RG: What made you want to start tattooing?
John: I had been getting tattooed, back when I was a public school art teacher. I was fascinated with the medium. The indelible nature of it. It took a level of commitment, you know. When I walked away from education, I tried painting and striping some cars and motorcycles. Tattooing called to me and I never looked back. Guess I am still using that degree in Fine Arts.
RG: How long have you been tattooing?
John: I have been tattooing professionally since November 2007. So not long.
RG: What artists have influenced your work?
John: There are a lot of inspirational artists out there. I have had the pleasure of working closely with: Tim Orth, Dave Tedder, Sean Herman, and of course Brandon Bond. The artist you spotlighted last month, Bryan Reynolds, gave me some great advice early in tattooing. I am still the new kid on the block and try to learn from everyone.
RG: So, about how many awards has All or Nothing Tattoo received? How many have you acquired?
John: Hundreds. We have clients all over the world that win competitions without sending us the trophy. As far as I know I haven’t received one yet. 2010 may be my year, but honestly tattooing isn't about trophies. Pushing yourself and pleasing your client is what makes me feel accomplishment.
RG: What music/bands really get you going when you are working?
John: I mix it up: Johnny Cash, Matisyahu, Pink Floyd, BB King, and Henry Rollins in the same play list. I would rather listen to Rev. Horton Heat over death metal any day.
RG: Have you done any work on celebrities? If so, who/what?
John: Lots of them come into All or Nothing Tattoo. I have tattooed four celebrity clients. But honestly I want to be known for the work I do. Not the people I tattoo. Besides, most celebrities have bad artwork on them. Don’t ask me why.
RG: What is the ultimate piece you would like to put on someone? What is your Sistine Chapel?
John: What I am excited about trying this year will be different next year. I would love to do a sleeve of classic car imagery. But once that is done I will want something more challenging for my next “chapel”. Pushing myself and having a new breakthrough, that is what excites me.
RG: I hear All or Nothing is planning a trip to Europe over the summer. What will they be doing? Will you be participating?
John: Five of our artists are going to Germany, Amsterdam, and Switzerland this spring to attend conventions, and do guest spots. I hope to go to Korea this year for two weeks tattooing US contractors at a military instillation.
RG: What do you do when you are not working in the shop?
John: Feels like I am always at the shop. On occasion I travel to do guest spots at other studios out of state. I have a ’61 Bel Air that I cruse on nice days. And on Sundays I do the church thing.
RG: Tell me a little about the shop’s making of “Victory to the Underdog”?
John:This is Brandon Bond production, all the way. He took his “All or Nothing” attitude to tattooing and applied it to his passion for pitbull rescue. The movie turned out great. Everyone in the shop helped where we could, but it involved so many others. Danny Trejo, Micheal Berryman, Donal Logue, and other celebrities joined together and we rescued several of the Michael Vick dogs used for fighting. You’ll laugh, cry, and want to get off your seat and do something.