Updated: Dec 9, 2021
Troy Lane started tattooing in 1986 while serving in the military at Ft Bragg, North Carolina. He apprenticed under a Tattooer by the name of Rahbe West, who had recently retired from the military and bought the studio from the previous owner that he had worked for part time, while still serving. Troy was given a full apprenticeship and regards Rahbe as a very knowledgable teacher. Troy sees himself as owing 90% of his tattoo education to Rahbe and will always be grateful.
Troy stayed in North Carolina until 1990 when I was offered a job by Lou Sciberras in Miami. At the time, Lou had just opened his second studio called Moon Over Miami Tattoo in North Miami and it wasn’t long before the third location in South Beach was opened. There were only four studios in the area back then and the tattoo artists were a tight knit group. Troy regarded Lou more like family than an employer. Things were different back then, between the two studios it was just Lou, Troy and Mike Harpool. Troy spent the next six years at Tattoos by Lou.
In 1996 Troy left Miami, traveling around the world for a short time. Troy was privileged enough to work with some amazing artists during his travels including Paul Jefferies in Calgary, Canada, Tony Cohen in Sydney, Australia, and the first tattooist he idolized, Eric Inksmith in Jacksonville, Florida. His time in Jacksonville was special since Troy strives to reach the same quality and technical proficiency as Eric in his own work. After traveling Troy got homesick for Miami, but this time he was thinking about opening his own studio.
In maintaining his loyalty and friendship with Lou, his daughter Michelle, and her husband, Ken Cameron, Troy asked for Lou‘s blessing in opening a studio in an out of the way corner of Miami. Not only did Lou give Troy his blessing, he offered to help in any way he could, financially or otherwise if needed. Troy always felt good about the way he handled the situation and with Lou’s death just a few months later, Troy feels at peace knowing he was never in competition with Lou and their close friendship was maintained until the end.
Troy, Michelle, and Ken maintained their close friendship after Lou’s death with Troy regarding them and their children as family. After owning and operating his own studio for 15 years, Troy decided he could do without the headache and looked to close shop. It was then that Troy sat down with Ken and Michelle to discuss his plans and while making their friendship the first priority it was decided that he would return home to Tattoos By Lou.
Troy enjoys doing mostly big, easy to read designs that fit on the body well and have depth and contrast. He tends to do mostly color work, but enjoys doing black and grey work as well. Troy takes multiple factors into consideration when working with a client on a design. Subject matter and skin tone are important factors when making the decision to work in color, black and grey, or a combination of both.
Although Troy likes to work with clients on large, multi-session pieces, he does occasionally do smaller work requiring only a single session. Whether it’s script, or small, meaningful designs that a client has scribbled on a cocktail napkin, if Troy believes it is something he can bring life to, he will do it.
Troy sees himself as very fortunate to stay busy with appointments, working with life-long clients . It is a rare moment when you can find Troy Lane taking walk-ins, so if you ever see it mentioned, stop everything and run to the studio. He appreciates that these circumstances allow him to do the work he has a passion for and refer other work to his colleagues who are better able to give the client what they want. Grateful for his honesty, these clients have still recommended Troy to their friends.
100% of the business Troy does comes from referrals and keeping busy with one or two appointments a day, Troy stays booked about two-weeks in advance. Potential clients may be told to check back in if Troy’s calendar is booked at the time. However, as his clients from the past 25+ years will tell you, the wait is worth it. In an industry where some may not think twice, Troy Lane is humbled by the trust and loyalty his clients put in him and always does his best to take care of them, as they have done the same to him over the years. At the same time, Troy believes his work environment at Tattoos by Lou Kendall is critical to his success. You can’t beat the feeling of knowing that your walking into a studio with a crew that nurtures each other’s strengths and weakness, offers help and shares knowledge.
You can find legendary, award winning tattoo artist Troy Lane at Tattoos by Lou Kendall, by appointment only, Tuesday - Saturday. Contact the studio directly for more information at 305.670.6694 and see more fantastic pieces by Troy in his online profile.