We had the good fortune of connecting with Jake B and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jake, why did you pursue a creative career?
I suppose that creation is one of the foundations in all life. It felt right to me to purse that intuition, as best as I can, in the society we’re born into. Feeling lost and trapped from rough upbringings, as many people often are, it became clear to me that creating was like a remedy. I saw the way it made others around me smile, and that drove me to chase any career that allowed me that privilege. As a child my family moved frequently all over Arizona and the Southwest. Making it tricky to find roots in what I wanted to do when I grew up. I was uplifted by the grace of creativity though. Music, fine art, film, literature, comic books, etc… all became my references for a positive adulthood. At some point I realized that these were major careers. The kind that made so many people smile, and that made me ambitious to feed my creative instincts. When I started taking creativity seriously, my whole world opened up. The energy I felt from the creatives that inspired me, became almost inebriating. I felt the love that these people put into the world, and I wanted to learn everything I could to find that kind of career for myself. So that I could siphon that positivity to others around me.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve been a tattooer in Arizona since 2008. I started professionally a bit younger than most at that time. I was offered an apprenticeship fresh after graduating high school, into what seemed like an old timers game. Most of the artists I worked with had been tattooing a decade or two by then, and were kind of the intimidating biker type personalities. I am very grateful for their acceptance and assistance to my growth as an artist. Though, it helps that the industry has since opened up to a lot more kind and welcoming people. Tattooing simply seemed like a cool career where I could continue exploring new forms of creativity. Honestly though, my start into this profession was also a bit opportunistic. I had been recovering from 4 separate pneumothoraces, (lung collapses). They were horribly life changing, and certainly had an effect on my college plans, and to this day health conditions. Tattooing kinda seemed like a golden ticket at the time, yet became a whole new passion for me. My respect and admiration for the craft and its artists grew like wildfire. I’ve discovered so much culture and wisdom from the artists I’ve worked with and studied. The experiences and diversity of people you meet in such a career, is simply mind boggling, and I consider myself very lucky to be a part of it. I feel like a craft that is so intimate can be indescribably connecting on many levels, and can bring out some of the most beautiful self expressions. Both by the artists and the clientele. I very much encourage any young artists who are interested in tattooing, or even just getting tattooed, to find your opportunities wherever you can. It’s certainly worth the hard work and determination. My perspective on life has benefited greatly from tattooing, and I hope to share its positivity with as many people as I can.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a bit simple when it comes to being a good host. As long as you have access to some music, good food, or nature, anything can be exciting. Although, outside of those and creating any art, friends and I find a great deal of our excitement in Dungeons & Dragons or other table top and video gaming. We nerds tend to excite easily. If you’re traveling to Arizona though, there are no shortages of any. The cities see a vast amount of amazing musicians, both local and that tour through. I’ve frequented more shows than I can count, being that many of my friends are musicians. The food diversity in Arizona is always growing, and I’m obsessed with its more Mexican heritage. I have much respect and admiration for our southern neighbors. It’s to them we owe gratitude for discovering this beautiful part of Earth. The diversity and beauty of its nature in this state is beyond words. Sure the triple digit weather isn’t always as nice, but you could visit any part of this state and feel like you’re on an adventure on another planet. It truly is a call for discovery and a marvel of inspiration to any creative person.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to shoutout, and thank my lovely wife, Amy. She is an awesome artist, both in her professional career as a designer, and as a cosplayer and all around crafter. Her drive for creating is magical, and she inspires me to be the best version of myself. My gratitude for her support and motivation grows every day. Her recent creative works can be viewed on her social media, @Amy.Does.Cosplay I’m also very humbled and grateful for all of the clientele, friends, and family, who’ve supported me and my crafts. Over the years I’ve gotten to do some very meaningful, and wild tattoos/artwork for people. They’ve pushed my creativity in so many beautifully unexpected ways, and it is an honor to help bring a smile to their wonderful faces.
Other: New Pyrography works @CastlePyrocrafts
Nominate someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.