This week artist Jason Voss talks about the art and challenges of tattooing. He recently opened a shop, Gitchee Gumee Tattoo on Central Entrance, and will be hosting a Grand Opening on Jan. 14.
JV: Tattooing is a craft that requires a lot of technical skill. Being able to control needle depth, emulate texture, and keep a steady hand over a squishy, rounded object are some of the fundamentals of tattooing.
Tattooing styles tend to have specific rules and conventions. The styles I enjoy are solid, straightforward tattooing: bold line weights, saturated colors, and strong black and grey. I love to work with the Japanese, American traditional, and black and grey styles of tattooing, but I can faithfully replicate any style of tattoo.
I started tattooing when I was in the military in the early 1990s. My career has taken me all across the United States, and I’ve tattooed in every major city in the country. Over the 25+ years I’ve been in the industry, I’ve participated in hundreds of conventions and motorcycle rallies — even the occasional rodeo!
Customer service can be a challenge — skin is a finicky medium, and the average person doesn’t know a lot about how tattoos will age. Educating people about tattoos is an important aspect of the job. The best tattoo is one that will still look good several years down the road. It’s important to teach people how to distinguish tattoos that will age well, particularly in the social media era when Photoshop can easily skew people’s perceptions and expectations. What looks good fresh does not always look good when healed.
The best reward is always seeing the customer’s reactions when they look in the mirror to see their finished tattoo. The look of excitement and joy over artwork I’ve inscribed on them forever… It just can’t be beat. I love my customers and I love what I do.
My portfolio is most easily accessed on Instagram, but I also post my work on Facebook and to the Gitchee Gumee Tattoo website as well.
Shop Instagram: instagram.com/gitcheegumeetattoo
This past November I embarked upon a new undertaking: the opening of Gitchee Gumee Tattoo! Though we’re open and taking clients already, our official grand opening is on Jan. 14. We’ll be holding specials for both tattoos and piercings all week!
In addition, I’ll be at the Minneapolis Tattoo Convention at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis from Jan. 11-13. I’ll be taking walk-ups the entire time during convention hours.
In terms of tattoo work, I have a few full back pieces and sleeves I’ve been working at. Some Japanese traditional, some American traditional — I can’t wait to finish them.
I’m also planning to do some mural work sometime in 2019! It’s been a while, and I’m excited to get to work.
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