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Jason Jefferson - Living The Tatlyfe
Jason Jefferson says that his interest in art goes back to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, when he was eight-years-old and received his first encyclopedia set. Jason began drawing the pictures he would see inside the booksfull details and all. His mother was an influential part of Jason's penchant for art, as she is also a painter.
It was in Atlanta, GA, that Jason's transition to the art of tattooing took place after he witnessed a friend get a jacked-up tattoo in someone's basement. After hanging out in the underground shop for awhile, Jason was gifted a tattoo machinewhich he used to fix his friend's tattoo.

After figuring out that this might turn into a potential career for him, Jason sought out an apprenticeship, with no luck. "Sadly, I'm self-taught. I say 'sadly' because I wasted so many years scratchingand it's not like I didn't try to get a formal apprenticeshipbut all doors were slammed in my face because I really didn't have a strong art background that satisfied the shops I approached," he told us.

With quite some time in the tattooing biz under his belt, Jason opened up Tatlyfe Studios down in Savannah, Georgiathe first Black-owned-and-operated tattoo shop in the area. He and his wife, Aniya, run the shop together. At the moment, he is the sole artist in the shop, while Aniya takes care of the business end.

Even though Jason loves the classic, fine-line black and grey style of tattooingfor which he admires ink masters like Jose Lopez, Bob Tyrrell, Mister Cartoon, and Tony Olivashe tries not to pigeonhole himself into one specific genre of tattooing. He can pretty much handle any style reallyit all depends on what the client wants.

"Early on, I stuck to fine-line black and grey, then color work became important because my clientele changed," Jason told us, adding, "Nowadays, so many artists influence me and make me work harder. A lot of times before I start a piece I ask myself, 'What would Bob Tyrrell or Jose Lopez do?'"

When asked for some advice on how an up-and-coming artist can succeed in tattooing, Jason had this to say: "Have a strong art background and build it up by painting, drawing, and continuously developing your art skills. Never, ever just buy a tattoo kit online and start tattooing at home."

Tatlyfe Studios
1101 E Montgomery Xrd
Savannah, GA 31406
(912) 358-0251
Instagram: @Tatyfe_Studios

Article by Mannie Pendexter

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