I had the pleasure of being invited to cover the Sailor Jerry event at Chicago Tattooing this past Saturday. Chicago does not get the “event “ hype LA or NYC does, so it was great that the Midwest was represented as Sailor Jerry and Chicago have a unique history. The event was centered around original Sailor Jerry flash and the first 101 attendees were able to receive a free tattoo of the legend’s art. 101 being how old Sailor Jerry would have been, a birthday celebration, honoring him. The whole premise of this event was to reach folks that may not be able to get tattooed and giving it away.
I spoke to Nick Colella briefly before the controlled chaos of the Sailor Jerry event started. In the quick video Nick explains Sailor Jerry’s tie to Chicago. Chicago Tattooing is old school, in the best way, including being the oldest tattoo shop in our city. From the no frills this is what we do everyday philosophy to the vibe of the shop, it is a great way to experience the art of tattooing, especially for novices. The Sailor Jerry Rum staff contacted them about the event first in Chicago, as a nod to the shop itself and it’s long history in our windy city. At that point, the shop decided to break from the underground ways they usually keep and be in the spotlight.
I went to the event in the early part of the day, and it was apparent from the participants, most who lined up as early as 6 a.m. that a little snow, and a lot of cold does not affect hard core Chicago tattoo fans and artists. I was able to get the final results the next morning and it is pretty amazing, 101 tattoos done by 5:30 p.m.! The stellar crew did not want disappoint anyone though, so they continued tattooing the Jerry designs until the last person in line was taken care of- which ended up being 173 free tattoos total.
Chicago Tattooing and Piercing is located at 1017 W. Belmont Ave. Chicago, IL 60657
Go to the website, and look at their artists as the individual styles are well worth the viewing, and remember flash is available but custom is a shop favorite too. The experience level of the tattooists at this shop combined with the length of time they have been there is a statement in itself of quality and loyalty within itself. Dave, Nick and Mike are in the double digits with Mario, Matt and Josh all with 5+ years. Staff is listed below, thanks to all!
Owner: Dale Grande
Tattoo artists: Dave McNair, Nick Colella, Mike Dalton, Mario Desa, Matt Ziolko, Josh Howard.
Frank William has been filling in for a few months and was the 7th man at the event.
Support staff: Rudy Carrillo, Allison Attwood, Sarah Colella, CJ Heimberger, Brandon Heuser, Crumps