Ending 2010 with the Amazing Jason Stephan

15 Dec

My mom told me about Jason Stephan of Ghostprints Gallery, So I will be ending 2010 with a interview from a great artist.

Jason got interested in tattoos by: Heavy Metal music.  When, he was  younger, he was a tech person in his group of  friends that could draw, and his buddies all started getting his artwork tattooed on them.  The tattoo artists that they were getting tattooed by at the time complimented Jason’s artwork, and that’s what gave Jason the confidence to pursue tattooing as a career. ( My teacher LOVES my drawings of cartoons, and so do my parents and, Lucca.  I want to be a cartoonist when I grow up.It’s nice to be able to look up to artists like Jason who followed their dreams.)

He learned how to tattoo during a apprenticeship.  He started hanging out and begging when he was 18 or 19, but it took him a couple of years before someone took him in.  Jason moved back in with his parents, and worked at the shop 7 days a week for FREE.  After a year and a half of learning the basics.  They set Jason loose on the world to do kanjis and cursive names.

Jason is blessed that he gets to do the exact kind of work that he is into.  He doesn’t have any image or idea that he is personally  trying to get across.  He is trying to give the costumer what they want, but in a more eye pleasing way.  It’s more of a collaboration of ideas with the costumer and himself.  Jason draws in a more animated style, so the costumer has to be into that style.

Jason thinks we’re all living in the same world, so a lot of ideas are redone over and over.  Jason is okay with that though.  The biggest thing Jason tries and does is at least come at the idea from a new angle.

The biggest thing that Jason has changed is that in recent years he has started using Swashdrive Tattoo Machines.  Jason has been happy with them.  There’s nothing wrong with the coil machine, Jason just had some inconsistency problems with his, and wanted to try something different.  He knows that using a rotary machine is sacrilegious to some tattooers, but the most important thing for him is the tattoo and the artwork, not what puts it in the skin.

Things that Jason feels is negative is what he will NOT tattoo.  There’s not one particular thing, it’s just an overall feeling.  Some of it would be stuff that Jason doesn’t agree with personally, and sometimes Jason gets the feeling that a person is getting tattooed as a reaction to something  negative, and it’s something that they won’t want to live with down the road.( I am totally with you on that, Jason.)  Jason knows that it sounds goofy, but when people look at tattoos that he has done he wants them to smile or laugh.

Jason has got tattooed by a lot of tattoo artists, but his favorite ones are Chris Garcia and Jesse Smith.  ( I Defiantly love  Jesse Smith’s stuff.)  He admires many different styles of tattooing, and they all have artists that are great at them, but as far as taking his own style of art to the next level, he has to say Jesse Smith.  Jason and Jesse Smith met and worked together briefly about seven years ago.  Neither one of them was doing anything all that special at the time.  They  became the best of friends.  Over the years Jason really began to step up his game as an artist.  Jason felt like he brought something else to a style of tattooing that had been mostly just bright colors and bent angles.  Jason was creating  more of a world around the characters.  Anyway he keeps this in mind when he is creating a tattoo or any other art.  Jason tries to bring in his characters and scenes to life.  To make someone feel like they can connect with the idea or character.  As far as other mediums, Jason likes illustrative work the most.  People like Jim Phillips, Alex Pardee, Pushead, and Dan Mumford.  Jason thinks their bold ideas across in a very powerful way.

The things that bug him, and what he likes about being a tattoo artist is the people he has met.

His perfect “dream” client is someone who knows what they want, but kind of a loose idea.  Someone that loves the way that Jason draws.  Someone that can sit still.  Most importantly, someone with a lot of $!!!!!

Jason always took art class in school, but he learned most of what he knows through trial and error and tattoo artist friends.  He tried to do as much painting as he could over the last couple of years.  Jason would love to do more, but Jason put so much time into his tattooing that it’s hard sometimes to want to do more.  Tattooing will always come first for him.

Jason loves family very much, and when he isn’t working he likes to be with them doing anything.

Make sure you check out some pictures below out of his portfolio and more on his site  www.jasonstephan.com

His contact information is: 

Ghostprints Gallery 220 W. Broad Street, Richmond, VA. 23220  The number is 321-626-2889 

Make sure to check back for more interviews in 2011 and I am going to be in a upcoming issue of Tattoo Revue Magazine, so go out and buy it!


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