Jeff Johnson has been tattooing professionally for eighteen years and is the co-owner of the Sea Tramp Tattoo Company, the oldest tattoo shop in Portland, Oregon. His first book, Tattoo Machine, is a behind-the-scenes tour of the fabled tattoo industry on the arm of a swashbuckling insider and natural-born storyteller.
In the eighteen years he’s been a tattoo artist, Jeff Johnson has worked on everyone from nervous young coeds who turn green at the sight of his needle (chudders) to cocky would-be artists with fancy design degrees and weak constitutions (night hogs). As the proprietor of the legendary Sea Tramp Tattoo Company, he’s inked gangbangers, age-defying moms, and sociopaths; he’s defused brawls, tended delicate egos, learned to spot and avoid bunnies, and made it his mission to perpetrate ingenious and awful practical jokes on his fellow Trojans. He’s a true swamp panther: He knows all the tricks of the trade and, more important, he knows how to keep his legendary shop in Portland, Oregon, from becoming the scene of a nightly bloodbath.
Discussing everything from his days as an apprentice to some of the greatest inkers in the trade to the incredibly vivid nightly spectacular over which he presides, Jeff Johnson has written a sometimes riotous, sometimes harrowing, and always riveting memoir about what it means to be on the front lines of a global art revolution.
Jeff has a book signing at 7:30 tonight at Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside.