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South Beach isn’t all about popping bottles, but it is the place where those who pop bottles come to get inked. Their artist? First Class Tattoo’s Dow Hokoana.
She apprenticed on the west coast with Captin’ Lou and Ric M., but this 46 year old has been inking clientele on the beach for the last six years. Her clients include Lil Wayne and the Young Money & Cash Money Billionaires crew.
We recently caught up with Dow at her shop where we shot her with Miami’s own Grace Jones, who repped for the ladies AND the gents who love ink.
What did Dow think about shooting with the ‘steez crew?
“Goobs! You and your team rocked! I really had a blast working/playing with you. Thank you so much for adding positive energy to the world!”
And really, does it get any better than that?
When she is not making ink happen, Dow calls Bayside Miami home.
“I love Miami. I think it epitomizes AMERICA. It’s a great melting pot of people from everywhere. A great mix of culture, art, music in an amazing setting,” she said.
Get to know a little bit about Dow and why ‘steez fans recommended her talents as the best female tattoo artist in Miami
D.H.: My first tattoo was a “Grateful Dead dancing bear” on my left ankle. It was on my 30th birthday! Yes, my first tattoo was at 30. I’m a “needle-phobe”. Needless to say, it was not what I had imagined as I grew up around tough bikers who always made it sound like it was soooo painful.
D.H.: I guess for a favorite I would have to say my lower leg sleeve of fairies for its art. But the most memorable is Lil Wayne’s signature that he tattooed on me himself. I am very lucky and love all my pieces big and small.
D.H.: I enjoy what I do immensely so, my favorite tattoo is the one I am working at the moment.
D.H.: The best thing…I feel the most like me.
D.H.: I love to travel so, as the biker I am I have to say…It’s not the destination but the journey.
D.H.: Tattoos are crazy by nature and all have their own story to tell. But I think my craziest story would be tattooing Lil’ Wayne and YMCMB on tour. Tattooing Wayne on a tour bus filled with rappers and recording equipment was no easy task, but was memorable when I saw him hit the stage with my fresh ink on him.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dow, you can reach her at First Class Tattoos.
photos by: Harold D. Ruiz