As I drove through Jersey City, which I am familiar with through my day job, I was thinking to myself, “Where the hell did The Aquarian send me to and who the hell did I piss off?” Little did I know that there was a diamond in the rough, or better yet, a light at the end of the tunnel. The environment around Jersey City Tattoo is a little deceiving because when you walk into the shop, you will forget the outside surroundings. Anyway, as I entered Jersey City Tattoo, I was greeted by artist/co-owner Adam Paterson, who was already at work on a chest piece for customer Drew Cheben. Drew was more than happy to take a break from getting that constant needle in his chest to let Adam talk to me for a little bit about Jersey City Tattoo.
So, artists Adam Paterson and Chuck Daly opened Jersey City Tattoo in Jersey City, NJ, just recently, back in December of 2007. The two met while working in another Jersey tattoo shop. Both Adam and Chuck have been tattooing for six years, which makes them the longest standing tattoo artists in Jersey City. Adam is also licensed by the NYC Health Department. He went on to tell me that he apprenticed under a tattoo artist by the name of Lesley Allen (lesleytattoo.net), who owns her own shop out in Long Island.
Jersey City Tattoo is 90 percent a custom tattoo shop with Adam specializing in Japanese art, while Chuck specializes in Traditional Americana, but they both do both styles. Adam says that Flash artwork is not counted out by any means, though. If that’s what the customer wants, then that’s what the customer gets! And besides, it’s tradition, according to Adam. Before I forget, joining Adam and Chuck is part-time artist Bill Colligan, who tattoos at Jersey City Tattoo only a couple of days a week.
When I asked Adam what would draw a customer like myself into his shop to get new ink, his response was much different than any other shop owner that I’ve encountered so far! Adam simply said, “Just look at the portfolios, and if you like what you see, just talk to us!” Most of Jersey City Tattoo’s clientele is through word of mouth and loyal customers who have followed Adam and Chuck from their previous shops. He said that the only real advertising they do is right here with The Aquarian Weekly, and since the shop has been open, they’ve been busy. So, whatever it is that they’re doing, it’s working! Also, Jersey City Tattoo is very popular amongst the punk community in the area. This could be largely due to the relationship between the shop and Jake Kolatis, guitarist for punk rockers The Casualties.
Adam said that one really cool thing about being in Jersey City is that he’s getting a lot of people who used to venture into NYC for Japanese artwork. Now they are coming to him. He also feels that the internet has helped the industry in the sense that customers are coming into his shop a little bit more prepared with what they want to get done. He also feels that tv might have hurt the mysteriousness of tattooing, meaning that a culture that was so mysterious and taboo has become so mainstream because of these new tv shows.
Adam and Chuck did, however, find other mediums to get their work out to the public eye. They took part in a Flash art book called Revisited: A Tribute to Flash From the Past, which is a tribute to Flash artists, with their artwork recreated by today’s top artists! You can get your copy of by logging on to revenantbooks.easystorecreator.net
As far as prices go, Adam felt that is was unfair to charge by the hour unless it was a huge back piece or full sleeve. He feels that he and Chuck tattoo pretty fast. They normally charge by the piece so that there is no rush and they can give that big tattoo the attention it deserves. Jersey City Tattoo prefers not to tattoo under 18 years of age, and Adam says that walk-ins are always welcome because sometimes his or Chuck’s appointments will bail out, and they might have free time. Jersey City Tattoo isn’t just about the tattooing. They also pierce, and joining the staff on a part-time basis is piercer Brittany Graziosi.
If you’re looking for a new and clean shop with two great artists, then you might want to check out Jersey City Tattoo, which is located at 253 Newark Ave. in Jersey City, NJ. Don’t let the surroundings fool you. The area is very safe and the shop is “A” quality! If you want to see Jersey City Tattoo via the internet, then log on to jerseycitytattoo.com or if you want to make an appointment, then call 201-360-0139.
Well, I’m off to check out my next tattoo place!