Dan Lorenzo: You recently opened your own shop. The other day I was speaking with your former shop owner, David Osorio, and he told me you guys are still tight. I thought industry protocol was such that you have to go to "war" with your old boss as soon as you announce you're opening your own shop?
Jimmy Inks: I think Dave and I treated each other as friends before "employee/boss," which helped us out. He’s been nothing but helpful every step of the way. I always ask him for advice when I'm unsure of something and he’s always been there to answer.
Was there a specific moment when you were younger that made you want to become a tattoo artist?
I’ve always been interested in the industry for as long as i can remember, but I never knew I could draw actually. [laughs] I remember sitting in college and thinking, “I hate this sh--” and just dedicated myself to my art, which I ended up being pretty decent at. [laughs]
I feel like you were great as soon as I became aware of you about three or four years ago. You're young and you were obviously even younger when we first met. Were you ever a "bad" tattoo artist?
I feel as though there’s a learning curve with everyone. I really struggled when I first started. Thankfully for me, I had a few select friends that let me f--- up their legs. [laughs] Eventually, I figured out what worked for me and just took off from there!
I know you use Peak Cartridges. What are your other everyday supplies?
I like to experiment and expand my palettes as much as I can! Although I mostly do black and grey these days, I swear by Eternal Ink, they’re always my go-to. Beyond that I prefer to try all different things, until they become a more permanent fixture in my setup.
Was there anything you learned about yourself during the coronavirus shut down?
That I never need another day off again in my life! [laughs] In reality, I learned how much I respect and appreciate all my clients that allow me to experiment with my art and live my life comfortably. How large of a part tattooing is in my life, and that I wouldn’t want to do anything else.
Is there anything else you want to tell our readers?
Support good tattooing! Especially during these trying times. Many local and even world-renowned artists are making art and prints, etc. available for sale to support themselves. And if you have the ability to support, I'm sure it would mean a lot!
Check out more work by Jimmy Inks on Instagram, @jimmyinks.