Artists: Jose Perez Jr.
JOSE PEREZ JR.
What year did you start tattooing?
How did you get into tattooing?
I started messing around with tattoos when I was about 16 or 17, tattooing friends and family as somewhat of a hobby. Tattooing intrigued me and I was determined to figure it out. At the time I never thought I would be doing this for a living. I’ve always loved great art as well as the art of tattooing. About 10 years ago, I started tattooing friends as a hobby and a friend recommended that I buy professional equipment. I began tattooing on a regular basis and haven’t stopped since.
Where did you apprentice?
I’m a self-taught artist and self-taught tattoo artist. I have a way of breaking things down and studying them and understanding how things are done.
Do you have any special training?
I recently have been having some one-on-one art lessons with an art teacher to further my understanding of color theory and expanding my artistic abilities into other mediums.
What conventions have you worked at? Have you won any awards? What are some of your best convention memories?
Over the past year I have done both national and international conventions. And upcoming this year I will be attending Hell City, Northern Xposure, Crazy AITS, Paradise Tattoo Gathering, and more, in addition to doing a lot of guest spots all over the country, including working part-time at Last Rites Tattoo Theatre and guest spotting at Loose Screw Tattoo. Check out my Facebook and website for all travel dates and conventions. The most recent awards I’ve received were from the Rosemont Tattoo Convention, in which I took first place for large color (female), second place extra-large black-and-gray (male), and second place large black-and-gray (female). Working conventions is always a great time to hang out and meet with other great artists, but my best convention memories would have to be from the Paradise Tattoo Gathering in Keystone, CO, and Crazy AITS in Melbourne, Australia.
How do you describe your style?
Black-and-gray realism incorporating organic textures and, of course, my own freehand designs.
What inspires you as an artist?
My inspirations range from da Vinci to Michelangelo, old architecture, and realism.
What sets you apart from other artists?
Knowing that tattooing is a vast industry, I had to push myself to learn and re-create realism to be able to stand out amongst great tattoo artists. I continue to work hard to perfect my craft. I consider myself to be a true well-rounded tattoo artist—able to tattoo anything in any style. My extensive portfolio displays all arenas of tattooing.
What other mediums do you work in?
Pencil, oil paints, acrylic paints, pastels, and charcoal.
How have you branched out from tattooing?
Dark Water Press—our original apparel line—participating in art shows, and recently doing a time-lapse video for Sullen TV. And I plan to create blogs that include instructional tips and tricks for tattooing.
What tattoo artists do you admire the most?
Robert Hernandez, because I admire his originality, use of realism, textures, lighting, contrast, and drop shadows. He’s been someone I have looked up to for years, and he’s currently working on my sleeve.
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing?
I look forward to tattooing more recognizable portraits and movie characters, interesting organic textures, and, of course, my own freehand designs.
Before someone gets a tattoo what advice do you give them?
I encourage my clients to do their research, to find reference photos of their ideas. It’s important to eat and be well rested. Just relax and enjoy the ride.
Is there a tattoo that you haven’t done yet that you are dying to do?
Frankenstein, Einstein, Native American portraits, Jackal from Thirteen Ghosts, rhinos, close-up insects, and statues from the Italian Renaissance era.