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From ArtCenter’s leafy Hillside Campus in the hills of Pasadena, head 14 miles south on Interstate 5 and you’ll find yourself at the edge of the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles.
It’s here, in an industrial area where artisanal coffee shops vie for the same space as scrap metal vendors, that you’ll find the pristine studio of tattoo artist and current ArtCenter Illustration major Noah Minuskin.
LA has the right ingredients to allow for amazing things to happen creatively.
“It has a unique and raw energy,” says Minuskin, a Bay Area transplant, describing the neighborhood. “It’s generated by the creatives here, who are genuine, passionate and ambitious.”
As Minuskin outlines a scene of spiritual agony on his return client’s upper arm, he says the Arts District compares favorably to ArtCenter.
“In this building alone, you have fashion designers, architects, photographers, product designers, even an art gallery,” he says. “I’m surrounded by people deeply invested in their craft, making their dreams a reality.”
His client, an Iraq war veteran and firefighter who has waited months for a spot on the artist’s packed calendar, takes a look at Minuskin’s outline—a composition which could blend in seamlessly with the work of the Old Masters—and beams.
“LA has the right ingredients to allow for amazing things to happen creatively,” adds Minuskin, as he flips on the movie Whiplash, the music conservatory horror story, and settles in for what will be a 12-hour session with his client. “I don’t know if you can find that anywhere else.”
Soon the rumble of shipping trucks, the buzzing of the tattoo machine and the blaring horns and pounding snares of the film’s score form a frenetic cacophony.