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Jesso Lange

         I have been telling my family that I was going to be an artist when I grew up since I was about old enough to hold a pencil. I truly did not think that tattooing was the art I was talking about (and neither did they haha…) I didn’t even realize that tattooing was art until I got my first one and growing up I had absolutely no interest in tattoos or tattooing. I think this was mainly due to the fact that I really hadn’t ever seen any well done ones. My best friend basically had to twist my arm to get our first ones together. It was a heart with tribal thorns behind it that we picked right off a sheet of flash on the wall. It’s small enough to fit under a quarter and placed on our hips so that we could hide it easily if need be. That tattoo is definitely nothing mind blowing as far as artwork goes, but it changed my life. I know that sounds dramatic but as far as defining moments go, there aren’t many bigger ones that I can think of so far in my life. I watched the guy tattoo for the whole 15 minutes it took to complete it and I was convinced that I could do what he was doing. I also had my next tattoo planned before I even left the shop. (I’d like to say though something that I am happy didn’t occur to me at the time- Of course, anyone in the chair should think that what we are doing looks easy! That comes, as it should, after a lot of practice.) After that experience, it took a little while for the idea, that I could really be a tattoo artist, to solidify in my mind. Once it did though, it took me all of one day to put together my art portfolio and go find myself an apprenticeship. I did my first tattoo in October of 2004 at DV8 Tattoos in Concord, California. At the time I was working full time at a hospital doing clerical work to support myself, which I continued to do throughout my apprenticeship. Sometime in 2005 I realized that tattooing is not a part time job, and that if you want to be any good at all you have to dedicate your life to it. So took the leap and quit my 9 to 5 in order to give my full attention to tattooing. Since then I have broadened my perspective and try to keep Art as the center of my life at all time. Now when I am not tattooing, I am most likely working on art either for an upcoming tattoo or just for personal enjoyment and learning. I also travel all over to tattoo conventions and guest spots, because it keeps me inspired and keeps me on my toes. In addition to that, I continue to get tattooed by people who I admire and respect. All of this keeps me progressing and interested. I really love what I do.

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