Thursday, August 25, 2011

Jacob Des | Featured Tattoo Artist

Name: Jacob Des
Age: 25
Location: Dayton Ohio USA.

What attracted you to tattooing?

"I always loved G.G. Allin’s tattoos.  They were all so rugged and terrible looking, but really iconic at the same time.  He always looked so mental and wild, I guess that look made me want to get tattooed.  I got my first tattoo at Dare Devil in NYC during fleet week the day I turned 18.  I remember a grip of seamen getting their little Sailor Jerry shore leave jammers and thinking that I had stumbled into such a bizarre and interesting scene.  Shit was wild and I was way into it from that point on."


 How did you get into the industry?

"My homie Amanda Leadman came to visit me while I was at art school in Baltimore. I was getting tattooed by her, when we got to talking and she suggested that tattooing would be something that I’d potentially be good at.  Tattooing was always something that I wanted to do, but it took her pushing me to get over the intimidation that I had at the time. After that I was super motivated to learning as much as I could with my limited resources.  I would go and get tattooed down at Read St. as much as I could. They had so much great flash there, I would analyze and digest the design elements and then go home and try to recreate the themes and make them my own."

Was it hard to find an apprenticeship?
"I was really lucky to apprentice under one of the most amazing dudes on the planet, if it wasn’t for Brian Brenner I don’t know where I’d be.  He’s taught some of the most talented tattooers I know while at the same time giving them the freedom to develop their own style."

What inspires you?
"You name it dude, I just relate to something on a personal level and then react to it.  All of my flash paintings are based on elements of my day to day life and a pretty accurate portrayal of how my brain works.  Ed Hardy talks about how the real success of Sailor Jerry’s flash was that it was all about the most primal aspects of life (love, sex, humor, fear, death) and that no matter how far removed you are from it, those images still resonate on some level.  I guess I use my paintings to kind of explore those themes for myself.  All of my paintings I make primarily for my own personal enjoyment and if people like them -- awesome, if not I don't sweat it."

 Who are your favourite tattoo artists?

"I’ve met so many incredibly genuine and talented people, there are way too many to list. I’m down with any artist whose work you can pick out of a crowd, anyone who makes an idea their own and anyone who works their ass off."

How would you describe your tattoo style?

"My interests are so varied, I think I’m still figuring that out. I think my work is most successful when the line work is bold without sacrificing detail and the shading is heavy without losing the softness in its blending."

 What have you learned in your years in the industry?

"I think my work turned a corner when I started building my own machines. I learned about that stuff on my own because I wanted that knowledge. I think just like anything you get out what you put in and if you’re not pushing to better yourself everyday you’re not working hard enough."

 What advice do you have to people considering careers in tattooing?

I heard tattoo school was a good place to start.

 What are some of the best things you have experienced as a result of your career?
"Tattooing in Melbourne really expanded my mind, there is a real tattoo community out there. I’ve never been anywhere with more genuinely kind and talented artists. If all of my friends in America died, I’d totally move there tomorrow."

Where do you currently tattoo?
"Truth and Triumph tattoo come say Hi."
Find Jacob here: