By: Goldie Schiffner
If you walk into any tattoo parlor in the United States and mention the tattoo artist Amer The Gamer, you will definitely stir up conversation and get some comments or even questions like, â€œAre you from San Diego?â€Â If you are familiar with the San Diego music scene, youâ€™ve either listened to an artist that has been tattooed by Amer The Gamer or you know exactly who this idealistic artist is.
With a rough upbringing in some of the toughest streets in San Diego, Amer The Gamer has more than just proved skill as one of the best tattoo artists around; heâ€™s now become coveted for the type of work he can do. Amer The Gamerâ€™s art is a display of true quality, but when you see his freehand art work on the bodies of people from all walks of life, you begin to understand why people swear by his ink.
It was time for NUG Magazine to speak with Amer The Gamer and learn more about who he is, what he does, and his involvement in the San Diego scene.
Amer The Gamer is more than just a tattoo artist; he is a musician and a businessman. When we first spoke, he explained that he was very busy keeping odd hours to accommodate the lifestyle of both music and tattoos. So getting a hold of him proved to be quite a task, but the professionalism and acute sense of his image was impressive. Amer The Gamer preferred to give us the answers to our questions directly, which cut the need for us to paraphrase what he truly represents.
We asked Amer The Gamer about an abundance of topics, from his background to his initial involvement with tattooing, and where his path will lead him next. We wanted to know how he grew up, how he became involved with tattooing, what his favorite tattoos were, and more.
When I received the letter back, I didnâ€™t feel it correct to undermine his creative approach to my questions and pass it off as my own writing. You can get a sense of his open book attitude in the response below, which demonstrates his love for the city and the art that is his passion and profession. Almost a miniature autobiography, we present a letter from Amer The Gamer:
â€œAMERTHEGAMERâ€, the owner of Southern Caliâ€™s LAVISH TATTOO CO., has come along way with 10 years of memorable history involved in the tattoo industry while in the same place he was raised, East San Diego, just 10 minutes from Mexicoâ€™s border. Raised on a street infamous for its prostitution, El Cajon Blvd.â€™s seven-mile stretch of road would be the gateway to his future.
â€˜â€™AMES LOCâ€, his name as a teenager, began a tattoo apprenticeship at the age of 17 and has been involved in art and graffiti his entire life. Not fully committed yet, there have been plenty of distractions. Ames was in and out of jails and hospitals due to gang affiliation, drugs, and various hobbies. He felt he needed to acquire money at a young age. He decided it was time to make a life change.
With a lifelong love for art, glit, and glam, it was only right to make strides in his love for tattooing. Today he is a mogul in the tattoo industry, and is opening his artistic talent to the music scene with a series of mixtapes and albums entitled â€˜â€™Call It What You Want.â€ The first album Vol. 1 is currently being released and features plenty of talent, including good friend and tattoo enthusiast, Twelve Gauge Shotie, also a rapper from San Diego who has been featured in NUG Magazine.
AMER has become a specialist in signature SoCal black and grey, fine line, realistic, full color, custom freehand, and even traditional. However, he is still willing to cater to street shop flash, making him very successful.
â€˜â€™THE TATTOO ARTIST EXTRAORDINAIREâ€ has since had the opportunity to tattoo young entrepreneurs, adult film stars, models, and R&B singers as well as give something back to El Cajon Blvd.
Ames is a fan of creative expression and is open to anything that makes an individual unique. â€œIf theyâ€™re willing to walk around with an idea I transformed from the thoughts in my mind, customers have my full support,â€ says Ames.
When commonly asked how many tattoos he has, he replies, â€˜â€™You donâ€™t have enough if you still have to count â€˜em.â€ When it comes to his favorite tattoo, he doesnâ€™t have one, but carries every last one with pride. Today, if an individual or tattoo collector was interested in receiving an Amer The Gamer piece, he can be found working hard at his livelihood, inside Lavish Tattoo Company.
Mike J. from San Diego writes on Yelp about the phenomenal work he had done by Amer The Gamer (aka Ames): â€œI got my first tattoo with Ames, the owner of Lavish Tattoo Co. It was my last name, big, going across my back, a shoulder rocker. I told him what I wanted and he drew it out in custom letters. It was nicer than I could have ever imagined. This artist has incredible skills. Anyone who sees it is amazed by the custom lettering and the detail that went into this tattoo. Thanks Ames and Iâ€™ll be back for my next tattoo.â€
You can find Lavish Tattoo at 5733 El Cajon Blvd. Amer The Gamer also has a Twitter account that he updates frequently â€“ twitter.com/amerthegamer. If you Google Amer The Gamer, you can enjoy countless videos and new music from someone who I think San Diego will be hearing about for a long time to come, and rightfully so, a homegrown artist deserves more attention than those we see on TV. Letâ€™s start giving more credit to the people in Americaâ€™s Finest City.