Interview with Jesse Missman | The Skull Museum, CA | 28/05/2020


 Hello Jesse Missman! Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers. Please start by telling us something about yourself and what inspired you to start tattooing?
Tattoos have always caught my eye, especially from an early age. The thought of being able to create my artwork and have it on a living, walking canvas still blows my mind.

Q: Do you have any artistic background? What type of art outside tattooing you like the most?
A: I’ve been drawing most of my life but have only taken one art class outside of high school for a semester. Everything I’ve learned is from friends and artists that have inspired me through the years. Charcoal and oil paints are some of my favorites. I need to make more time to get back into them!

Q: What was the biggest challenge in getting into the world of tattoo art? Would you do something different if you could turn back the time?
A: The biggest challenge for me initially was figuring out how to get into the industry, I didn’t really know where or how to begin. Something I would have done differently is really have done my research on how a proper apprenticeship works and find an artist that could teach me the style I was interested in off the bat.

Q: How long took you to get enough confidence in your work and call yourself a professional?
A: I completed my “ apprenticeship “ after about a year and a half but honestly didn’t really start feeling comfortable with my work till about 4 years into tattooing.

Q: Are there any artists who you admire and look up to?
A: I have an endless list of amazing artists I look up to. It’s almost hard to even narrow them down. A few of my favorites at the moment are Matt Jordan, Deran Hall and Jose Contreras.

Q: Beautiful black and grey tattoos... so much talent! Great portfolio! How much is important for one artist to be able to bring a unique style? Do you try to stand out from the other artists and make your work recognizable?
A: Thank you so much! Honestly I feel like I’m still searching for my own style but I love the direction my work has taken the last year or so. I feel there are certain elements I put in my tattoos, that make them recognizable to me. I’m hoping I can start incorporating some of my other influences into newer pieces.

Q: Would you try color tattooing or some other style than tattoo realism?
A: I used to do quite a bit of color but I feel black and grey represents my work the best. I’ve done traditional, lettering, tribal, geometric/ dotwork in the past but never really had a true passion for any of them.

Q: Having a talent is like a privilege, not everyone can have it, if you add dedication to it... you get progress and success. How do you see your work evolving?
A: Evolution is key and a big fear of mine is being stagnant. I want to keep pushing myself with every day and tattoo I make. I’m excited to see what happens in the next few years.

Q: Ink application requires knowledge in the process and a bit of sense (in my opinion) for how the tattoo will look like even years after. Are you open to do some touch ups after a while?
A: Yes, I’m always open to touch up my work. More often than not I will contact a client or friend and see if they are open to me cleaning a few things up or bring some life back into the tattoo (especially my older work, when I didn’t know how to use black or dark tones lol)

Q: We are living in a time when tattoo art is no longer a taboo or for bad people. The time for prejudices is gone. Many new talented young artists are popping up every day. So much progress and creativity. Tattoo events, seminars and books too. I think we developed a great source of inspiration. What's your opinion? Would you change/add something about the industry?
A: I think the amount of inspiration we have nowadays is limitless, which can be both good and bad. Sometimes I catch myself scrolling in awe and getting discouraged at times. Mostly I try and use that outside influence to push myself more and to exceed my own expectations.

Q: They said... a true artist is almost never (fully) satisfied with what he does, there's always a room for improvement and experimentation. Do you have any ideas how to grow more as an artist?
A: I totally agree with that. Its very rare that I’m 100% stoked of my work. Being my own worst critic helps me to push myself more. A big move for me in learning more was relocating to a new shop with artists that think like minded and strive to be better everyday.

Q: In few words, say something that will motivate the young people who want to try their luck in this (serious) business.
A: One thing I wish someone would have told me, is to take more risks in furthering knowledge early on and not to hesitate reaching out to those who inspire you.

Please write down your contact info and studio location.
You can stay up to date on my work via

IG @jessem_tattoos
I currently work at The Skull Museum in Sacramento, CA
Thanks for the interview!
-Jesse Missman

Mr.Jesse Missman Thank you so much for the interview,
Take care and keep up the great work.