There are many things, places, and people in life that can bring nostalgia to a person. A person can feel a sense of sentiment through a stuffed animal they used to sleep with as a child. For Jason Kramer, that nostalgia comes from his tattoos.
Jason Kramer is a 21-year-old Asteelflash worker who used to live in Mt. Laurel, NJ but who now lives in Owego, NY. With four tattoos and counting, Jason’s love for tattoos is inspired by events that have happened in his lifetime. I was able to catch up with him this week to talk about his current tattoos and his plans for more ink.
Q: What are your tattoos and why did you decide to get them?
A: I have a Glassjaw tattoo, a skull, “the blood of thine enemies” tattooed on my back and a surgeon cutting my flesh on my ribs. Glassjaw is my favorite band of all time and the tattoo reminds me of growing up. I was really into that band when I was 17 and 18 and they kinda changed my life. I know it sounds lame, but every time I see it I smile and it reminds me of a lot of drunk nights in my friend Ronnie’s car. The skull was to remind me how death is around every turn. I felt particularly depressed because someone close to me died. So the skull is to remember that death will always be with you. It changes you. Days are a little less bright when all the good stars burn out. “The blood of thine enemies” is to remember i am only as good as what pumps in the heart of the things i hate and the surgeon is to remind me there is always something underneath the skin.
Q: When did you get your tattoos and who did them?
A: Well my first two tattoos (the Glassjaw tat and the skull) were done in a kitchen by my friend Dan and my friend Philly. The surgeon was done by Tattoo Mary at Owego Tattoo in Owego, NY. “The blood of thine enemies” was done in my friend Roger’s house but he has a
studio he runs out of his home. I got my first tat when I was 17, my second one when I was 19,and my last two this year. I’m getting my chest done in a month.
Q: How long did they take to complete and how painful were they?
A: The glass jaw and the skull took about 20 minutes each, the surgeon took about three hours, and “the blood of thine enemies” took four hours. Well at first on a scale of 1-10 they were about a 2 but when i hit hour three it started to hurt badly. The surgeon on my ribs hurt like hell when I hit hour three. After that, I started sweating from the pain.
Q: What is your next tattoo going going to be?
A: I’m going to get the album art work for “On My Shield” by the band Converge on my whole chest because of the lyrics “all of our pain is worth it together we fall apart, as love’s war rages on.” Love will always be a fight but its always worth it no matter how many nights you spend on an empty bed.
Q: Has your opinion changed about them and how do other people react?
A: Well my friends think my tattoos are awesome and girls think they’re sexy so I can’t complain. I have all of them are on my chest
and back and ribs so no one can really see them but whoever can is usually accepting. My opinion hasn’t changed about them really. Each one means something to me, even if it looks like it got done in a kitchen. Each tattoo is a badge of pride for me. Each one is very special to me and carry a lot of “sentimental” value. I got each one for particular events in my life, each one reminds me of someone or some period of my life and the events that drove me to get tattoos.