Jesico: The art of Tattoo on a day to day sense means nothing more to me than a chance to participate in a ritual of humans that has been practiced since we lived in caves. There’s something so primal and attractive about that notion that everyone who yearns for or receives a tattoo can relate to. I believe when a society evolves to a state where leisure is abundant and practicing arts such as tattoo is conceivable, it opens doors of the mind and really expresses our sanity. I don’t believe every tattoo needs to delve so deep into our psyche because I already think that the urge to get tattooed is deep enough and an explanation for what you request is secondary, an image you adorn shouldn’t be confined to anything but should be an image (with the help of a real tattooist) you simply find attractive, the meaning exists already in your soul and your choices define you more than any image stained in your skin can ever do.
A: How do you go about designing a tattoo? Describe your process.
J: When designing a Tattoo, I take into account first the clients requests, and when doing so I keep my translation simple and straight forward, while keeping in mind color, flow, and placement. Usually a reference of an image the client likes is a good start, and of course making it custom is always a factor. Some collectors like to wear traditional images that were designed by the forefathers of tattooing, and when requested, a great deal of precaution is taken when emulating a tattoo design from our late masters of this art.
A: What is “Connotations” about? What do you want viewers to come away with?
J: By definition, Connotation; an idea or feeling that a word invokes in addition to its literal or primary meaning. I chose to label the show ‘Connotations’ simply because of that. Everyone has a stigma about a certain image or word and it more than likely stems from an early influence in their particular life, which limits that image’s full potential. I hope to only remind the viewer that a word that one perceives when an image or phrase is seen through his or her own eyes is only as deep as their own experiences with that image or phrase. When someone decides to wear a tattoo, the connotations attached are endless.
A: What is your relationship to Tony and Mark? How did you all come together to work on the “Connotations” collection?
J: Mark Heredia and Tony Duong are friends of mine who I’m lucky enough to work side by side with. Besides being super talented artists they’re also two of the raddest dudes with a great sense of work ethic. Their participation in ‘Connotations’ came naturally, I wanted a chance to showcase some affordable decoration, and at the same time create some pieces for myself that I just wanted to see. Throughout the weeks we find ourselves hanging out after work and painting anyway, we have that ongoing joke that we live at the shop, they teach me through trial and error and I feel that the energy not only amongst us three but the whole shop is a positive one and a nurturing one, so to have them as part of this project was more necessary than planned.
A: Do a lot of tattoo artists create works for gallery exhibitions? In your opinion, how does Tattoo relate to fine art?
J: A lot of great Tattooists create art outside of tattoo, and have so since, well, before galleries opened doors to us. The idea of fine art to me is the same as it is defined; art is intended for beauty rather than utility. A person can argue their opinion about worth or grade, which is wonderful, and I believe art’s worth is better defined by the person who wants it and wants to be entertained by it. I feel that the relation between, anything, and fine art, is subject to the person who shows interest and by which he or she regards it. Tattoo’s place is in the skin, and tattoo art in the gallery is just another play on interests.