My name is Allan Erwin. I began my career as a professional tattoo artist in New Orleans, at Art Accent Tattoo. At the time, it was the only tattoo shop in the French Quarter. I was getting lots of tattoos there and had become friends with the owner of the shop who was doing all my tattoos. Long story short, I asked her to teach me to tattoo. At first, she refused. I started cleaning up at the shop and doing chores and running errands. After a few months of that, she said that she would take me on as her apprentice, and teach me to tattoo, under the condition that I went to school. So, I registered for classes at Delgado, and took all the Art classes I could take, plus some math and English, and an introductory class on Business.
I lived in the French Quarter, I worked at world famous Antoine's Restaurant, and when I was not at work, or in school, I was at the tattoo shop learning how to tattoo. That all started in 1986. I moved to Lafayette, La in about 1989 or so, and I took over running the old Ancient Art Tattoo (sadly, it no longer exists). At that time, I was the only professional tattoo artist, in the only professional tattoo shop in all of Lafayette. As business grew, I took on apprentices of my own. Among those, were Yancy Miller, Andrew Prudhomme, Cort Chatagnier, Rocky Patin, Brad Lejeune and others. So, even if you didn't get your tattoo from me, there is a good chance you got your tattoo from someone that I taught how to tattoo!
About two years before Hurricane Katrina, Ancient Art closed down for good and I moved back to New Orleans. I stopped tattooing for a while and I ran crew boats in the oil field for C&M Boats in Lafitte, La. I moved back to Lafayette in about 2010 and worked at Crown & Anchor Tattoo for a few years until Cutthroat Tattoo was opened. I subsequently was able to buy this shop from its original owner, and now, Cutthroat Tattoo has been in this spot at 4016 Hwy 90 East in Broussard, La, since 2012.
During my career as a Professional Tattoo Artist, I have been written about in local newspapers many times. I have been featured in Tattoo Magazines, I have been on TV, I have won awards at Tattoo Conventions for my work. Cutthroat Tattoo, with me at the helm, has been nominated every year since we opened, in The Times of Acadiana Best of Acadiana contest. We were winners in 2017 and 2018. My ideals on tattooing has always been, to do a good tattoo, for a fair price, and keep a clean shop. Not only do I want to make new customers, but I want those customers to be friends.
I am also an Honorably Discharged Veteran of the United States Navy - it is when I was in the Navy, stationed aboard the USS Jouett - CG-29, that I was deployed overseas, and while in Yokosuka, Japan, I saw for the first time, men with their whole bodies tattooed in the traditional Japanese Body Suit style of tattooing. It was then, that I knew, that I wanted to be heavily tattooed.