We are starting our list with 3rd Generation Ink because of owner Larry Shaw’s II family’s influence on the history of tattooing and the tattoo industry. As the title of the shop states, Larry Shaw II is the third generation of tattoo artists to carry on the tradition of tattooing in his family.
Larry’s grandfather, Bob Shaw, began tattooing under the world-famous Bert Grimm in 1940. Bob Shaw was a pioneer in tattoo health and safety. He worked closely with the Board of Health to create requirements for sterilization and aftercare techniques to stop the spread of infectious diseases. Bob also created the first tattoo machine that could be broken down into multiple parts for easier and safer sterilization. The machine is still heavily used in the tattoo industry.
Bob’s son Larry Shaw Sr. opened Houston’s first-ever licensed tattoo studio in 1979, and the shop stands in its original location today. In 1993, Larry Shaw II started tattooing full-time after years of apprenticing under his father and grandfather.
Larry Shaw II opened 3rd Generation Ink in 2014 and is considered one of Houston’s most talented and respected tattoo artists. He’s an expert in multiple styles, including Japanese, Traditional, and New School. He’s also a master at “coverups.”
3rd Generation Ink has an impressive roster of six full-time artists. Walk-ins are welcome, and the shop has a very traditional tattoo shop experience with lots of flash art in a very clean environment.
I’ve been tattooed at 3 of these 5 tattoo shops in Houston. 3rd eye, Red Dagger, and Blessed Tattoo. 3rd eye is my favorite tattoo shop but Blessed is a close 2nd.