Jack Rudy: A Tattoo Legend

Tuesday 10th of February 2009 07:52:16 AM [Add To This Article]

Jack Rudy is a well known and respected American tattoo artist. He began his working career in the Marines. However, his time in the military ended in the year of 1975. The first thing he did when he was finished with his profession with the Marines was to start as a tattoo apprentice. His tattoo apprenticeship began at a place called Goodtime Charlie's Tattooland. Goodtime Charlies Tattooland was a tattoo parlor located in East Los Angeles and had a reputation for producing quality and artistic tattoos. Many soldiers would travel there to get snake tattoos, dragon tattoos and traditional military tattoos. In addition, their low rider tattoos were incredibly popular as well, most likely due to the location of the tattoo shop in East Los Angeles. The tattoo shops owner, Charlie Cartwright, was a good friend of Rudy's from Marine boot camp. During their time tattooing together, both Rudy and Charlie excelled as artists. They both began to hone not only their artistic ability when it came to creating beautifully done colored and black and great tattoos, but they created a brand new method of tattooing. While others were still doing traditional multi-needle tattoos, the two were doing black and gray style tattoos with a single needle. At first, they began to create these new and innovative tattoos just for fun. However, as they began to hone their skills at these incredibly detailed black and gray tattoos, the client base who was requesting this particular type of tattoo grew. Before they knew it, there were people lining up outside of their door to see what the single needle tattoos looked like, hoping to get an appointment to get one themselves.

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The particular type of tattoo style Rudy and Charlie produced became known as a "Penitentiary-Style" tattoo. In fact, those who were fresh out of prison often stopped by to get a single needle tattoo and those in prison were often those who had recently acquired one from Rudy or Charlie. As these tattoos became more and more popular, Rudy and Charlie decided to create a single-needle tattoo machine to assist in creating them in an easier method. As the machine was developed and as Jack Rudy and Charlie Cartwright began to do more of these black and gray tattoos, they became even more popular as artists in the tattoo industry. This was due to the throw back look of their new styles to old fashioned jail or penitentiary tattoos. The styles were very simple and easy to mimic, which appealed to many tattoo enthusiasts. As these tattoos became more popular, Rudy became one of the most popular tattoo artists in the country. In fact, he is currently known as the forefather of this black and gray style. Not only are the tattoos he does in this style simple in design, they are also considered to be realistic. With his single needle style he often does portraits and other realistic tattoos. The single needle allows him to tattoo fine details onto the skin, creating incredibly realistic photos on the skin.

Jack Rudy is known as one of the greatest American tattoo artists of all time. He is currently known as one of the people responsible for the reinvention of the black and gray single needle style of tattooing. He is also known for doing realistic portraits and other fine line tattoo work. Other tattoo artists in the industry look up to him and often try to replicate his fine line work. In addition, Jack Rudy is also the president of Beatnik's Car Club. The organization is a car club in Los Angeles which requires its members to have hot rods from the 1950s. Most members also are heavily inked, with lots of tattoos. He now is an owner of Tattooland, an old school street shop which is located in Anaheim, California. He enjoys spending his time within his artistry as well as focusing on hot rod cars. Jack Rudy does tattoos from Tattooland and continues to perfect and work on his black and gray signature tattoo, with a single needle. The waiting list to be tattooed by Rudy is incredibly long with most customers desiring a genuine portrait tattoo from the portrait king himself. There are few artists today who can replicate Jack Rudys fine line tattoo work and portrait work. While artists like Kat Von D and others are incredibly talented at fine line portrait work as well, they too look up to tattoo greats like Jack Rudy and hope to one day be as respected as he within the tattoo industry.

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