You’d be right to visit Lefty’s Tattoo

IMG_1462Tattoo Shop: Lefty’s Tattoo

Owned by: Jason Martin

Address: 467 N. Tustin St., Orange, CA 92867

Phone: 714/997-4882

Hours: Monday through Sunday, 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Artists on staff: Jason Martin, Myke Rivera, JayDawg, Josh, Jeremy, Ryan, Nhan and Chris

Shop hourly rate: $150 per hour

All artwork on the walls has been done by artists who work at Lefty's Tattoo

All artwork on the walls has been done by artists who work at Lefty’s Tattoo

Since I had heard about Lefty’s from so many different friends in Orange County, I just had to check it out. Lefty’s Tattoo is a small, modest tattoo shop located close to the beach on the south end of Orange County. Owned by tattoo artist Jason Martin, the shop opened in 1998 at a location just across from where they are now, but with heavy overhead threatening to take Jason out of the game, he moved the shop to the 467 Tustin St. address.

Lefty’s tattoo got it’s name literally from Jason’s and Myke’s left hands, as most of their clients would say, “Oh look at that, you’re both leftys.” Although left handed tattoo artists are far and few between, Jason insists being left handed has had no affect on his learning curve and his work proves this fact.

Josh busy on a leg piece.

Josh busy on a leg piece.

All the artists who work at Lefty’s are not necessarily left handed, but they have pretty much started their careers there and even Lefty’s most fledging artist is a four-year tattooing veteran. Jason isn’t the type to be showy and unlike others who’d turn themselves into a brand to get as big as possible, he just wants the shop to remain small so he can spend time with his family and so his clients can continue to enjoy a cozy, familiar environment.

A plethora of books show the amount of work each artist has done during their tenure with Lefty's

A plethora of books show the amount of work each artist has done during their tenure with Lefty’s

Not too many celebrities frequent Lefty’s tattoo, but make no mistake, the people who return are more than willing to spend the dimes it takes to get quality work done by all artists in the shop. The artists at Lefty’s all are capable of doing different types of tattoos, but Jason specializes in realistic artwork such as portraits of people and animals. Although Jason has been determined to remain as humble as possible, his work and artist JayDawg’s work have been featured in magazines such as Tattoo and Skin Art.

Jason and his artists are currently booked solid for pretty much the rest of the year, but they do hold promotions in the mean time and you never know, there could be a cancelation. Don’t be afraid to stop by and check out this amazingly clean and inviting shop. Based on what I saw and Lefty’s five-star Yelp rating, I’d say the work is well worth the wait.

Visit Lefty’s Facebook page to see examples of their work.


Jason Martin, owner of Lefty's Tattoo

Jason Martin, owner of Lefty’s Tattoo

About Jason:

Jason’s body is roughly 75 percent covered in tattoos and he gleaned his first tattoo at the tender yet unlimited age of 13 years old. An army brat living in Germany, Jason would hike up his T-shirt sleeves so everyone could see the tattoo of the Iron Cross, which is still visible on his arm. Jason says at least ten friends and artists have touched needles to his skin since then, making him pretty much a living, walking collage of history. His favorite tattoo is one of his pit bull on his neck and his second favorite is that of a 1941 Ford classic car on his inner, right arm, that he got when he was 20. “It was my dream car,” he laughs. “I ended up getting it, and then I had to build it because I had the tattoo.”

Both Jason and JayDawg are motorcycle lovers, with Jason owning a Harley Deluxe and JayDawg being a fan of street bikes. Since Jason’s hit-and-run accident last year though, his family is pressing him to sell the bike and he might have to acquiesce for the sake of his obligations to the shop. Still, he happily regales his trips to Laughlin as if it were yesterday and I’m not quite sure the two wheeling gene will completely dissipate from his system any time soon.

Text and Photos by Rachael Maltbie


Motorcycle maintenance seminars for women, starting January 13th, 2013.

Rachael Maltbie and Jenn Jaynes installing GKA Industries parts for at M1 Sportriders in La Habra.

Rachael Maltbie and Jenn Jaynes installing GKA Industries parts for at M1 Sportriders in La Habra.

ATTN all lady riders!

Where: 2013 South Ritchey, Santa Ana, CA 92705

When: January 13, 2012 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

What to bring: Your bike, notepad/pen

From Jeff Hawkins of Skillz Days:

“We’re putting on our first mechanical seminar on January 13th in Santa Ana from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. This is specifically for women. If you can wrench yourself away from everything else, you’ll be welcome. We’ll be covering quite a bit about the necessary tools and their use. It’s guaranteed to ratchet up everyone’s knowledge about how to find and fix problems. To make you comfortable, we’ll also show you how to make ergonomic adjustments to your machine. I’ll be posting the address soon.”

Jeff and I will be leading these seminars. We’ll start from the basics and progress to the more involved maintenance tasks throughout following seminars, depending on interest. The point of these seminars is to familiarize women with their motorcycles so they can do most of the maintenance on their own or if they take their bike to a dealer, they’ll be able to pin point issues for the service writer, preventing unwarranted dealer costs.

Please r.s.v.p if you plan on attending to or

Hope to see you ladies there!

Four ways to prepare your bike for the repair shop

Graves Motorsports race bikes

A little extra care goes a long way.

More often than not, when you take your bike to your local shop, you either have a problem or need maintenance, right? What you don’t realize is that taking no steps to prepare for the visit to your local mechanic actually costs you and your mechanic more money and time than necessary. Want your bike back a little sooner? Want to avoid hearing your mechanic grumble under his or her breath when you drop off your bike? Want to avoid accruing an extraneous bill? Here are just a few small things you can do to make your next visit to the shop a little more quick and pleasant for all involved.

1. Wash your bike before you drop it off.

Cleaning your bike isn’t so much a matter of necessity as it is courtesy. There is nothing worse than doing work on a dirty bike because it tells the mechanic that the owner doesn’t take good care of their machine and there is more than likely a hidden problem or two that will pop up once the plastics have been removed. Not only that, but this gives you one last glance at your bike and the chance to catch any missing hardware or any other problems you may have forgot about like a nail in your tire or a loose clutch lever. It’s better to catch it the first time then have to go back a second time.

2. Drop off your bike with an empty tank.

I’m not going to lie. Removing a fuel tank full of gas is real pain in the ass, especially if you’re working on the bike by yourself. Not only does it make removal and reinstallation  cumbersome, but it increases the chances of the tank getting scratched or damaged as the mechanic fumbles to put it back into the place without pinching any hoses, wires or hitting the frame. So please, avoid the last gas stop if you plan to take your bike in.

3. Be honest about any work you’ve done to your bike up front.

I know it’s embarrassing to confess to stripping an oil drain bolt or screwing up the wiring on an integrator kit. But if you don’t let the mechanic know what you did, it’s going to take them more time to figure out what the hell the problem is. If you want your bike sooner rather than later, spare the mechanic the wild goose chase and confess your FUBAR moves. Don’t worry. They’ll only make fun of you for a few minutes, but don’t let your sensitivity get in the way of having your wheels back in time for the weekend.

4. Answer your damn phone.

Say you’ve dropped off your bike because your fork seals are leaking. Little did you realize the oil had drained into your brake pads which now need to be replaced. But before the mechanic can change out the pads, they have to call you for permission to replace them. If you don’t answer, your bike gets moved to the back of the line and what could have been a one-hour job now will take a day or two. Keep your phone close so your mechanic can notify you of any issues. At work? Give them an email address or some other means of contact info so you can both get on with your day without the hassle of phone tag.