Artists: Jay Paranich
Full Coverage Tattoo Studio
Westville, New Jersey 08093
FRESHLY INKED: What year did you start tattooing? How did you get into it?
JAY PARANICH: I started tattooing in mid-2003 after doing an apprenticeship in Arizona for a little over a year. I have been around tattooing since around age 5—I used to sit and watch my mom get tattooed. She was covered, and that was it—I was hooked. It took years to find an apprenticeship; there weren’t as many shops as there are now, and back then people were not really receptive to taking on an apprentice, so I didn’t start ’til later in life. But I wanted to do it the right way, so I waited until I got the opportunity. After tattooing, I made friends with artists in Japan. One artist I developed a friendship with is Hori Hiro of Japan, and that’s where my journey into tebori really started. He is an amazing person and great teacher—for those of you who don’t know who he is, look him up. He is a true master of the craft.
What is tebori? What is the difference between it and traditional electric tattooing?
Tebori is Japanese tattooing by hand. The outline is done by machine and all the color work is done by hand. It’s not something that people should just try without any guidance.
How would you describe your art? What inspires you as an artist?
For the most part all my work—tattoo work, paintings, leather work—is inspired by traditional Japanese art.
What conventions have you worked at?
I do regular guest spot work in Long Island, at Alchemy Tattoo Arts [2771 Jerusalem Ave., Bellmore, NY]. As far as conventions, I have done the Philly show, Boston, Atlantic City, Wildwood, Baltimore, Milwaukee, New Hampshire, and many others. I was doing one a month for a while, but I’m taking some time away from the shows ’cause they really are not what they used to be, and I’d rather focus on my studio and my work.
What sets you apart from other artists?
I’m not sure what would really set one artist apart from one another other than their style. In the end we are really nothing more than craftsmen. I think people lose sight of that—as tattoo artists we need to be grateful to our customers for letting us work with them. Without them we would not be able to do what we love to do.
What other mediums do you work in?
Watercolor, leather, woodworking—pretty much anything I can get my hands on.
What tattoo artists do you admire most?
Hori Hiro, Hori Kyo, Horitoyo (Yutaka), Horitatsu, Kyung-jin Kim, Scott Trerrotola, Takashi Matsuba, all of who have helped me along the way. And Horiyoshi III for sharing his work with the world, and Kuniyoshi—I study his work a lot.