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SEVIL JAMES

FEATURED ARTIST & BUILT TO LAST OWNER Photos courtesy SailorJerry.com

advantage of an artist that came in and asked him how he got his color ink. Jerry told him all he did was add a little sugar to it. The man went back to his shop and added sugar to all his ink and called it a night. When he opened his shop the next day he found it infested with cockroaches. Jerry was never one to compromise his professionalism or take his craft lightly. He created needle formations that embedded pigment with much less trauma to the skin, and was one of the first to use singleuse needles and hospital-quality sterilization. He helped revolutionize the ink industry by regulations of sanitation and sterilization that are still mandated to this day. Along his travels Jerry took in two prodigies whose talents and attitude he respected, among them legends Don Ed Hardy and Mike Malone, to whom he entrusted his legacy of flash designs. Some say Ed Hardy sold his old mentor, Jerry, up the river, taking much credit for Jerry’s style and pocketing the dough. It’s very possible that Sailor Jerry is rolling in his grave. Sailing and tattooing were his only two professional endeavors. He only

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tattooed for twelve years, between his 20s and 50s he stopped entirely, as a part of a disagreement with the IRS. While he wasn’t tattooing or sailing Jerry took interests in other things, such as: being a radio host and avid poetry writer. His flair for poetry came from his dramatic and romantic outlook on the world. Another of his favorite pass times was the saxophone, an instrument he’d played for most of his life. He never preferred fancy things, Collins preferred to play instruments that had been around the block a few times. He said that the musician should pay attention to how it sounded, not how it looked. He remained a sailor his entire life. Even during his career as a tattoo artist, he worked as a licensed skipper of a large three-massed schooner. Even when tattooing took over most of his life he was still a sailor

UGLIEST TATTOO CONTEST WINNER:

BRITANI PUTT

Britani chose to use her $100 gift certificate with Jacqelyn Snell (featured artist from 717 Tattoo in Columbia)

Born in Erie, Pa, Sevil James became interested in both art and music at a very young age. His childhood dream was to become a musician and open for KISS, until one day he accidentally won an award for best Easter egg decoration, therefore taking his passion for art to the next level. at heart. Some would call Sailor Jerry a true pirate. Thankfully, he left a treasure of talent behind known as the old school tattoo.

"I raise my glass in a toast of love, to all of the countless girls, Young ones, older ones, tiny ones, larger ones, Certainly all of them daring and courageous, Who have shared momentary intimacies With me In getting a personalized “Mini-o-graph” Tattoo as an outward expression of some inner most personal feeling." - Norman Collins

Sevil knew what he wanted to do as far as a career; although Vo-tech didn’t accept tattoo art as an art form, he attended the vocational school for Commercial Art. Once he graduated from high school, he took a year off before enrolling at the International Fine Arts College in Miami, Florida. It was during this time he had a job lined up alongside Mario Barth and Lov Rubino. When the opportunity fell through he completed the visual arts program. He continued to live in South Beach where he was one of three punk rock kids who met and networked with as many tattoo artists as he could from all over the world. He openly admits that was the time in his life that he “grew up.” Sevil completed his apprenticeship at a small shop in Lancaster, Pa. He learned traditionally about what was most important: his own health and the client’s health. He does not agree with the fact that anyone these days can go online and earn his or her blood borne pathogen certification. He believes people should learn the traditional way. Sevil opened his first shop Built to Last in 1999. As well as winning awards for his own personal abilities, his studio Built to Last in York, has won its own fair share,

including best of York six out of seven times. Sevil’s designs are spectacular due to his years of research and learning, soaking up knowledge, images, and techniques. It is this dedication that has earned him and his shop a reputation as one of the best around. He specializes and enjoys tattooing Japanese and black and grey pieces. And like all talented artists, Sevil enjoys a challenge and constantly thinks beyond what his client initially wants, and tries to push them in a more experimental direction. Like his clients, his opinions of styles have changed as the trends change. If a client comes to him and asks for a design he normally wouldn’t tattoo, he knows that one of his resident artists can achieve the task.

He moves further away from fads of the tattoo world, instead focusing on his own creative instinct. He sees inspiration everywhere and in everything, but will always remain old school at heart. He is a oneof-a-kind artist and his portfolio is truly impressive. His designs have a uniqueness that is instantly recognizable as his own work. Sevil’s ideas aren’t ones that a client would find normal or want to do. He’d love to do a full sleeve of traditional roses with nothing else, just the roses that overkill the arm, or something insanely psychedelic. Eyeballs, breasts, weird textures and skulls. He enjoys big pieces that flow with multiple styles together. A devoted husband and father, he is currently unable to travel, and prefers to spend his time working out of his own shop and with his family. His local clients keep him busy, but in the future, he plans on returning to a

The Ink Well Magazine

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The Ink Well Magazine  
The Ink Well Magazine  

The Ink Well Magazine is a synergistic creative publication that benefits everyone: advertisers, readers, artists, shops and distributors. I...

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