So the first person we chose to interview was Josh. If you saw him on the street, you’d probably never guess he’d be so tattooed. He dresses for work in pretty snappy suits and ties with perfect creases and classy shoes. No visible tattoos and the only way you’d be able to tell he was anything but a “regular” businessman is by noticing his crazy colored socks. We chose him because he decided to start a pretty large and intensive project and wanted to finish it in a pretty short time. Most people prefer to spread their tattoos out to once a month for a big project like this, but Josh doesn’t like to feel half done, so he wanted to finish it in as little time as possible. He started the process with James in October of 2012 and came in for 2-4 hour sittings on avg. of about every other week. He had 8 sittings and one touch up sitting. It took around 25 hours. It was finished at the beginning of March 2013.
Thanks for reading, and thanks to Josh for participating.
What’s your name/nicknames?
How old were you when you got your first tattoo? What was it, and why did you decide to get it?
J: I was 18. I had recently joined the Army and got a tattoo of the American flag on my arm.
Can you give us a rundown of your tattoo collection? What do you have and who did it?
J: I have an American flag on my arm done by a friend who was training to become a tattoo artist. I have some lettering on my wrist that says, “LOVE 101101”, a small cross on my ribs done by Erik at Tattoo Junkies, and a large tribal tattoo, a wolf print on my chest, and a star on my forearm done by James at Grim North.
Do you ever encounter criticism because of your tattoos? If so, how do you react?
J: I feel like I have encountered both criticism and compliments because of my tattoos pretty equally. Most of the criticism has come from employers and at job interviews. I think it is very discouraging and a poor way to judge someone. In the end I figure if someone is going to judge me or criticize me because of my tattoos I don’t really want to be associated with them then.
What do you do when excited strangers feel your tattoos in public?
J: I welcome it, but it can be hard sometimes. Some of my tattoos have very personal meanings, people can start to ask questions probing those meanings and I don’t always want to tell that story or share the meaning.
What sort of jobs have you had and how have your co-workers felt about your tattoos?
J: Since getting my first tattoo I have worked as a sales associate, lifeguard, teller, and an autotransfusion technician. For the most part my co-workers have always had a positive reaction with my tattoos.
Why did you decide to get this tattoo, can you explain your thoughts on it?
J: This is the first tattoo that I have gotten primarily because I thought it looked cool and has really no deeper meaning.
How long did it take and how painful was it compared to other tattoos?
J: This took a few months for the entire process but I went often, sometimes even once a week. I would say that I averaged a visit to Grim North at least every other week, though. Pain-wise really depends on which area was worked on. The ribs, stomach, and spinal cord were some of the most painful sessions, but the shoulders and shoulder blades were much less intense. Overall though, because of the size and length of sitting, this has definitely been the most painful tattoo I have gotten.
What are some of your other loves and hobbies?J: I love to play and write music, and work on cars. I currently own a BMW convertible, Jeep Wrangler, and a 63 Dodge Charger that I am working towards restoring.
What one word best describes your tattoo style?
J: That’s a hard one. So far I have mostly done black and gray but I guess you could say, because of the size of this tattoo, that it would be tribal. I would say that I mostly just choose based on meaning and whatever I think looks good at the time.
What are some tattoo projects that you have planned for the future?J: I will be getting the poem Desiderata on my side, a phoenix not sure where though, and I would really like a watercolor tattoo not sure what exactly.
How do you go about choosing your pieces and designs?
J: Most of my pieces begin with something meaningful and then I develop an idea or picture I want to depict that meaning. Sometimes I just see things that I think are cool though, from other peoples tattoos or just paintings. I will admit though that there are sometimes when I will just google tattoo ideas and search until I find something I really like and then develop that idea into my own.
Name some music that is in your playlist right now?
J: Dave Matthews Band, Blink 182, Angels and Airwaves, Mumford and Sons, and the Script.
Any last thoughts or shout outs?
J: I have gotten a few tattoos over the years in a few different places but I am very glad that I ended up at Grim North for this tattoo. James, Stina, and Steph have been so much fun to get to know and hang out with. I have recently moved away from New Hampshire but any major tattoo work that I get done in the future will definitely only be done at Grim North. Thank you guys so much!!