Located in Jacksonville, Florida, owner and artist Jack Flores of InkStainz Tattoo Studio, disusses his business, art and the meaning of a tattoo.
How did you become a tattoo artist?
I learned from a biker who was also a tattooist. He did freehand work that just looked amazing, I was taken aback by how real tattoos could look. So I started working at a shop and learned the old school way. It wasn’t a traditional apprenticeship like we see now.
Is there any tattoo you won’t do at Inkstainz Tattoo Studio?
I won’t do racial or gang related, but I’ll do everything else.
What tattooing style do you specialize in?
I like doing black and grey and Realism, and Indian tattoos. I also like Traditional.
What is a tattoo?
It’s who you are. It’s art that you want forever. A lot of people would say it is better to spend all my money on tattoos than on drugs.
How do you feel about the mainstream appeal of tattoos?
I think it’s cool. I also love to learn from other artists. I go to conventions and apply other artist’s work to my own. The new talent is really just amazing, there’s always something to teach me, even after 25 years.
What is your advice for aspiring tattoo artists?
Learn from other artists, learn a style then apply it. Study the solid fundamentals of your craft. If your line work is not right your tattoo is screwed. I tell my apprentices if you can’t get it right in 6 months it’s just not going to work out.
You’ve been tattooing over 25 years. What inspires you as an artist?
Music, books. Lots of people tell their stories in the chair, so if you have something for me, let’s communicate. I’ll do my own research on the Internet for ideas, but it’s good to work together.
Custom tattoos or flash, what’s more prominent in your InkStainz tattoo shop?
We have a little bit of flash to basically help with ideas, but we strive to be mostly a custom shop.
When you aren’t tattooing, you can be found…
I’m pretty much a private person. I deal with rescue horses and help them out. I work them and ride them. Some of them have come from pretty bad situations.
- InkStainz Tattoo Studio
Images courtesy InkStainz Tattoo Studio