I’m putting art on my client's body for the rest of their lives. It means so much to me when they ask me to do it.
Jacob certainly enjoys his time tattooing, but he didn’t always feel so fondly of the art.
I apprenticed for three years and those years were the worst time of my life.
His journey to become an artist started when he was seven years old. Jacob drew a picture for his mom on Mother’s Day and instantly fell in love with art.
I grew up in a small town and there was nothing really to do, so I just drew all the time.
In his teenage years, Jacob first learned about tattoos from musicians like Eminem and Fred Durst.
As sad as it sounds, someone like Fred Durst was a pretty big impact on me as a teenager [laughs].
Throughout high school, Jacob’s teachers saw his passion for art and tattoo and actively tried to steer him in that direction. But he listened to his mom’s voice of reason and headed off to college for graphic design. It wasn’t long before his college professors also encouraged him to learn the art of tattoo.
They asked me why I spent all this money to go to college when all I needed was an apprenticeship with a tattoo artist.
After realizing nothing else would satisfy his passion for art, he immediately looked into a tattoo apprenticeship. He got off to a rocky start.
I’m not trying to be a rockstar…I just wanted to tattoo.
Jacob’s first apprenticeship offered no real guidance and he quickly hit rock bottom.
I didn’t know if I wanted to actually tattoo just because I spent so much money trying to learn but my master artist wasn't teaching me properly. I didn’t know what I was going to do.
Finally fed up, Jacob looked elsewhere for help.
I went to another shop and some of the artists there helped me get on my feet. If things didn’t unfold like they have recently I probably wouldn’t be in the industry now.
But something good came out of his struggle.
I worked around people that were so hard on me. Maybe they helped me become a better artist by constantly telling me I suck at tattooing [laughs]. That will get in the back of your head and make you try harder.
With artist influences like Timmy B, Paul Acker, and Steven Compton, Jacob continued to learn his craft from as many sources as possible. That’s also how he honed his unique style.
Growing up, my favorite movie was The Nightmare before Christmas. Tim Burton has a color palette that he does all his movies in…toned down, muted colors. Since I was a kid, those movies have stuck in the back of my head. The colors from his movies have majorly inspired my tattoos today.
I like a lot of black in my stuff and I feel like that comes from those old movies.
It’s not just the love of art that keeps Jacob going, but in bringing a smile to his clients’ faces.
I want to be remembered as an artist that wants to make the experience awesome for my clients. I want them to feel completely happy with the design and with me as their artist.
And that’s why he takes his art so seriously.
It’s kind of a huge deal. You’ve got one set of skin till you’re dead. That thing is traveling with you to your grave. You might want to make sure it’s right.