Artist Spotlight: Jim Sylvia Of Unbreakable Tattoo

Tattoos are a big topic here on Buzznet, from sharing our inspirations for our next tattoo, highlighting our favorite musicians art work to sharing what the tattoos you have, really mean to you. My friend Jim Sylvia is a well respected tattoo artist here in Los Angeles and wanted to share his work with you all. Jim has traveled the world to tattoo all types of people as well as works in a shop here in LA. You may be familiar with his work on the UK boys in the band You Me At Six and he has won several awards at tattoo conventions throughout the country. Get to know Jim below and take a look at the gallery.

Name: Jim Sylvia

Tattoo Shop: Unbreakable Tattoo – Studio City CA

How many years of experience: Started to tattoo in 2001

What was your first tattoo you got: My first tattoo was some old black tribal on my back…. But they are about to be removed and covered up. Making room for bigger and better things.

What was the first tattoo you gave: I had to practice on my own leg first. I look at it every time I wear shorts and debate whether I should rework it or keep it as is.

What’s your favorite tattoo you’ve ever done: Come on, I can’t have a favorite. I have some pieces that I am a bit more proud of. Those are usually the ones that push to work harder and try new things. It’s a great feeling to complete something that was a bit challenging or new. I do however; have a tattoo from my favorite people in the world, my parents. They recently did a rad tattoo on my leg. They are not artists and have never even held a machine prior, needless to say its my favorite.

What do you specialize in (portrait, traditional, new school): I don’t feel like I specialize in one thing but there definitely is a certain way I execute every piece. I use very traditional methods of tattooing to do a modern twist on old school imagery. Some call that Neo-traditional.

Tattoo’s Do’s & Don’ts: DO Enjoy it, get tattoos of what you love and want, be sure to do your research and find the right artist. Be patient and don’t just get something half assed.

Are you an artist outside of tattoos? If so, where do you draw inspiration from for those pieces: I have always been creating art. I have been drawing since I can remember. I’ve worked in all mediums and studied fine arts in both high school and college. Unfortunately I rarely make time to paint or do much other art outside of tattooing. It consumes a lot of my time.

What’s the weirdest tattoo you’ve ever done: There are far too many to list. Any artist who’s been doing this for a while has certainly had some strange requests. I really enjoy doing the strange ones, it’s great to laugh and joke around. Not everything has to be serious and meaningful. Just have fun.

Advice to aspiring artists and shop owners: Advice hmmm, well the most clique thing to said would be to just work hard. It’s very true, hard work always pays off. When you put your all into something people appreciate that and respect the hustle.

You’ve traveled to other countries for work, do you prefer being on the road, or staying in your shop? I am very fortunate to travel a lot. I haven’t always been able to do so. It’s amazing to adventure all around the world and learn. It can also get a bit intense spending lots of time in airports and planes. Can be pain in the ass, literally. This past 6 months or so it’s been nice, I was able to just work everyday at the shop and it felt great. That’s all about to change soon though, lots of conventions coming up.

Follow Jim on Twitter & Instagram @JimSylviaTattoo

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