Mike Brown is a tattoo artist who, if you know your history, always comes up when people talk about those who pioneered tattooing in the late 1970s. He worked at China Sea (formerly owned by Sailor Jerry), which was ground zero for traditional American tattoos, and at the birthplace for black grey penitentiary-style tattoos, Good Time Charlie’s Tattoo Land. His life has had some ups and downs over the years, and they’ve made him a little hard to track down if you’re looking to get a Mike Brown tattoo. But when we had the chance to visit Honolulu in January, we made sure to stop by the shop Mike works at to ask him about the old days. He still tattoos five days a week, and we’d wager that most people who see him have no idea about his pedigree. His portfolio alone is a history lesson in tattooing, with everything from the most beautiful Cholas, Pin Ups, mean ass biker skulls, and touristy sea turtle tats. Mike Brown still does it all, and does so with the most humble manner.