The Artist: Adam Paterson [NYC Feature]

Adam Paterson, JCTC, Jersey City Tattoo Company, Tattoo Artist, USA, NJ, New Jersey

It was Autum 11′ that I first met Adam. I was in NYC to work and was staying in downtown Jersey City. I wanted to get a tattoo and it being my first, I didn’t really know who or where I could get a great tattoo in that area. After doing my due diligence, I came across Jersey City Tattoo Company, read great reviews, took the plunge and contacted Adam. I sent Adam an email asking if he had available slots and the artwork that I wanted and his reply was, great artwork see you in 2 days. At that moment no one knew of my intentions to get a tattoo and doubts were filling my mind, am I sure of this decision?

Name: Adam Paterson

Profession: Owner and tattoo artist of Jersey City Tattoo Company

Instagram: @adampatersontattoo

Getting Started

Adam started tattooing between the years of 1995 / 1996, back when it was still illegal to tattoo in NYC . He got introduced to tattoos by his art school classmate, Deirdre. As Deidre has been tattooing for awhile at that point in time, she introduced Adam to a guy that sold tattoo supplies.

“I went with my girlfriend and we basically maxed out her credit card.”

As they both loved tattoos, they thought buying their own machine and doing tattoos on themselves were the cheapest and best ways to get more tattoos.

“This was one of the stupidest decisions that I have ever made in my life, it was wrong and i’ll advise anyone to never do that. All those tattoos that I did on others are horrible.”

Adam doesn’t attribute his mistakes to Deidre but without her, he would have never picked up tattooing and be where he is today, owning his own shop and being absolutely happy.

It wasn’t till about the year 2002 that he got an apprenticeship that taught him the real stuff.

Wondering what happened during the years in between, well, Adam was basically working full-time as a graphic designer for 5 years before getting laid off due to the twin towers disaster.

I would say that Adam was really meant to be a tattoo artist, during his time doing full-time graphic design, he had a friend that introduced him to a tattoo artist by the name of Leslie Adams who’s shop was located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. She offered him the opportunity to help out on the weekends and to learn tattooing but he declined the offer.

“That was the second stupidest decision that I have made in my life!! I can’t believe that i said NO!”

However, Adam wasn’t ready to commit to working at the tattoo shop. He was volunteering at a punk club in the Lower East Side on Saturdays and at a record store on Sundays. Both which he loved more at that point in time. It wasn’t till he was laid off that he started thinking about being a tattoo artist again and decided to give it another shop.

“I cycled to Greenpoint to find Leslie, full of excitement but all I got was an empty shop. She was no longer there.”

It was a heartbreaking experience for Adam, having lost the possibility of doing something that he truly liked but passed on it when he had the chance. Little did he know one and a half years later, while working at the retail side of Sacred Tattoo, New York that Leslie walked into the shop. It was that moment that he managed to seize, however the boss at where Leslie was working at rejected him as his works weren’t up to standard. But Leslie managed to convince him otherwise and took Adam and taught him. The rest is history.

ASH_9023-Adam Paterson Lo Res Adam’s workstation in Jersey City Tattoo Company.
ASH_9026-Adam Paterson Lo Res

Style

Adam’s style of tattooing has been heavily influenced by works of the late 80′ / early 90’s traditional works. Being brought up during the less connected and popular time of tattoos, Adam was trained to handle every kind of tattoo. This he believes, had built a strong foundation for himself. With his current location, Adam thanks his tattoo upbringing, as compared to Brooklyn, tattoo flash isn’t as popular and thus his versatility has allowed me to do more tattoos in this area.

“I’m a strong lover of traditional and Japanese styles and I especially love to tattoo them. However, if I do use a flash, I usually modify it to give it more details, that’s my style.”

Apart from tattooing, Adam always loved music, Adam has been in a band all his life. The first being “Bookslide” together with fellow tattoo artist Myles Karr of 3 Kings Tattoo, Brooklyn and now in a country band called The Money Shot. Other than music, Adam also has a passion to collect tattoo machines. Which he taught me more about and the different kinds that are out there.

ASH_9037-Adam Paterson Lo Res copy Adam’s collection of tattoo machines.

You would have been able to make a guess by now that I did make the decision to get my first tattoo and that’s how I met Adam. Personally, if it was not for that decision and the great experience of being tattooed, I wouldn’t have been so into tattoos. Therefore, THANK YOU Adam for the experience and for your time to do this interview. Till next time then!

By,

Ash

The Tattoo Treasury

Comments
One Response to “The Artist: Adam Paterson [NYC Feature]”
  1. hotbod420 says:

    Adam is the shit. Hands down. Not hands into shit… Just hands down. Adams the man. Sweetest, most handsome dude that’s tattooed me. His blood type is DEFINKTELY ink. Rock on

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