exclusive Interview with Jace Masula | Atlanta, Georgia 23/02/2012

Hello Jace Masula! It's a great honor to talk with you. I've been following your art progress in the past few years and I can say that you're one of those inspiring artists out there with some impressive works in your portfolio. Your work is something that I find unique, inspirational and fascinating. I bet, you're very dedicated in all you do and your tattoo work is your best creative journey.

Magazine covers, working with many great artists including Brandon Bond (All Or Nothing Tattoo), tattoo awards etc etc. So much to be told and to be remembered. I'm pretty sure that your just another role model to many artists out there...

Q: What made you to become a tattoo artist?
A: I started my apprenticeship in 2006 they had just passed the laws to be tattooed in South Carolina and I walked into the only shop within 100 miles to ask for an apprenticeship. The owner told me to 'fuck off' but I came back everyday, ripping up carpet and carrying trash to the dumpsters ... showing up for two weeks, until they thought I worked there. I always wanted a job where I could be an artist for a living. In my younger years, I followed a path of culinary arts and eventually a path in graphic design. It wasn't until my early 30's that I decided to give tattooing a crack, I haven't looked back since.

Q: What kind of art interested you at the time?
A: I am interested in all types of art, I can appreciate mediums that most people would over look. I dabble in furniture making and computer video game development, and I am fascinated with the process in which art is created as much as the final product itself.

Q: Some people say that it is possible to be self taught artist. What are your thoughts about this?
A: All artists are self taught, yet each artist is guided by his or her environment, and those within that environment. If you look at a young child who draws a dinosaur, that child draws from a mind that has very little influence on what a drawing of a dinosaur might be. In most cases, the drawing looks nothing like a dinosaur. As we progress as artists, The standards in which we define what art is... rises, forcing us as artists to keep up with what is currently being accepted as art. The skills needed to 'keep up' with what is current comes from that very same environment. Your peers and mentors, help push you and inspire you to reinvent yourself and thus your art.

Q: What was the most inspiring (thing or person) for you in the very beginnings?
A: I was very inspired by the lifestyle of people I met at the tattoo shows early on. They seemed to have a freedom that the corporate life could never offer. Traveling the world, surrounded by great people and in many cases, a sense of family that extends far beyond what most would expect. I met many great friends along my journey so far. People that I would have never met if it wasn't for tattooing. Not only have they helped me better my art, but they helped me to be a better person as well.

Q: How long have you been tattooing?
A: I have been tattooing for a little over 5 years now. It has been a life experience that I wouldn't trade for the world. I hope that my children learn to appreciate the arts like I do... and possibly consider the freedom a career like this can offer.


Q: To be a creative person means to be open minded, educated, always willing to learn and improve... What is creativity for you?
A: creativity is what happens when imagination meets productivity. There are 3 types of people in this world. Those who create, those who enjoy, and those who destroy. When the 'creators' get bored, that is when the magic happens. I often find that some of my more favorite creations have come from being bored, and having no real motivating factor at all. Sometimes creating for creations sake can produce some incredible results. People that like to make stuff are embracing something divine. What better way to honor our creator than to emulate the very gift that made us possible. As a father looks at his child, he sees himself... But he also sees HIS father. When we create something, we see our creation, but in that creation, we also see OUR creator. Crazy shit huh :P

Q: Would you connect your tattoo art with your personality? If so, in which style your find yourself the most?
A: Yes, I sure try to. The tattoos that are my favorites are the ones in which I was allowed to inject my personal feelings and beliefs into the subject matter. In most cases, these feelings and beliefs are paralleled by the client, so it works out well. In rare cases, the client learns something brand new, and sometimes it changes their perspective on life.

Q: I can see lots of custom works. Colorful bright designs, fantasy mix with some realistic note in almost every tattoo.  Do you collaborate with your clients while making the tattoo design? Tell me about the making process.
A: This is a very tricky thing actually (great question). It is never the same with each client. It can be difficult at times to find a compromise between what the client wants, and what will translate to a good tattoo that will last a lifetime. In many cases, the client is completely unaware of what is possible, let alone what will look the best over time. I enjoy many different styles of tattooing, and I think this helps give the client more options as , while not breaking the rules about a what a good tattoo should be. In cases where the subject matter itself is in question, I find that once the client realizes why you are being so passionate about a particular theme or concept, they open up and begin to trust that you also want them to have the best tattoo you ever did.

Q: Artists are constantly making some changes in their style, technically and artistically. How has your work developed over the years?
A: Yes, absolutely!. I expect my style to continue to change over the next decade. The people you meet, the artists that inspire you, the places you travel and the culture you embrace... all have an effect your recipe for creation. Adaptation and change are 2 things that the human race knows very well. As an artist, I get bored with my own stuff all the time. Wanting to look at something new can often be a motivating factor for me.

Q: What would your "dream piece" be to work on if someone completely let you choose the design?
A: I am an avid student of history. I love studying the truth about our past, and in turn, gather a glimpse of our future. Anything history, conspiracy, alien or metaphysical is right up my alley.

Q: You work on many different mediums, such as canvas, air brush etc. What is your favorite medium?
A: I don't think I could pick a medium. I enjoy creating stuff... period. It really matters not to me what was used, or how it was used. Every work of art is unique in its own way. whether it be something a simple as the size of the canvas, to something as dynamic as the texture of the canvas itself. Each piece of art is like a piece of food, each unique, and worth a bite. I am also a hobby programmer, so anything computer or logic based is something I enjoy. I Created a video game in my off hours. An unfinished, and ongoing project called Codelink v2. It is a free game where you play the role of a computer hacker mercenary, hacking for fame and fortune. You can download the game for free at http://codelinkv2.com

Q: It's that a great way to escape the daily routine?
A: Well, for the most part, your focus on the tattoo is fairly intense thought out the entire tattoo process... however, their are those magical moments when you lose yourself in the tattoo, even if just for a few seconds.

Q: Do you get caught up in the meaning of your paintings/tattoos, or you keep that separate?
A: If I have any say over it... yes, all the time. I think that is what makes them so personal to me. Its one thing to look at a painting an appreciate the technical abilities used to create the art... it is another thing entirely to understand the meaning and logic behind the message.

Q: Do you work on custom paintings for sale? If so, please feel free to share with us some of your best experiences.
A: No, I have a very strange love hate relationship with charging money for my art. I realize that tattooing is my job, and I need to make money to support my family, however I do not think that charging people money for art is the way to go. I make a lot of art. I brew beer, Make beef jerky, grow food, produce music, paint, build furniture, etc... I give all that art away daily. Tattooing is the ONLY art form in which I charge money. I know it sounds crazy and uber hippie, but if I ever won the lottery, I would still tattoo, but for free. (Please send all lottery tickets to Mystic Owl Tattoo, Care of Jace Tattoos for Free).

Q: I've mentioned before, lots of awards and mag. covers. Do you consider those things as a great motivation to become even better?
A: I think it is an honor to have people exposed to my creations. Their are so many talented artists in this world that get little to no recognition at all. I feel very blessed whenever I get a magazine feature or award. It sounds kind of funny, but if you really want to see some of the best tattooers in the world, the internet is where it's at.

Q: Art could be a great influence on someone's personality. What is the best lesson that you've learned from your tattoo journey?
A: With as many great people their are in this industry, their are always a few bad apples that can ruin the show for you. If I have learned one thing, it would be that the universe has a funny way of taking care of those people who don't appreciate what they have. If you really want to get rid of something, just take it for granted :)

Q: In a few words, what are the most important things that every single artist should know in order to become successful and respected?
A: Well, I can't exactly speak for the success, or the respect part... but I can say with some level of certainty, stay true to yourself and don't become distracted by all the hype, fame, or fortune. Stick to the art and in the end, you will be a happy tattooer... Don't forget what it was like to work a day job.


Q: What are some of your feature plans?
A: Hmm, I would love to have a list of really cool stuff, but the truth is, I have no clue. Whatever it is, it will be fun doing it, that is for sure. I do plan on working a few more shows this year than normal. Make sure you check my website to see if I will be at a show near you. I do hand out homemade beef jerky at the Mystic Owl Tattoo booth. :) It's worth the trip!

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I work down in Atlanta Georgia, Mystic Owl Tattoo Phone: 1 678.594.0533
http://MysticOwlTattoo.com 44 N. Fairground St. NE Marietta, GA. 30060
You can book appointments with me via my website,