Anthony Clesceri remembers being drawn to tattooing at an early age when he would accompany his dad to the tattoo shop for his next tattoo. While hanging out in the lobby of Corey Miller’s shop Six Feet Under Tattoo, in Upland, CA, Anthony would draw the flash drawings up on the wall. This passion for drawing may have lead him into trouble for his creative expressions on the desks at school as he got older.
But the real journey began when Anthony discovered some tattoo equipment in his buddy’s garage. He asked if he could borrow it and his friend generously told him he could have it. Now equipped with the tools he needed, Anthony began to tattoo friends out of his home and started getting more serious about tattooing, he knew then it was something he really wanted to make a career out of.
In 2007, Anthony walked into a shop in Pomona, CA called Ink’d Chronicles. He expressed his interest in tattooing and showed the owner his portfolio. This was when he landed his very first job inside a tattoo shop. However, creative differences lead to him only working here for three years.
His next stop was in Chino, CA at a shop called Tattoo Central. This is when his career really began to take off. He became more focused and dedicated to tattooing and started paying closer attention to detail in his work and building on his skillset to become even better.
After leaving Tattoo Central, he landed a job at a private studio in Montclair, CA called Border City Tattoo. He only worked here for a brief 3 to 4 months because a huge career opportunity presented itself. Anthony went to work at a reputable shop called Classic Tattoo located in Upland CA. The owner of this shop Kayle Leogrande is well known for his work in the tattoo industry and Anthony was excited for the opportunity this position presented him with.
When the time presented itself, he landed a job at High Def Ink in Chino, CA. Anthony made some great friends at the shop and learned a lot during his 6 months here. But it was time to make a change and he decided to move to Pennsylvania where his mom has lived for over 25 years.
When he first got to PA he started working for Ryan Rader in a shop called Sacred Keystone Tattoo in Altoona, PA. Both creative and business differences lead to Anthony only working here for 10 to 11 months. He went back to tattooing from home, and during this time he began to build up a large and consistent clientele. He would have people coming all hours of the night asking if he was the “Tattoo Guy”, at least four to five days a week. This type of foot traffic was too much for his home and he just knew it was time to either get into another shop or open his own.
Although he never really felt the urge or push to be a shop owner, he decided to take the leap in 2015 and opened Grin-N-Bare It Tattoo in Tyrone, PA. Soon he landed himself an apprentice and a few people to work for him. While he received a lot of initial criticism and push back from those in and around the community saying he wouldn’t make it more than 6 months, the shop ended up being so successful that it outgrew the building it was in after just 3 years. So, in mid-2018, Anthony moved only a few blocks from his very first shop to a much larger building to accommodate his growing business.
Anthony tries to tattoo at least 3 to 4 conventions every year. For him, it’s a great way to network and meet some amazing individuals in the tattoo industry. The experience alone at tattoo conventions is well worth it, especially getting to learn from some of the greats. Anthony has tattooed at conventions in:
- Pomona CA
- Long Beach CA
- New York, NY
- Atlantic City, NJ
- Philadelphia, PA
- Gettysburg, PA
- Pittsburgh, PA
Inspiration for Tattooing
While Anthony’s biggest inspiration came from his dad, this passion was only enhanced and inspired by the skillset of Corey Miller, who most will know from LA Ink. Corey’s tattooed many celebrities and musicians and had a reputation that Anthony looked up to.
Anthony would go into Corey’s tattoo shop to hang out with other artists who worked with him, who he quickly became good friends with and even got comfortable enough to show some of his tattoo work to them, when he was first starting out. Still learning and developing his skills, Anthony welcomed the constructive criticism they provided. The respect he had for these artists and their opinions really pushed him further into developing his passion for making tattooing his full-time career.
He was always the first at the shop and the last to leave, learning from the work of others every step of the way. As a visual learner, he appreciates the opportunities other artists have given him to learn from their work. It has been a long journey with bumps along the way, but Anthony is amazed at the growth the tattoo industry has experienced in just the short 11 years since he began and can’t wait to see what the future brings.