PP#44: James Spooner – The punk rock, vegan, tattoo artist

james spooner intsa

Before I learned what punk rock was really about, I assumed punk rockers were violent, aggressive, hooligans without a message. I was very wrong, along with most of the mainstreams perspective. Punk rock and the DIY movement is about rethinking the ways in which our society functions and making positive change that will result in a more fair, just, and peaceful world. Sounds heroic to me.

Punk rock is also historically linked with veganism as an ethical lifestyle practice. James Spooner is a vegan activist, punk rocker, documentary filmmaker, social justice activist, and now vegan tattooer, which makes him one of the most interesting people I have ever met. James owns and founded the only all vegan tattoo shop California, Monocle Tattoo, and to hear more about what a vegan tattoo is…listen to the episode.

Tattooing came later in James’s life. After studying sculpture in school James set out to make a film investigating minority culture, which is people of color, in the punk scene. As a black man, James noticed while growing up how white punk rock was and knew his experience was unique. James shot, directed and edited a film called Afropunk, which he has screened around the country hundreds of times. HIs film became a cult classic and has now turned into the widely popular Afropunk Fest.

In this conversation James and I discuss being a black man growing up in the punk scene, what punk is really all about, why veganism has been a part of his life for over 20 years, what getting a vegan tattoo means, and even James’s parenting philosophy as a father.

Connect with James:

JSpooner.wordpress.com

SpoonerTattoos Instagram

MonocleTattoo.com

Afropunk YouTube Channel 

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