Robert Atkinson and Jojo Ackermann: Ten Thousand Waves

By Nicki Kasper
How long have you guys been tattooing? Where are you from?  What shops were you in before opening Ten Thousand Waves? 
Robert: We both started tattooing in 1992… I grew up in Santa Clarita, North LA.  I’ve worked in many shop throughout my career, Melrose Tattoo, Royal Tattoo in Denmark, Dragon Tattoo in Holland, Eternal Art, The Tattoo Room, and last but not least, The Dolorosa.
Jojo: I started tattooing back when there was no internet hahah. I am born and raised in the high desert of Southern California and recently have moved out closer towords Los Angeles. I began tattooing at Psycho City Tattoo in Lancaster CA. Under Mike Pike, where I worked for my first 16 years. Then Pike and myself opened American Made Tattoo near Edwards Air Force base, but we had to leave due to the military downsizing and local economy shift, then I ended up in Santa Clarita at Eternal Art Tattoo for almost 3 years until now.
Robert Atkinson tattoo artist
What made you decide to partner up on a shop?
R: I had been looking into locations for a new studio and Jo happened to call and said he was looking for a change… I told him I wanted to open a studio and asked him if he wanted to do it together, he said yes and here we are.
J: We both discussed having a shop together for a few years now and the timing seemed right, so we went for it.
Tell us a little bit about the new shop.  Where is it?  Is it just the two of you?  Room for guest artists?  
R: I got the name from a spa in Santa Fe… Ten Thousand Waves.  I loved that place.  Supposedly, the owner has a body suit from Ed hardy.  I read that the meaning in Japanese went something like, “one wave, ten thousand waves, it’s all the same don’t worry about it.” I’m sure JoJo and I have both tattooed 10,000 waves.. .I also like the myth of doing something 10,000 times to master it.  It’s probably bullshit, but it sounds good.
We are calling it a tattoo gallery also because it it a gallery of art.  We are located on Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks . We didn’t want to open too close to Dolorosa or to our friend Greg James, so we found a place in between. It will be just the two of us for now. We have friends all over the world that will be coming through doing guest spots.
Robert Atkinson and Jojo Ackermann tattoo artists
J: Ten Thousand Waves Tattoo Gallery is the type of shop that will reflect our high standards of quality tattooing and our strong work ethics. We both work hard and then we work even harder to improve what we already did, that is something we both have in common that made us want to work together. We are keeping it easy with it just being the 2 of us and we do have room for our guest artist friends for when they are in town.
What can clients expect from their experience at your shop? 
R: What can our clients expect? A good time of course.  We have both been tattooing over 2 decades.  We know what we are doing. We are starting the next chapter in our careers, staying inspired by each other and all the koolest people in world who get tattooed by us.
J: I think the clientele already knows what to expect since we are both working appointment only and have a strong clientele base, however I feel like new clients will have a great time in our shop/gallery and get a great tattoo here from us or one of our international, heavy hitter guest artists.

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