Style + Beauty

The Art of the Tattoo: Jessie Lou Ashby
Jessie Lou Ashby is a tattoo artist and the owner of White Rabbit Tattoo Studio in New York, where she's been inking her eye-catching custom tattoos for over seven years.  Check out Jes’ tell-all interview, where she explains her special style and take-aways from the tattoo industry. Then, check out some of her favorite work below. How did you get your start? I never thought of myself as the tattoo artist "type." I am a painter by trade and education. I love the fluidity and freedom of modern art. I thought of tattoos as being too ridged and theme-specific for me. I was living in France when I discovered the art brut/avant guard styles of European tattoo artists. If they could do what they were doing, then surely someone could create something I would like. Suddenly, tattooing became very interesting. The next thing I knew, it's years later and I was opening my own shop in NYC. It all seems very fast; I hardly notice the time passing me by, but here I am. What's your tattoo style of choice? I like to tattoo designs that I would be tempted to have for myself. Fluid, free-form and everything but ridged or traditional. I like shapes that flow and blend into each other like watercolor paints or sketches that are alive with movement and mistakes. It's the little parts that seem "off" that give each design character and balance. The art of making "random strokes" look both random and balanced at the same time is harder to master than I had hoped. It's so much easier on paper. It must look and feel spontaneous, When it does, then I know it's right. What do you think makes tattoos special?Nothing and everything at the same time, actually. I don't think of tattoos as a part of anything special. Either I like them or I don't; either I would wear it or I won't. Whatever the reason people have for their tattoo on day one, that reason fades away eventually. Years later, the only thing left is whether you still like it or not, and even then it's mostly superficial. In the end, all you have is a piece of art and a little nostalgic marker of days past. Tattoos seem so mainstream now. Is that good or bad?It's good for me, at least. Tattoo acceptance has its ups and downs. Historically, [tattoos] have gone in and out of fashion since forever. After 5000-plus years of known existence, I guess all I can say that I feel lucky that I get to be part of this generations "up." Do you see a current trend in the industry? Yes, two actually. There is a resurgence of the old traditional designs and techniques, which I am not particularly a fan of. And the other is the bold and riskier attempts to create color "oil painting-like" realist imagery, which I admire a lot. I can't wait to see what that leads to — we might even get to trade in our centuries-old tattoo machines for new tech!  Which piece of work has been your favorite?I have a client by the name of Sinead. Something about her inspires me, and as a result, she has two of my favorite pieces. "The Lion and Warrior" and the "abstract poppies" — two different styles entirely. She is an absolute joy to work with. What inspires you?As a tattoo artist, I try to express and translate someone else's inspiration into an image that makes sense to me. I do my best to make my clients happy, thus the diversity in my portfolio. But I do have a distinct way of seeing things and that never seems to change. As for my own art and paintings, that is a whole different story. Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?I have a quote on the wall of my shop: "Create like a God, command like a King, work like a slave." Professional integrity, honesty, and the passion to work hard both physically and mentally are just as important as artistic skill, if not more. Get yourself a passion for learning and sharing; the most important things you will ever learn will be later on, and those things will come from other artists. Check out Jessie's designs below:
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The Lion and Warrior

(Jessie Lou Ashby)

Flowers

(Jessie Lou Ashby)

Tree

(Jessie Lou Ashby)

Compass

(Jessie Lou Ashby)

Camera Ram

(Jessie Lou Ashby)

Jessie at Work

(Jessie Lou Ashby)

Abstract Poppies

(Jessie Lou Ashby)

Blockhead

(Jessie Lou Ashby)

Octopus

(Jessie Lou Ashby)

Lion

(Jessie Lou Ashby)

Roses

(Jessie Lou Ashby)

Flowers

(Jessie Lou Ashby)

Blossoming Branches

(Jessie Lou Ashby)

Wings

(Jessie Lou Ashby)

Birds

(Jessie Lou Ashby)

Abstract

(Jessie Lou Ashby)

City Block

(Jessie Lou Ashby)

Tree

(Jessie Lou Ashby)

Skull

(Jessie Lou Ashby)

Cat Eyes

(Jessie Lou Ashby)

The Art of the Tattoo: Jessie Lou Ashby

Jessie Lou Ashby is a tattoo artist and the owner of White Rabbit Tattoo Studio in New York, where she's been inking her eye-catching custom tattoos for over seven years.  Check out Jes’ tell-all interview, where she explains her special style and take-aways from the tattoo industry. Then, check out some of her favorite work below. How did you get your start? I never thought of myself as the tattoo artist "type." I am a painter by trade and education. I love the fluidity and freedom of modern art. I thought of tattoos as being too ridged and theme-specific for me. I was living in France when I discovered the art brut/avant guard styles of European tattoo artists. If they could do what they were doing, then surely someone could create something I would like. Suddenly, tattooing became very interesting. The next thing I knew, it's years later and I was opening my own shop in NYC. It all seems very fast; I hardly notice the time passing me by, but here I am. What's your tattoo style of choice? I like to tattoo designs that I would be tempted to have for myself. Fluid, free-form and everything but ridged or traditional. I like shapes that flow and blend into each other like watercolor paints or sketches that are alive with movement and mistakes. It's the little parts that seem "off" that give each design character and balance. The art of making "random strokes" look both random and balanced at the same time is harder to master than I had hoped. It's so much easier on paper. It must look and feel spontaneous, When it does, then I know it's right. What do you think makes tattoos special?Nothing and everything at the same time, actually. I don't think of tattoos as a part of anything special. Either I like them or I don't; either I would wear it or I won't. Whatever the reason people have for their tattoo on day one, that reason fades away eventually. Years later, the only thing left is whether you still like it or not, and even then it's mostly superficial. In the end, all you have is a piece of art and a little nostalgic marker of days past. Tattoos seem so mainstream now. Is that good or bad?It's good for me, at least. Tattoo acceptance has its ups and downs. Historically, [tattoos] have gone in and out of fashion since forever. After 5000-plus years of known existence, I guess all I can say that I feel lucky that I get to be part of this generations "up." Do you see a current trend in the industry? Yes, two actually. There is a resurgence of the old traditional designs and techniques, which I am not particularly a fan of. And the other is the bold and riskier attempts to create color "oil painting-like" realist imagery, which I admire a lot. I can't wait to see what that leads to — we might even get to trade in our centuries-old tattoo machines for new tech!  Which piece of work has been your favorite?I have a client by the name of Sinead. Something about her inspires me, and as a result, she has two of my favorite pieces. "The Lion and Warrior" and the "abstract poppies" — two different styles entirely. She is an absolute joy to work with. What inspires you?As a tattoo artist, I try to express and translate someone else's inspiration into an image that makes sense to me. I do my best to make my clients happy, thus the diversity in my portfolio. But I do have a distinct way of seeing things and that never seems to change. As for my own art and paintings, that is a whole different story. Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?I have a quote on the wall of my shop: "Create like a God, command like a King, work like a slave." Professional integrity, honesty, and the passion to work hard both physically and mentally are just as important as artistic skill, if not more. Get yourself a passion for learning and sharing; the most important things you will ever learn will be later on, and those things will come from other artists. Check out Jessie's designs below:

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