By Timothy Baldwin
Being a tattoo collector is not just a hobby that isdabbled in for a couple hours each week after work, like building ships inside a glass bottle, it is a lifestyle. It becomes an extension of one’s self and a reflection of qualities that define a person. With that said, Jinxi Caddel is the perfect shining testament to that proclamation. Just catch a glimpse of Jinxi and you will understand what I mean. And, lucky me (and you), I was privileged enough to borrow some of Jinxi’s time to get more than just a glimpse into how the tattoo community fits into this smiling collectors personality...
As you will find out, tattoos have become a part of Jinxi’s life just as much as she has become a part of the world of tattooing: pushing the boundaries of how one can give back to the tattoo community without actually being a tattooer. This is where passions melded, being a talented and enthusiastic writer, Jinxi manages to collaborate, construct, and choreograph the production of tattoo- and art-related books. You have most likely viewed a product of her work with books put out by Mike Devries’ Momento Publishing. Just keep reading to learn more about exciting new projects that have been and will be coming from Jinxi’s dedicated fingertips.
Now lets venture into the light and life that is Jinxi. I promise you will return with a brighter smile, new appreciation for the life changing effect tattoos can have on a person, and a desire to find your passion in life. Happy reading!
TB: What is your occupation?
J: I own Out of Step Books (www.OOSBooks.com) and we publish inspirational art and tattoo-related books. I write, edit, and curate book projects and love what I do!
TB: Where do youlive?
J: In Riverside, California.
TB: When was your first experience getting tattooed? Was it an overall positive experience?
J: My very first tattoo was a tiny little cherry on my right ankle. It has since been covered up with a portrait of one of my sons, but it was a very positive experience and was the very first glimpse into something that would become a true passion of mine, as well as a very important aspect of my life.
TB: What was the reason for getting that first tattoo? Does adding to your collection still have the same appeal now as it did in the beginning?
J: Well, when I was a teenager in high school, I remember seeing a girl at Disneyland with a Cheshire Cat tattoo on her back. I thought it was the dreamiest thing I had ever seen and I knew from that moment that I one day wanted ink of my own. It took me many years before I decided that I was ready to wear a tattoo and at the age of 30 is when I had that first piece done. It was a very liberating experience and I kept on adding to my collection and never looked back.
Adding to my tattoo collection now definitely still has the same appeal to me as it did in the beginning. It’s still a magical and amazing process to watch a part of your body transform into artwork that you will always wear. I have never taken that for granted and am truly still amazed each and every time I add something to my skin.
TB: Being that you waited until you were 30 to start getting tattooed, what were your family and friend’s reactions when that first tattoo quickly turned into a continuously growing collection?
J: I am guessing that this was probably a bit of a surprise at first, but everyone that is really important in my life was very accepting of it, hopefully because they knew me on the inside already. =) My husband also shares my love for tattoos and in those early years, we would trade off getting work done. Now he has kind of given me more of the “tattoo budget” between the two of us (LOL), but we both really appreciate and love the artform and the industry. My kids have always been very supportive and cute about appreciating my new work and I think that they dig having a tattooed mom. Funny enough, I’m not sure if any of them will ever be heavily tattooed themselves. This remains to be seen. Our daughter is almost 19 and has one small tattoo on her wrist, and our twin sons are almost 17 and neither of them really seem to have an “itch for ink” once they turn 18. We will see what happens as they get older. =)
TB: Does the overall experience of getting tattooed – i.e. artist personality/professionalism, studio environment, etc. – play a part in your choice of who you get tattooed by?
J: Oh my gosh, YES!! To me, the experience of getting tattooed is as much about that day, that experience, and the memories and association you have about the moments you spend in the tattoo chair, as it is about what artwork you decide to add to your collection. Each one of my tattoos takes me back to the memory of that day that I received it, and how I remember that time in my life.
Finding an artist who you click with and who appreciates being a part of this transformative experience is as important as how much you dig his or her work (to me, at least). It’s such an overall package and since it’s something that you look at, admire, and keep with you for your lifetime, I find that it is really important to have a positive association with the person who added such a timeless addition to your skin (and to your life).
TB: What attracts you to the style of tattoos on your body?
J: I have a pretty diverse array of styles of work on my skin. Lots of realism, but also a lot of text & script, cartoony work, lowbrow designs, and more. I think that I just love artwork in general and though I do go through phases where I am “into” one style for a while, I am always open to adding different genres and designs to my collection. It’s about the journey to me and that includes many different flairs of creativity to explore.
TB: Can you tell us a little bit about your collection thus far? Who are some familiar and not-so-familiar artists that you’ve been tattooed by?
J: Well, I have over 350 hours of work by Mike DeVries on my skin, so lots of my epidermal real estate has “Mike work” on it...but I also have an array of work by: Mike DeMasi, Eva Huber, Carson Hill, Aaron Funk, Craig Tidwell, Nate McManus, Marco, Paula Higgins Clark, and Sean O. Hill.
TB: Do you have a favorite tattoo?
J: Well, the portraits of my husband and kids are special to me, of course...but I think my favorite tattoos are the octopus piece on my throat/neck area by Mike DeVries, and the PMA (positive mental attitude) tattoo on my head by Eva Huber.
TB: Has your interest in tattoos given you a greater appreciation for other art forms, or vise-versa?
J: Oh yes, definitely!! I have always felt a true attachment to art in many forms, but the tattoo world opens your eyes up to the incredible possibilities of what can be done in various mediums. I mean, when you consider what a tattoo is and how it is created, it’s a pretty amazing concept. It makes you realize that diversity in the artworld and the potential for creativity in all sorts of genres is really possible.
TB: How does your current appearance have an effect on your daily life – if at all (i.e. socially, at work, etc.)? How do you feel about it?
J: I have been really lucky in this respect when it comes to my work. I have been a writer and editor working in the tattoo industry for the last six to seven years, so that has made what I look like easy when it comes to not “horrifying” my co-workers. Before that, I owned my own online business for many years, so again, I was extremely fortunate that I got to look the way that I wanted to and not have a boss tell me to cover up my ink.
In regards to everyday life and how I am perceived by society in general, that has been a learning and growing experience. Years ago, it would bother me when I would get the eye rolls and looks of disapproval, but as time has gone on, this has really become so unimportant to me. I have come to the realization that anyone who would not “approve” of me based on one glance and my outer appearance (without talking to me and knowing the kind of person I am on the inside) is definitely not someone who I would want as a part of my life anyway. It’s like a great barometer of character, I think. It weeds out the non-essentials quickly and shows you the people who care about what really matters.
TB: Was there a “breaking point” in which you decided to tattoo the parts of your body that couldn’t be covered up (i.e. hands, neck, head, face)? Or was it a natural progression as your canvas started filling up?
J: This was a natural progression for me. I sort of started with all of the easy-to-hide places first and then each one became more and more liberating to me. As I earned each tattoo, it became more important for me to be proud of them...so the more noticeable areas eventually got tattooed as I embarked on that whole journey. I think that this is a completely personal decision and that anyone should start wherever they feel like they want to wear a tattoo; but for me, I’m glad that I collected in these progressive stages because I think I acclimated my tattoo mindset to match with what was important in my life and how I saw myself evolving as a person.
**Stay tuned for Part 2 of Jinxi's interview.