IMG_20160430_121805     Internet, meet Erika Jo Smith.

I know what you’re thinking…that I made it easy on myself and focused on an artist I work with every day, right?  You’re thinking I spared myself a few calories and just sort of “phoned this one in,” no?  Well, no.  Not exactly.  I submitted her to the same process that I will be using throughout this series.  Almost formal…not very romantic.  Kind of like awkward prom-date handies.  Just awful.

They say that dynamite comes in small packages.  If you are someone who has the pleasure of knowing Erika Jo, then you can fully agree.  There are many newer artists out there, slugging away in the trenches, pushing to establish their brand.  However, it is this artist’s opinion that Erika Jo probably pushes herself to new heights artistically and professionally with no small amount of demonic fervor.  Being newer on the scene, Erika stands at the crest of a mountain, flag in hand, ready to claim her place.

IMG_20160430_121837     Born in Tucson in 1990, Erika Jo was raised right here in the Old Pueblo.  She’s been a bit of a social butterfly, and was drawn to the bright lights and surprises of the tattoo industry.  After spending some time around the motley assortment of colors, styles and designs (and that was just the people…) she began to feel a calling.  If you are an artist, you know this feeling.  If not, just drink a lot and try to forget your reduced value to the universe.  (Joking.)

Being a newer artist on the scene, Erika has not fallen victim to the pigeon-hole trap that plagues our industry.  Her artistic range is all over the board.  While still sailing the seas of tattoo frontiers, Erika Jo has found that she loves doing realism tattooing.

When asked, she responded, “Because I’m so new, I haven’t fully explored tattooing.  It’s hard to say if I have a favorite.  I try to be versatile.”  Indeed, she is.

Screenshot_2016-04-30-12-16-22 As influences in tattooing go, Erika keeps her heart close to home.  She cites tremendous influence from the artists that she works with every day.  For those with goldfish memory, that’s Kevin Patrick, Tony 4-Fingers, Jake Kloos and Ken Sprague.  Subtracting my own name from that equation (so as not to be a narcissist) that is one DEEP talent pool to have in your corner.  To say Erika has all the opportunities for success is an understatement.  She also lists heavy influence from Lindsey Dorman, another absolutely amazing tattoo artist from our neck of the desert whose talent is surpassed only by her humility.

When I asked Erika Jo what she would consider to be her greatest strength as an artist, her response was pure class.

“My greatest strength as a tattoo artist is the team I’m a part of.  Our drive to do great tattoos and grow together as a shop.”  Well said, lady.  Well said.

Outside of tattooing, Erika enjoys expressing her art in other mediums.  Oil painting, graphite work, and Prismacolor art are just a few of her favorite outlets.  She would LOVE to learn to airbrush, so if you know someone…

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One thought on “Spotlight #1. Meet Erika Jo!

  1. Molly Norman 5 years ago

    Erika does great work. I’m extremely happy with my tattoos. Planning on seeing more of her work on me. Thank you Erika