one bike, do you have a favorite and why?  

TIM: I only have one bike right now, but it’s a bike I’ve always wanted. It’s a 2009 Dyna, I’ve always wanted a Dyna. I guess I’m just a simple man ya know, but when you grow up poor like I did, your dreams are simple.


RIS: Where did you learn how to work on or build bikes?  

TIM: I built my flathead in my old bosses garage out of standard tools and a dremel, no joke! He took me over to a guy named Chica to find some parts for my Shovelhead project. After going by Chica’s shop enough times he took a shine to me and told me to bring my bike by and I could build it there, I was ecstatic! Chica taught me everything, how to build every style engine, how to make a frame, weld properly, and all the little nick nacks and odds and ends every bike builder should know, I am a lucky son-of-a-bitch. Now days though I just get on that fucker, turn the key and ride, ya gotta love it.


RIS: How do you feel riding correlates with your profession as a tattoo artist?  

TIM: You mean besides the obvious? Shit man, it seems like everyone has a tattoo these days. I didn’t learn how to tattoo the way all these new kids are learning. Some of these fuckers can’t even draw a name for christ’s sake. It’s all artsy fartsy now days. I learned how to tattoo around gangsters and bikers, it was that typical seedy type of environment that sadly enough people still associate ALL tattoos with. I don’t know many bikers or motorcycle enthusiasts that don’t have some kind of tattoo relating to their lifestyle, it goes with the territory.


RIS: Do you have any favorite rides you like, local or not?  

TIM: No man, to be honest, as long as I’m on my bike it’s all my favorite.


RIS: Do you go to any of the rallies and if so do you have a favorite and why?  

TIM: I go to Laughlin now and then. I really like the Laughlin run, it’s not too far from California and I always end up seeing a lot of my friends there. Once me and Corey Miller went out there and tattooed like madmen, it was non stop tattooing, we didn’t even get a chance to walk around and enjoy our trip! Wild.


RIS: What is your favorite part about riding?  

TIM: Shit I don’t know, that’s like asking me what is my favorite part of getting high, it’s all pretty much amazing. 


RIS: What shop are you currently working at?  

TIM: I’m working between Gold Rush Tattoo in Costa Mesa California, and Love Hate (Miami Ink). Right now though, I’m gearing up to go to New York City to work on a new project with Ami James, should be fun.


RIS: Tell us a bit about your tattoo career and where it has taken you?  

TIM: Well that’s a very long story, but I’ll try and condense it as best as possible. I started tattooing professionally in the early 90’s almost twenty years ago, jesus I’m getting old. I learned how to tattoo neighborhood style, you know like home-made machines and shit, after a little bit I got real lucky and met a girl who’s dad was a tattooer (Rick Walters), since dads can’t say no to there daughters wishes very easily he sold me a real tattoo machine. I started teaching myself to tattoo and I had no shortage of clients, my neighborhood was full of them. Eventually I started making friends who tattooed and payed enough attention while getting tattooed that I learned to lay in a ‘passible’ tattoo. I did ‘passible’ tattoos for years and never gave two shits about being some fancy tattooer, but then I realized that if I got good at tattooing I could start traveling more. So I sold my soul to the devil and just like that, BAM, I was good. My career has taken me to the far corners of the world, I have seen some of the most beautiful things the world has to offer and I owe it all to tattooing. I have no problem with entitlement issues right now in my life, I am not owed just because I’ve been tattooing almost 20 years, I figure the longer I’ve been tattooing the more I owe. I’ve been given the gift of tattooing wich has kept me out of jail, given me a life and everything I am; for that… I owe.


RIS: Anything else you would like to share with the folks in the tattoo or bike communities?  

TIM: Thanks for all the support throughout my whole career, I’d like to thank anyone I have ever had the pleasure of working with or any tattooer who has given something back to the table of tattooing. I feel I should thank Chica for teaching me how to properly build a bike from the ground up.

I know I am a hard man to get a tattoo from, and I get a lot of emails about when I’ll be taking appointments again. Well now is your chance to get an appointment. The producers of LA Ink and Miami Ink are looking for people who want amazing tattoos with amazing stories behind them who live in New York, if you don’t live in New York you must be available to come to New York City. If you are interested please email them immediately and tell them your story. Email: NYInkcasting@gmail.com Please put “NY INK” in the subject title. Include your name, age, where you live, TEL #, type of tattoo you want (be as detailed as possible), your photo, your occupation, tell us your story behind what you want to get and tell us if you have other tattoos already

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