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Daily Inspiration: Meet Jayna Won

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jayna Won.

Hi Jayna, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I am a 23 years old tattooer in Los Angeles, California. I started tattooing five years ago when I was in college. I was tattooing in my dorm room for about $20 a piece for a while with no desire to pursue this field professionally. I ended up tattooing all through college slowly falling in love with my process. In my senior year of college, I rented my first studio with the LA tattooer Pix Leduke. We ended up inviting Sabrina Drescher to work with us and that’s when the conversation about Angel Kisses Studio started. We saw so much within the tattoo community that we didn’t agree with; I felt as though black and brown tattooers and clients deserved more space within the industry and she felt as though all bodies needed respect that oftentimes isn’t given in a lot of tattoo shops. We became aligned in our vision for what our space would be, and Sabrina and I birthed our studio that opened in January 2021. We now are working out of a space that has a team entirely made up of queer/female/POC artists. This is something we invited in, but our space is really for anyone who wants to work in a safe uplifting environment Tattooing for me is healing. It’s a connection I have to each person I work with and I treat each piece like an honor and a responsibility to respect whoever I am tattooing. I chose to stick with handpoking because I find the process to be uniquely beautiful and intimate. Today my outlook on what it means to be a tattooer I’d different than how it started. This is something that builds a community and brings joy, healing, and happiness if you let it.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has been a bumpy and hard one but every step taught me to appreciate where I am now. I don’t have any black tattooers that I knew personally to learn from so I felt pretty different when I started. I also am very young, I didn’t have a formal apprenticeship and I handpoke. These are all things older and more traditional artists weren’t very fond of so that was a bit of a struggle for me.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I specialize in hand poke tattooing. I’d say that people know me for the way that I tattoo. I am most proud of the technique that I’ve developed. Tattooing has become something that is second nature to me and my relationship with skin is more intimate than it ever has been. I’m not sure what would set me apart from other tattoo artist I think that we’re all different but we all have a love for what we do that is pretty similar

Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
A risk that later was being underground for so long. And I also Took risks on Apprentices says that I took early on in my career before I was ready and before I knew how much responsibility and how much work that was. I think the biggest risk that I took was opening a shop during the pandemic. And I think that it was the best decision I ever made. Taking risks for yourself are always worth it to me because I believe that Success are failure or just results of what is and isn’t working so you really can’t feel.

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Image Credits:

All images were taken by Paris Helena.

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