Young Jose Perez Jr. loved art so much that he taught himself how to draw and tattoo. He began tattooing friends and family as a hobby when he was about 16-years-old. Fast-forward to the present and Jose is a world renowned tattoo artist with his own ink set, YouTube series and an instructional DVD on the horizon. There's no secret behind Jose's success: hard work, determination and persistence have got him where he is today and will keep going for years to come.
At first, Jose just messed around with tattooing. He had no idea that he would end up doing it for a living:
"About 13 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. Being both a self-taught artist and self-taught tattoo artist there was definitely a lot of bumps in the road along with a lot of sacrifice. But it has definitely been a great learning experience and it proves that when you work hard and you are determined to learn, you can get there."
Throughout his career, Jose has turned to artists (old and new) in the tattoo industry, other types of artists and art forms, and nature for inspiration. Jose recalls working really hard to recreate realism in a way that stood out in the industry among so many other great artists.
Jose's work stands out because he pays careful attention to the tiny details and creates excellent texture with his work. The kind of texture you see in the world around you is recreated in his art:
"I like using texture because I have always been a very visual person and I like to see all kinds of tiny details. It’s a great challenge that I really enjoy, I can create textures in my own style which always keeps me fresh and doing custom work that helps to set me apart from other artists."
Jose has long been inspired by Paul Booth, Bob Tyrrell, Robert Hernadez, Victor Portugal, Jesse Smith, Goethe, Mike Cole, Tony Ciavarro and many others. He's also influenced by Da Vinci, Michelangelo and other old art masters:
"... on my recent trip to Italy, I was blown away by the art and architecture there. Just took me to a whole new level of appreciation and understanding of the art potential I have yet to unleash."
When he's not traveling around the world tattooing at various conventions and shops, Jose is tattooing out of Dark Water Studio in Chicago, Illinois.
Jose doesn't have a lot of downtime, but when he does, he enjoys fishing because, "I find it very relaxing and it brings me down to earth. In that moment all you are thinking about is catching that stupid fish and that’s all that really matters."
Jose Perez Jr's advice to someone looking to get his or her first tattoo:
Make sure you do your research on your artist. Check to see if their work fits your style, really look through their portfolio and don’t judge an artist based off of one tattoo that you see, look for consistency in their work.
Jose Perez Jr's advice for artists just getting started:
"Be humble, there are many great artists with years of experience. Listen and learn from them. Also you want to focus on your tattooing, not what other artists or shops are doing. Your portfolio is key and should be a main focus! Once people can see your work, that’s when the good things start to happen. Put your head down, work hard and it will bring you success."
Contact Jose Perez Jr
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Images © Jose Perez Jr.