The ink on Phrique

JJ, aka Phrique from Chicago burbs

Where did you grow up? 
Middle of bumfuck, Indiana.

How was it growing up there, would you say that it influenced you?        It influenced me to NOT be like anyone there in the least bit.  So in a way, you can blame indiana for this. this being me.

When did you start getting tattoos? 
Not till I was 21. I had a mother who would disown me if I even mentioned tattoos. I eventually said fuck it, she's still recovering.

Do you consider tattoos as a serious art form? 
Of course, anyone can draw on canvas. A true artist can draw PERMANENTLY on someone's skin.

How do you see the tattoo culture right now? 
Very mainstream, which is fine. As long as there's a mainstream there will always be the hardcore/devoted to stay underground and always be 2 steps ahead.

What has been your inspiration for getting them? 
I'm on a constant quest to look a certain way. I was not born with bombs on my neck, blue hair, or a bar going thru my bridge...but I think I should have been. I'll achieve full phrique status soon.

What’s your favorite piece? 
It'd be like picking a favorite kid really. My records on my forearms, my hand flames, my neck bombs. Top 3.

Do you catch people starring at you because of your ink? 
I always get stares, everywhere I go. I'm used to it now. The tattoos just made it more frequent. People arent afraid to come up and ask me questions almost daily. Where do you get your ink done? Did it hurt? When you fell from heaven? Etc.

In your opinion, do your tattoos change your mood often? 
They make me happy. Every time I look at them i'm glad they are there, I think of how boring my old skin used to look. I know my mood is definitely raised while getting ink done. I usually fall asleep or talk to my artist, but afterwards is like a high I can't explain.

What’s your most significant tattoo and why? 
I guess my knuckles. Being my first, and being my official "fucked for life" piece.  So many people tried to stop me. What will people think? What if you ever need a 9-5 job? What if you are in front of a judge? Etc. If I worried about any of the above, I have more problems to worry about than my ink.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get their first tattoo? 
Make sure you really want it. Draw it on yourself and see how you react to it for a week.  Don't just decide you want a tattoo and go in and pick something off the wall. That's pretty douchey. That being said, if you like something, fuck what I or anyone else thinks.

What is one thing that life has taught you? 

Will you be getting anymore? 
Many, many. I might even go for full head to toe someday.  In the near future, probably more sleeve work, probably bastardino on my rear forearm. Black candy bats and skull lollipops/cupcakes on my hands. A flaming 8ball on my side calf. I like to finish what I start. :D

Who does your ink? 
After having nightmares with other tattoo artists, I would bitch to my friend fahts. He got to hear how anal I was about symmetry/placement/them talking too much, etc. Then miraculously, he became a tattoo artist and is now my one and only. He hooks me up, I whore him out. He deserves it though, he's the only one I trust with my ink.

Do you have a favorite quote? 
Growing up is for quitters. -me

When life gives you lemons, use them to pelt the handicapped and elderly.

Anything else you would like to add? 
I would like to send a shout out to lil shayshay and bonquiqui  and them from 54th and crenshaw. 
E-stalk me on Myspace, Facebook, Twitter: /phrique :D