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Tattoo Artist Covers Ex-Gang Members' Tattoos For Free
Article by: SlingerVille Staff
March 05, 2013

Tattoo Artist Covers Ex-Gang Members' Tattoos For Free

A youth pastor & tattoo artist has found a notable way to give back to his community by covering ex-gang members and sex trafficking victims tattoos.

Chris Baker runs a tattoo parlor in Chicago and on his free time he works on covering up “regret tattoos” – tattoos on ex-gang members and sex trafficking victims that are painful memories of their past. 

Getting these tattoos covered can be imperative to people trying to move forward in their life; a faded Latin King crown could mean a bullet to the head. Having a pimp’s name tattooed on her arm could land a girl right back in his clutches.

Since 2011, Baker has taken over 500 gang signs and bar codes and turned them into new artwork.  Baker is helping these individual change their lives, and he does it for them free of charge.

"I believe everyone deserves a second chance at life, and I want to offer them help to live their second chance," says Baker.

This journey began when Baker worked as a warehouse manager and he heard a number of employee’s talking about their regrets joining gangs.  After he was laid off, he tattooed to pay his bills.  According to, he then became a youth pastor and was inspired to start up Ink 180. 

He began doing cover ups for former members of the Aryan Nation, Latin Kings and Black Disciples.  Shortly after, more people that wanted his services were approaching him.  Then the law enforcement came forward and asked him to assist sex trafficking victims, mainly women that were branded by their pimps with barcodes.

At first, Baker didn’t believe what he was hearing from the law enforcement, there was no way that sex trafficking was happening in Chicago.  He soon learned that it was a big problem all across the western suburbs; women are forced into prostitution and they are tattooed with barcodes to make them pimp property.

“It’s the most sad, brutal thing I’ve seen in my life,” Baker said of the revelation that this was happening right under his nose. “The more you hear about it, the more you see it, the more disturbing it gets. It happens here, and it’s real.”

Baker soon realized that his calling from god to start his small ministry was more than just a little idea and that it was a way for him to help people who needed help and to give them a chance at a new life.

“These people have nothing. They could never afford to get their tattoos covered or removed,” he said. “This is just something I had to do.”

“Don’t thank me for doing this, thank God,” Baker said. “I’m not this smart of a guy. I just prayed for it. I said, ‘God, what do you want me to do?’ And he knocked me over the head.”

Although Baker’s bank account is lower than it has ever been, he is happier than he has ever been. 

“At the end of the day, I can say, ‘Today I did something to make someone’s life better’ ... These people have been through the ringer. They’ve been through war and are trying to get their lives together. It’s cool to be part of that path.”

To read more about Chris Baker, click here!


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Posted By: tattooedmami | 3/05/13 5:15 PM
this is absolutely amazing... wow... good for you! This is incredible! such an inspiration!
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