tattoo | interview with travis jones by iva kancheska 05/12/2013
Hello Mr.Travis Jones! Thanks so much for taking
the time to answer some questions for Skin-Artists.com readers.
Please start by telling us a little about yourself, and how you got
into tattooing? Are you self-taught?
Hey, I have been tattooing a little over 4.5 years, about 3 professionally. I'm originally from a small town which is located about 500km from the nearest tattoo studio so when I started it was either self taught or not at all. I'm the type to obsess about everything I do (some call it passion) and tattooing is no different. The moment I committed to it, it became an all consuming part of my life and I cant imagine not being a part of it now.
Q: When did you start doing tattoos?
A: I started tattooing in April 2009.
Q: Black & gray tattoos are really remarkable designs in your portfolio. How has your art style developed over the years of experience, do you have any influences?
A: Well I have been tattooing just over 4.5 years so really I'm just a kid in the industry, still working hard on getting my style to the point where its recognizable and stands apart as a thing of its own. I admire so many artist for different reasons one of the first to really leave an impression was Richard Morrissette and then Jamie Mackay, Florian Karg, Paul Booth, Victor Portugal, Bob Tyrell, Carl Grace and the list goes on.
Q: Do you prefer to tattoo black & gray tattoos, or
sometimes you try to experiment with some color inks?
A: I dabble in color haha however Black and Grey is certainly more my thing. Every day I'm in the mood to do B&G but the mood to do color comes maybe monthly. lol I do plan to get more into color realism over time.
Q: Skulls, portrait fantasy - horror motives are designs that might be like a "trade mark" of your style, do you remember when the impression for this kind of work first began?
A: It started before I started tattooing. Some of my drawings had a similar feel to them and then after I was into the industry and researching and admiring other artist I started to see just how far and how amazing a style can be developed. I am trying to create a "trade mark" style that comes naturally to me.
Q: To be a tattoo artist, could be little hard at times, where do you find your inspiration? Do you have any special inspiring techniques? Com'on, share some tricks with us! haha
A: haha Don't forget to take a moment, step back and clear ur head especially for those longer sessions. Tunnel vision can kill a piece... also I don't know if its inspiring but, any time u feel like you have accomplished what you wanted enjoy it for a minute and then have a look at some of the greats, you'll quickly find inspiration to push yourself harder.
Q: What would you say that is most difficult in doing some
black & gray pierce? What details you take as most important,
especially when it comes to photo-realism tattoos?
A: I guess it would be creating that consistent gradient between darks and lights, creating a dramatic contrast and depth.
Talking about creativity...
Talking about creativity... You seem to be very creative and motivated in working on many types of art mediums. Amazing charcoal drawings, what else?
:) Thanks! I love a challenge so I have tried my hand at a few things, air brush, carving, painting. Some things I pick up just to know in my own mind I can do it and a couple I plan to take further.
Q: In which medium you find most creative freedom? Would you
connect your personality with your art style?
A: Tattooing actually. I really think I thrive of the pressure of doing a tattoo. Knowing it will be carried through a persons entire life. So I guess the freedom is in the pressure for me, freedom from laziness or lack of motivation u might find occasionally with working on a piece of paper. Its only been over the last year or so I have been having clients let me do "whatever I feel" which is an honor and a pretty great feeling, that's definitely where I do my best work.
Q: Probably THE BEST alien tattoo I've ever seen, is in your tattoo portfolio. Seriously, I've seen a lot of tattoos in my life, but this is something incredible (in a weird way) aha. Makes me wanna get a tattoo, even an alien back piece! Tell me more about the basic idea of the tattoo. Was that your idea, your drawing or the client's? It looks amazing!!!
A: Thank you! It was a concept I had come up with and mentioned to an employee and friend at a previous shop. He loved the idea and we went for it. The portrait in the reflection is actually a portrait of the guy who has the tattoo...The overall idea just comes from feeling different from the masses which is something I think most people can relate to in one way or another.
- BTW, Are you always supportive to your client's ideas? Have you ever had any "weird" requests?
Not always supportive lol but its not my place to decide what someone wears for the rest of their life. I give my opinion but in the end its up to the client, as long as its not bad artwork that would look bad on me, I'll do it. The weirdest thing would be a guy pushing a lawn mower on a buddies pubes hahaha I'm sure most ppl have seen similar things kicking around on the net.
Q: Any "dream" piece that is still undone?
A: Absolutely! There are a few and one in particular I have wanted to do since before I started tattooing, another back piece actually but its very specific to an idea of belief that would have to be shared with the client. Hopefully someday Ill get to do it and it will make an impression on someone.
Q: So far, working as a tattoo artist, what is the basic idea of your art progress? What keeps you motivated?
A: I'm trying to let my art progress in a natural direction. My motivation comes from viewing amazing art by others and always looking to impress myself in what I do, which is near impossible.
Q: Any funny stories during tattooing? Share some of the funniest/best experiences with the customers. haha
A: There are a ton of great experiences, hard to pinpoint one. Id just say I have been having a blast enjoying what I do and meeting new people.
Q: What's the best and the worst aspect in working as full time tattoo artist?
A: The best is doing something you love everyday and constantly finding a challenge. The worst is the back pain lol
Q: Any career highlights that you want to accomplish in the near feature?
A: Someday I would like to create the illusive perfect tattoo... haha
Q: What's your best motivational lesson for the beginners?
A: The act of tattooing is a skill that is perfected over time and passion (obsession). However art and style is in the mind and that can be improved at all times.
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