Tattoo Artist, Actor, & Author Brandon Garic Notch
About Brandon G Notch
Tattoo Artist, Actor, Storyteller, & Writer Brandon Garic Notch
  • © 2022 Brandon Garic Notch | Artist, Actor, & Author | Top Notch Tattoos & Artwork for the Serious Collector. 0

About ⚜️Brandon Garic Notch

About Brandon Garic Notch

I am an independent artist, actor, storyteller, writer, tattooist, philanthropist, member of San Bernardino Masonic Lodge #178, & a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Freemason.

I have been tattooing professionally since the fall of 1997, and an
artist all of my life. In the beginning I was nothing more than a punk ass kid, and started getting into trouble at really young age. The truth is I don't know why I chose tattooing as a career, it just seemed to happen, a string of cause-and-effects I suppose. All I wanted to do with my life was to make a difference using my artwork. I think the first time I became interested in tattooing I was probably around fourteen years old. I recall seeing a tattoo on this guy when I was in juvenile hall. I remember this tattoo like it was yesterday, and actually I might have been younger than fourteen. This guy had a gigantic black and gray skull with red flames on his rib cage. Upon seeing it I was thinking to myself, "That is so awesome, but I know I could do better job than that." At that point in my life I told myself, "I must learn how to paint in the skin. Tattooing is something I have to do." I made up my mind and there was no going back, I was going to become a tattooist. All I wanted to do from that point on was to learn how to tattoo; it was the only thing I thought about. I had to find out how to get the career to land into my lap, and it took much dedication, persistence, and time for it to materialize into reality.

Soon out of juvenile hall I started to get a lot of tattoos by many different artists. There wasn't much carding back in those days, no one cared if you were 18 or not. I figured one way I could learn was by observing. I absorbed any knowledge I could, and was always astounded by the complete process. I learned individual techniques and artistry tricks with each tattoo I received. Charlie Roberts did some of my early tattoos and he didn't know it at time, but he taught me a lot. At the moment I was working for my father doing architecture drawing, conceptual sketches, and painting public murals in my spare time. I went out one afternoon and bought a tattoo magazine because artists I knew were in it. Looking through it I found an advertisement of Dennis Dwyers tattoo machine kits. That planted the seed that would start my career. The minute I had the money in hand I had already spent it on tattoo equipment and a sterilizer. With such excitement I ordered a set of machines. The anticipation was building up every day waiting for that equipment to arrive. Now with the proper tools all I needed was a teacher, so I started calling my local tattoo shops asking around about an apprenticeship. No one was taking on apprentices at the time unless you had five thousand dollars in hand, and the ability to work for free for over year. I Just spent the last of my money on all this equipment and was broke. So I ran into a brick wall so to speak. But with a little luck on my side, about a week later I ran into Diamond Dave Rothburg owner of Body & Soul Tattoo in Sherman Oaks California. He asked me to come down to the shop and show him some of my drawings. After talking for a bit, I showed him my sketchbooks and some pictures of murals I have done. He must have liked what he saw, because he took me on as an apprentice soon after.

Now at that moment in time I dropped out of school at age of 16 and received my GED. I was working full time with my father (7am-11am) then at the shop (noon-6pm). After work I attended night school at Pasadena Art Institute and soon after that I took classes at Cal Arts. I hardly slept during the duration of that first year. Within time I became a working tattoo artist receiving a small percentage with a 70/30 split as an apprentice in training. I was making just enough money to pay for my own studio apartment, now working at the shop full time I quit my other jobs and I never looked back.

So I was apprenticed by Diamond Dave Rothburg, out of Body-and-Soul Tattoo in Sherman Oaks, Ca. I tattooed at Body-and-Soul until December of 1999 when I moved to Seattle, WA. I was in a bad place in my life at that time and I had to leave to keep my sanity and it possibly saved my life. So Seattle became my way out, after driving through the night I searched and quickly found a job tattooing at Greenlake and Lynwood tattoo studios. I found myself working there until late April of 2000. Living the tattoo gypsy lifestyle, I enjoyed meeting new people and experiencing new things. I got a two week guest spot at Top Tattoo in Seattle. I had so much fun there working with the crew, and learned more and more every day I was there. The artists were the owners and that made all the difference. They gave me an opportunity to stay on even after the two weeks were up. They rearranged the shop to create a new station that would become my home for the next few months. After listening to the artists telling stories of their travels working around the world, I quickly became mesmerized with the idea of being a traveling artist, and eventually caught the bug. I stayed there working and learning until that overwhelming urge to travel bubbled to the surface. So I went on the road again leaving Top Tattoo sometime in December of 2000, and went on my own self fulfilling journey traveling through parts of Europe including France and England to further my study of the most unique art forms from oil painting to body art. (painting in the skin - tatouage - and as we call it in the west, tattooing.) 

Upon returning to the states now sober and thinking clearly, I moved out of Seattle WA. and back down to Los Angeles CA. I was working in a booth at Ink Slingers Ball, a tattoo convention in Hollywood California, where I met Kat Von D (Katherine Von Drachenberg) who was the manager at Blue Bird Tattoo in Pasadena CA. After talking for a bit I explained to her that I just moved back down to LA and was looking for shop to work in. She without delay offered me a job and I started working at Blue Bird tattoo studio. I was there until I eventually got fired for using too much MadaCide, a disinfectant, and costing the shop money the owner said. I was just keeping it safe for me and my clients, go figure, ha. So I immediately found a new shop and I started working at Nathan's studio in good old San Fernando Valley. I tattooed there until I built a large enough clientele and bank roll to open my first shop back in Pasadena CA called SACRED SAINT STUDIO. It’s location just so happened to be in the exact spot of Blue Bird tattoo, they permanently closed it's doors just months after I was fired.

I owned that studio for about five years and had the time of my life working with my crew. It was sad to let it go and have it end, but I learned and grew so much from it, and nothing last forever. I was now going through some of the hardest times in my life. I lost one of my best friends from a drug over dose and was closing my shop due to miss management of money. But I soon learned that only at the time when I may seem to be at my weakest is when I'm at my strongest. After taking a short time off I started over, built a nice small private studio in Glendale to work in, until I had the urge and money to open a street shop once again. So I worked by appointment only in my Glendale Studio for about a year or two, but still didn't have enough money to get a new shop up and running. So I sold my house, cars, and mortgaged everything left. I sold most of my possessions, (got to love eBay), and was able to buy my new building in East LA that was Sacred Saint Skin and Art Gallery Los Angeles CA. At the time it seemed like a good idea and it worked out for little bit. My hard earned savings quickly vanished and the studio was no longer making enough money to pay its massive overhead. Utilities, insurance, mortgage, supplies, plus the miscellaneous bills we all so easily forget when we are mentally preoccupied trying to keep the doors open. I found myself in the same situation as before, making the same mistakes.

Eventually having to sell the building and closed the studio, again due to financial reasons. This artistic profession is not like it once was, now with a shop on every corner undercutting each other like we are competing for the same skin. This craft is now surrounded by an industry feeding off of the artists and in some cases making it difficult for the artist to make a decent living. I ultimately went back on the road realizing at that moment that the times past would never be the same. I eventually found myself in San Bernardino California now working out of my private studio by appointment only. I like it that way better, no distractions. My journey was not an easy one, I came across many dead ends and have experienced much hardship, but then again nothing worth doing is easy. The fact is tattooing saved my life, at least for the time being. The reality that I can make a living by doing something I really enjoy like creating art is a privilege, and I will never again take it for granted. In the skin or on the canvas I enjoy creating unique pieces of art, and with your help we will tattoo the world with art. 

I would like to thank English Craig who has been kind enough to give me so much useful information and support during my apprenticeship, Also Charlie Roberts for giving me my fist real tattoo. I learned so many helpful hints and tips along the way from every artist I have worked beside. I would also like to thank my father, (may he rest in peace), he has always been supportive, and ever since I could pick up a pencil he has been there to guide me. 

The largest influence to me and my artwork is my clients. They're the ones that make it all happen, they come to me with the ideas and I just do my thing. There would be no pushing ink with out the skin. Another influence of my tattooing / art, is seeing other artists pushing the limits. It drives me to go bigger, brighter and cleaner in my artwork, drive right past the ledge, and start to fly so to speak. I love to see my art evolve and progress before my eyes. I think the things I enjoy most about tattooing, besides the fact that I love art, is the permanence of the artwork, the commitment one must make. I love the feeling of selling my artwork to people who like it. I also enjoy all the different people I meet from every aspect of life. My favorite tattoos are big, bold, colorful, and a little bit rugged in some way. As far as my tattooing career is concerned, it is important to me that I never stop learning. 

If anyone has any questions relating to the tattoo profession or would like to make an appointment or consultation, you can contact me through email. As of Jan. 2011 I closed my shop in Los Angeles California, and have my new home base in San Bernardino CA. Most of my clients consist of referrals, and with the new studio an hour away from the busy streets of downtown Los Angeles I do not get walk-ins and nor do i allow them. A majority of my clients are referred by other people in the art world or existing clientele. The shop is a very pleasant and private environment where anyone that comes in can feel comfortable and relaxed. I offer the highest quality of standards in cleanliness and in the art of tattooing. Email me to talk about your future tattoo.

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— I work by appointment only. —
New clients must email me to set up some time to make a consultation before I will book an appointment. I recommend that you set up your consultation a week or two ahead because my calendar books up fast. Sometimes a month ahead just for consultations and months ahead for appointments, but I always try to keep some days open for my existing clients (to keep the large works going.)

The importance of understanding cross contamination in the tattoo industry is one of my highest concerns: I offer the highest quality of standards in cleanliness, cross contamination, and blood-borne pathogens in the tattoo industry. I give a lot of the props to all the guys and girls at Top Tattoo in Seattle WA. They taught me the importance of education in cleanliness and blood-borne pathogens, its not all just about the art. So I owe a big thanks to them, AL D and Sky Renfro, they showed me the Light.

Certification:  I am certified in Blood borne Pathogens and renew my certification every year to keep it fresh in my mind. I also have a certification in the emergency life-saving procedure Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and first aid training. All which is a valuable asset in allowing clients to make well-informed decisions regarding a new tattoo. 
I have been a member of the Alliance of Professional Tattooists since 1997.

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  • Building shit (using tools) or wrenching on my Harley Davidson.
  • Riding the open road on my Ironhorse, or splitting lanes in traffic.
  • Snowboarding, skateboarding, working out, painting, drawing, writing, and creating.
  • Target practice (Shooting Sports) like IDPA and three gun competitions.
  • Birth date: April 16, 1979
  • Heroes: My partners in crime. My wife, daughter, and family.
  • Interest: Philanthropy, philosophy, nature, art, science, and consciousness studies.
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Brandon G Notch, tattoos for the serious collector.

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