tattoo Interview with Jack A. Morris by Iva Kancheska 06/12/2010
Q: How long have you been tattooing?
A: I airbrushed the inside of a tattoo shop in 2006. The owner offered me a job that same year working in his shop. They all believed that I would be successful after seeing my airbrush work. I had wanted to tattoo for several years, but never had the opportunity to work in a legitimate shop. I airbrushed the inside of a tattoo shop in 2006. The owner offered me a job that same year working in his shop. They all believe that I would be successful after seeing my airbrush work. I had wanted to tattoo for several years, but never had the opportunity to work in a legitimate shop.
Q: Do you have any role models? Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
A: The person I’m inspired by the most in this industry would be my good friend and employer, Joshua Carlton. His artwork totally blows my mind, and in my eyes, he’s the best I’ve seen.
Q: Your artwork covers such a variety of styles and your work is brilliant at them all. Do you have an artistic background growing up?
A: Yes, my mother Rebecca Bogeman was an art teacher in an elementary school. Also, my brother Terry Armstrong is a professional water color artist. My great uncle, Edwin Fager, owned his own art studio in Chicago in the 40’s and 50’s. He was a great inspiration to us all.
Q: Do you feel like there should be a mandatory school for tattoo artists?
A: No, I think that’s a bad idea. Anyone aspiring to be a tattoo artist should go through an apprenticeship with an experienced artist. This allows more one on one time with a professional.
Q: Is there any tattoo style you find as your favorite or your specialty?
A: My favorite style would have to be photo realism. I have put more time and effort into this style than any other. I have always enjoyed drawing faces and realistic subject matter.
Q: What ink do you use? Which colors are the best to make a good photo realistic portrait?
A: I use Alla Prima Ink exclusively. The grey wash set is perfect for black and grey portrait work. Alla Prima has color sets that are broken into three values that prove to be helpful in doing color realism tattoos. For example, blood reds, zombie greens, flesh tones, and sepia.
Q: It seems like nowadays the photo realistic tattoos are the most wanted designs for everyone. What are the novelties in tattooing portraits are (some new techniques, etc)?
A: The photo reference is extremely important in executing a good tattoo. Choosing a photo with a lot of shadowing helps create more 3 dimension in the tattoo. The use of black is extremely important.
Q: What is the most difficult part in doing a photo realistic portrait?
A: The likeness of the tattoo resembling the subject is the hardest and most important aspect.
Q: Do you have some extra freedom in creating someone's sketch or tattoo?
A: It depends on the tattoo. If I’m doing a family portrait, it needs to be an exact match to the photo. But, if I’m doing a zombie or monster of some kind, there is more room for changes.
Q: Can you be permanently creative?
A: I feel that it’s possible to be permanently creative. Trying new mediums helps me keep my creativity alive.
Q: Apart from tattooing, painting/air brushing is your second passion. Where do you find more creative freedom?
A: I definitely have the most fun doing tattoos. I feel I have more space to express my ideas through my paintings and drawings. I think when I am capable of merging photo realism with original sketches I will be able to express my ideas more easily in my tattoos.
Q: How long have you been doing air brush?
A: I’ve been airbrushing for 24 years. Other than a few high school classes, I was pretty much self taught. I started painting T shirts, and soon graduated to motorcycles, cars, wall murals, etc.
Q: Do you have any favorite project you’ve been doing lately?
A: I’ve become totally obsessed with charcoal drawing. I did my first one about a year ago, and other than tattooing, it is my favorite.
Q: Is there anyone you’d like to see in your studio coming for a tattoo, airbrush or painting? If there is, what you’d recommended?
A: I’d like to see Mike Tyson come in so I can tattoo the other side of his face. Haha...just kidding.
Q: Can you share some experience with us? Hit me with the most memorable story.
A: I did a portrait on a guy of his baby that passed away. About two weeks later I received a hand written letter from his mother-in-law. She told me that the tattoo meant so much to their entire family and expressed her deep gratitude. That was the first time I felt that my art touched someone else’s life.
Q: Please feel free to share your plans and needs about tattooing. Things that you would like to do and have not done yet? Please feel free to share your work info.
A: I’m very interested in traveling to conventions and doing guest spots in other areas of the world. I’ve been to a few conventions already and they were a blast. It’s very inspirational being in the presence of such talented artists and seeing their work in person. I also want to put out another set of flash prints for sale in the next few months. It’s been a year since I did my last set of four, and I’m ready to try some new ideas.
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