My name is Jon Whitman and I started drawing at an early age working with my father Maurice Whitman, comic artist for DC Comics, Charlton Comics, and Fiction House along with many other publishing companies.
Most of my formal art training came from my dad and my enrollment in the School of Art & Design, NYC and the NY Art Students League of Lower Manhattan. At the age of 15, I lost most of my left hand in a 4th of July explosives accident. I was always interested in tattooing, though I knew with one hand I would have many hurdles to overcome to become the best tattoo artist I could be. My first tattoos were done at Big Joe Kaplan's where I hung around and was getting tattooed at with my older brother. The earliest influences on me were the crew of Big Joe, Zeke Owen who did my first tattoo, and Louie Lombi. At the age of 16, my father knew that tattooing was going to be my niche in life, and he often took me out of the city to visit Huck Spaulding MFG in Vorheesville, NY where I first met Huck Spaulding and Paul Rogers who were incredibly welcoming and helpful to me through that time. When I then moved to CT my father knew a tattoo artist in New Haven, who owned The Illustrated Man, Peggy Spargo, who took me on as an apprentice. I soon went on to open my first tattoo studio, Irezumi Designs, and we then expanded to open up two more shops, Bare Necessities and Murder Ink.
After becoming ill with diabetes, I closed my shops in Connecticut and moved to Vermont where I went to Mountainside Tattoo in Bellows Falls, VT. After two years of being with Mountainside and brushing up on some new-school ways of tattooing, I trained Rachel Brown, a very talented artist, who then went on to open Strange Brew Tattoo in Brattleboro, VT. While I still have a deep love for old-school tattooing, I am now enjoying the opportunity to expand my knowledge of new styles of tattooing. Being old-school, and loving traditional tattooing, Sailor Jerry, Lyle Tuttle, and Zeke Owens are icons I look up to. I also have specialty experience in the field of cosmetic and surgical reconstructive tattooing; I am licensed and I still perform this service under the supervision of Dr. Joel B. Singer of Imperial Plastic Surgery in Westport, CT.
Growing up in the green mountains of Southern Vermont, I have had a strong love for nature since childhood and grew up spending time exploring that love of nature through creativity. Born in Boston, MA I enjoyed visits to to the museums from a very early age with my mother who nurtured what she saw in me. My love for art began with my eyes first opening to VanGogh, Jean-Michel Basquiat, DalÍ, Frida Kahlo; artists who still remain muses today.
An ongoing value and enthusiasm for history and underground art later on in my teens propelled my attraction to the world of tattooing, which I was first introduced to as a kid flipping through my oldest brother's copy of Spider Webb's "Pushing Ink."
After graduating Arlington Memorial High School, I attended Parsons The New School for Design in NYC. Tattooing remained an irresistable attraction, so I chose to leave school to gratefully pursue a formal apprenticeship in my home state of VT. I begain my apprenticeship in 2011 with Jon Whitman, a tattooist and body piercer of over 40 years who taught me the procedures, artistry, and history of the craft. From Jon's generation of peers, I have been very fortunate to soak up all the information I have been graciously mentored with and respect this great tradition I get to belong to. I hope to treat tattooing over my lifetime as well as it has treated me so far.
Beyond tattooing, I enjoy making visual art in other mediums, especially oil painting. My paintings are a departure from steadfast tattoo traditions, and I'm happy to have that variety in what I create. My favorite tattoo to do is whatever is asked of me, applying it with my best quality each time and providing a positive experience to remember well!