Jason Greenfield @ 723 Tattoo
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Tattoo Artist & Owner
723 S Harbor Blvd
Fullerton, CA 92832
MI: You’ve been tattooing for 16 years and you’re only in your early 30s?
Jason: It’ll be 17 years come April 9th. I started at age 13, and I was tattooing professionally when I was 15. I was born and raised in Oklahoma on an Indian reservation where tattooing was illegal. I did everything underground for that reason, and also because nobody wanted to each someone that young. I had a full ride scholarship to OSU, and originally, I went to school to be an architect. I was 19, making $60K a year. At that age, you’re like “fuck that,” so I dropped out of college.
MI: So you took the more comfortable lifestyle you were offered and you never looked back?
Jason: That’s right, and I have no regrets. I’ve been featured in High Times magazine, Tattoo magazine, and I have a slew of awards from tattoo conventions: 1st place for Best Oriental in San Francisco in August 2007, 2nd place Full Leg in March 2008 in Reno, Nevada, recently, Best Back in San Francisco in March 2009…
MI: How would you describe your style?
Jason: Being self-taught, no one ever indoctrinated a style in me. Most tattoo artists start by doing an apprenticeship, and they learn the style of whoever they’re apprenticing under.
MI: I can see that from looking through your portfolio that your style is hard to define.
Jason: I like doing Japanese traditional because there are so many different things you can do. Whatever the client wants is my style.
MI: When did you come out to California and where else have you tattooed?
Jason: I’ve tattooed in so many places, from Japan to Key Largo, from Rhode Island to Seattle, and now Los Angeles.
MI: Why did you move around so much?
Jason: Tattooing is the hardest industry to get into. Without an apprenticeship, people don’t take you seriously. I had to travel around and teach myself, but I came up quick. I went from living in my truck to buying a new vehicle and new equipment, it was that sudden.
MI: Tell us the back stories of your most interesting tattoos.
Jason: I did a tattoo of Satan’s face on a woman’s crotch, and her pussy was his mouth. The back story is that there was a picture in the shop of a pussy with the tongue of Satan drawn on it, and as a joke, I put it up with “free tattoo of the day.” One day this woman came in and she totally called me on it! It was a joke, and she took it! And oh my god it was so gross.
MI: You mean her pussy?
Jason: I’m still in counseling over that tattoo.
MI: What about the gecko?
Jason: A guy got paid $10K from Geico to get that tattoo. He basically auctioned off his skin on eBay. He also got paid by Golden Palace casino to get a tattoo.
MI: What’s this crazy abstract one all over someone’s arm?
Jason: The guy who got that builds rock crawlers. It’s like a glorified jeep and it has crazy suspension. They got roll cages they’re really big in California. What you see there is the fuel filter, dry shaft, radiator, spark plug…
MI: I like this skull on the hand with the swirls–what is this, the ribcage?
Jason: See on the underside there’s a girl all tangled up? That represents his internal battle with women. I want to mention one last one: the microphone stand that was designed by the Swiss artist H. R. Giger for Jonathan Davis. If you see Korn live, he uses these microphone stands and they’re like $150K each. The story is that I saw the stand at his house and tattooed it on his cousin.
MI: Love it! Maybe you can do a version for the Design Contest? Whatever you decide to submit, we’ll do a part 2 of the interview so you can explain your designs. Thanks!