For Joey Jazz, the fact that people allow him to permanently mark them with his art is one of the most humbling experiences imaginable.
The 27-year-old counts his tattoos as a part of him. So for every client who visits his shop and leaves with one of his designs, they’re taking a part of Jazz with them too.
“Somebody may forget your name, but they walk around with a part of you every day,” he told In The Know.
Jazz started working at Handsome Devil Tattoo Company in Saddle Brook, N.J. three years ago — but even years before then, he was always telling teachers and friends he wanted to be a tattoo artist.
“After graduating high school, I knew I wanted to pursue an apprenticeship, I just didn’t know when or how I was going to accomplish it,” Jazz said. “I would learn how to break down and set for the artists, a lot of drawing and watching my fellow coworkers’ tattoo — this way, I could learn their process.”
Apprenticeships are important within the tattoo industry because, well, obviously, giving someone a tattoo is a big responsibility.
Jazz’s specific style is classified as neo-traditional or illustrative. While a lot of people think that art is something you’re born with, Jazz never considered himself an artistic person growing up.
“The only way to get better is practice. Even people who have natural talent still have to practice a lot,” he explained. “The second you think you’ve learned everything there is, is the second you stop progressing.”
At the end of the day, Jazz just wants to make his customers happy with their tattoos.
“I love being able to help people tell their story,” Jazz said.
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