At a young age, when Jason first began apprenticing as a tattoo artist, he was also beginning to make connections in the music industry. His band Chizel was opening up for bands such as Kid Rock, Clutch, Machine Head, Disengage, Karma to Burn, and Quintaine Americana just to name a few. Art was his first and main passion, so that is what he stayed true to.
Jason began the tattoo industry apprenticing in Ohio. Jason apprenticed under Billy Beans, the current owner of Tat-Nice in Huntington, WV. He then went on to apprentice under Rich T who is the owner of Bicknee Supply Shop in Jackson, OH. At one point in the beginning of his tattoo career, Jason drove 2 hours one way in order to develop his skills and get his foot in the door. After about a year of apprenticing, he opened his own shop in Huntington, WV, the home of Marshall University. Jason and his shop were both a quick success. Over the years, Jason’s work has been displayed in layouts in Tattoo, Savage, and Crave magazines. His work has gained recognition throughout various conventions on the east coast where he has earned over thirty trophies for the variety of tattoo work he has created on people.
Jason eventually moved to Virginia in order to generate a larger clientele base and for his wife to attend graduate school at Radford University. While in Virginia, Jason met the owner of Phat Cat Colors Ink, Eddie Yeary, the ink that Jason uses today. He continues to do guests spots in many of the awesome shops in Virginia such as Star City Tattoo, Roanoke, VA (owner Roger Ladouceur); Main Street Tattoo, Salem, VA (owner Mark Bell former owner of Bulldog Tattoo beside of Virginia Tech); and Caspian Tattoo, Lynchburg, VA – next to Liberty University (owner Dave Casper). Even though Jason enjoyed living in Virginia, he felt it was time to go to the next level with his tattoo career.
Although Jason is a successful and talented artist, he feels it is his time to shine. After spending a few years in Virginia, Jason and his family moved to Atlanta in order for him to obtain the success he truly craves. He is now at All or Nothing Tattoo working with and learning from some of the best artists in the industry. Jason thanks Brandon Bond and Dave Tedder for giving him this opportunity of a lifetime.
Jason continues to do guests spots in Virginia. He also does guests spots at Lost Boys Tattoo in Columbus, OH in order to continue to tattoo on his pro MMA fighters that include Jorge Gurgel (owner of JG Gym), Luke Zachrich, Jamie Toney, Dorian Price, and Taylor Ruscin. Jason also guest spots at Small Town Tattoo in Pikeville, KY (owner Chris Walker) in order to continue to tattoo on his original clientele from when he began his tattoo career. Jason currently does several tattoo conventions throughout the year on the east coast, and he plans to do future conventions on the west coast and in Europe. Although he is well known for his photo-realism and organic/bio mechanical pieces, he enjoys and can do any style of tattoo you ask for.
Click here to view Jason Adkins' Online Portfolio:
Interview with Jason Adkins
by Tattoo Masters Magazine UK
Describe yourself in 140 characters twitter style.
Jason Adkins- art and family driven workaholic. If I am not tattooing, I am spending time with my family, and that is the only way I would have it.
How long have you been tattooing?
How long have you been with ALL OR NOTHING?
Where DID you live before coming to Atlanta?
How did you come to ALL OR NOTHING, tell us the story!?!
My wife and I decided that I would never get my name out there, in the industry, living where we were, in Virginia. We knew the best move for us would be Atlanta. At first, I took a job at another shop, and did not like where I was going, so I went to talk to Dave Tedder. He said he liked my artwork, so, let's go outside to talk. He then told me he couldn't hire me because I worked in Atlanta. Right then, I thought my dreams were over. Then I had a crazy idea. I looked at Dave and smiled. Then I asked Dave, what if I live in Atlanta, and did guest spots out of state, until you needed to hire someone? Dave smiled at me and replied, "why yes you can". So, I packed up my stuff and went out on the road, leaving my family here alone in Atlanta, with no family or friends to count on. I did guest spots in Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia. Every time I came home, I would check in with Dave. He would make me wait for HOURS, just for a 5 minute or less conversation, but I knew what was up. Finally, the end of February, I went in and Dave met me at the door. He said, "Good news. Actually, great news. You're hired." He wanted me to start in the next couple of days, but I already had a guest spot in Ohio, tattooing on pro MMA fighters (Jorge Gurgel, Luke Zachrich, Jamie Toney). Guys you don't want to cancel out on and piss off. So, Dave told me when I got back from my guest spot to come in and start working, so I did. When I drove back from Ohio, I drove all night, came home, slept for 2 hours, and drove to the shop, waiting on them to open up. I can't thank Brandon and Dave enough for this once in a lifetime opportunity.
What brought you to move to Atlanta to work at ALL OR NOTHING?
A UHAUL and a Toyota RAV...no, actually, the name says it all...ALL or NOTHING!!!
What is your favorite type of tattooing to do?
Color, black and gray photo-realism, and bio-mechanical.
What machines do you use? How many do you set up for a substantial session?
Rich T T-Irons from Bicknee Tattoo Supplies...They are Unbelievable! I set up 2-4 machines for a substantial session.
What type of needles & groupings do you prefer? How did you come to start using them?
I like 5 liners, 7 liners, 8 rounds, and 13 mags. I have no idea how I came to start using them...it just happened!
Is Brandon really a psychopath to work for?
No, he has been nothing but kind and generous to me. He is a go-getter whom I feel wants his artists to be successful and give more than 100%.
What has changed about your tattooing since you first walked in the front door of ALL OR NOTHING?
I am trying to be more dynamic, and push myself to higher standards, just as Brandon has done.
Everyone that comes arrives at different times, so the list of artists is always in flux. Who have YOU worked with, gotten tattooed by, met or gotten to watch work since coming to ALL OR NOTHING? And how did any of that affect you and your art.
I have not been here for long, but the current crew is so diverse and amazing. You can learn from everyone here. On my journey of tattooing, I have been tattooed by Gill Montie, Billy Beans, Eddie Yeary, and Mark Bell. Other than the All or Nothing crew, I have tattooed with Billy Beans, Eddie Yeary, Mark Bell, Chris Walker, Rich T., Ben Chambers, Ben Hatfield, and Brian Brenner and crew at Truth and Triumph in Dayton, OH.
What other type of art do you produce? Paintings, video, flash, graphics etc?
Acrylic, watercolor, and oil paintings.
Are you tired of people talking to you about dogs?
No, I am a dog person.
How has your LIFE been changed since coming to All or Nothing?
So far... learning the ins-and-outs of promoting/advertising my art, and doing awesome tattoos on awesome people. I have not been here that long, so I am looking forward to some dramatic life changes.
Was there ever a time when you realized you had figured this out or had an "art epiphany" about your own growth as a tattooist?
I don't think I will ever have this all figured out. With art, you are always growing and always evolving in some direction. If you ever get to the point that you do have it all figured out, then it is time to quit.
What kind of inks do you use?
Phat Cat Kolors
What is it like to work with so many artists from all over every day?
An explosion of talent and knowledge everywhere, and I am trying to soak up every little bit I can.
What types of tattoos would you LIKE to do, like if you could start
doing any specific style a lot, what would it be?
I like all styles, because I like to change and grow. I'm afraid if I just do one style, I will get labeled.
Tell me about your kids (if you've got any?)
Jayce is the youngest, and she is definitely the wild child of the bunch. At 4 years old, she already wants purple hair and a REAL red motorcycle. John Lloyd put it best when he said, "She has a personality the size of Nevada". When she grows up, she doesn't want to work. Her plans are to move in with her older sister, and steal money out of her purse. Sebastian is the middle child at 8 years old. One minute he is chilled out, the next he is full blast. He enjoys playing video games and will probably grow up to be a computer guru. That will be a good thing, since it took Mommy and Daddy a week to get the DVD player hooked up after we moved to Atlanta. Maddie is the oldest child at 10 years old. She is very quiet and laid back...the polar opposite of her younger sister. Maddie is a very hard worker and an extremely good ballet dancer. Poor Maddie does, however, allow Jayce to bully and boss her around. Daddy does too though!
What do you love about tattooing the most?
I like the trust the customer gives you by allowing you to put something permanently on their body. In a sense, my artwork comes to life and walks around to be seen by the world. It is not just hanging on a wall, in a room somewhere, collecting dust. Also, you can transform all mediums into a tattoo style. With tattooing, you develop a bond or friendship with your clients, something that you cannot experience with other styles of art.