I am very happy to introduce you a very special person: Jinxi Caddel, one of the women who inspired me along the path and showed me the beauty of Tattoo Art when I was only a kid.
Would you define yourself a tattoo enthusiast? What does it mean to you?
I would definitely consider myself a tattoo enthusiast. The tattoo world is family to me and has brought so much happiness and inspiration into my life. I feel lucky to have collected tattoos on my own skin, but even greater than that, I am thrilled to have found a home in such a creative field. I am inspired by not only the art associated with tattooing but with the comradery and family that I have found through being a part of it.
What first drew you in the tattoo world?
When I was 16 years old, I saw a girl at Disneyland with a Cheshire Cat tattoo on her back. I thought that it was the dreamiest thing I had ever seen and I knew from that moment that I wanted a tattoo as well. It took me almost 10 years until I dove into the commitment and got my first tattoo, which was a few years after my twin boys were born and three years after my daughter was born. I started with a small tattoo on my ankle and from that point on, I was hooked.
Tell me about your first tattoo..and your last one! What is the difference between your past and your present?
My first tattoo was a cherry that was inked on my ankle. It has since been covered up, the memory of that day and the meaning that it had in my life was monumental. I loved everything about adding treasures to your skin when I got that small first piece and I have only continued to grow fonder of the process and the craft as the years have gone on. My most recent tattoos were a Descendents (the band) inspired tattoo of Milo (the lead singer of the Descendents) that says ‘We Must Read’ below Milo’s image and it was tattooed by my friend Ryan Breceda, who was the perfect artist for the piece because he shares my love for punk music and my passion for books. In addition, the same month that I got the Milo tattoo, I was lucky enough to start working with my friend Jesso Lange who created a gorgeous Harpie design for my left arm that is covering up very old work that I got 18 years ago. She outlined the piece in incredible detail and we hope to finish it next year. I love both tattoos so much!
You are an amazing person, with a beautiful tattoo collection, a lovely family and a great profession. How do you see yourself?
Oh my goodness, you are too kind! Thank you for such lovely words. I appreciate them very much. I see myself as a very lucky person, honestly. I can’t believe that I am fortunate to have found my soulmate, Steve, at such an early age (he was 19 and I was 21 when we got married) and that we were able to start our lives together so long ago. We will have been married 24 years this December and we have three amazing children who are now all adults and doing fantastic things in school and work that we are so proud of.
I also feel incredibly lucky to be creating and publishing books, because they are one of my true passions in life and getting to focus on art-inspired projects is like a dream come true. In addition, I get to work with the most amazing people…artists who inspire me every day with the tattoos and artwork that they create. It’s seriously like a dream job and I am grateful for it each day that I sit down at my desk to work.
What’s it like to be a tattooed mum and woman?
Throughout the years, while our kids were growing up, it was oftentimes challenging to be the only tattooed mom at school events. Sometimes people were cool about it, but sometimes they were judgmental. I tried really hard to just use those opportunities as times to be kind and hopefully share a lesson that just because you look different doesn’t mean that you aren’t a good person or mom. My kids were always very supportive of my tattoos and were such awesome kids that they made it easy to just focus on being there for them. Nowadays, things are changing and there are more tattooed parents that I observe and hopefully they are not alienated for their artistic choices. I think the most important thing to focus on is being there for your kids, supporting them, and being the best parent that you know how to be. My husband has a Dr. Seuss quote tattooed on his arm that pretty much sums up my thoughts on this. It reads: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
What do you think about modern tattoo society and the constant evolution we are taking part of?
I think that we are living in an incredibly exciting time when it comes to tattooing. I am blown away each and every day by the talent out there and the very hard work that tattooists are putting in to continue to raise the bar. I love that tattooed people are becoming more mainstream and accepted. I think it’s a positive thing and I am happy to be a part of the tattoo family. I’m excited to see how the craft continues to evolve, grow, and inspire.
What advice would you give to the youngest tattoo collectors?
I think that everyone’s tattoo journey is different, so what might have worked for me might not be ideal for someone else…but my main advice is to follow your heart. Be mindful and thoughtful of the artwork that you commit to wearing for the rest of your life. Take the time to find an artist that truly fits your vision and that you know will give you a stellar tattoo and care about not only the work that they are creating, but the experience of tattooing it. The memories of a tattoo can live with you forever…not only the artwork you wear, but the meaning behind that day, the feelings that you felt while in the chair, and the notion that lives on every time you look at it. Make the most of the entire experience…from start to finish. It’s an incredible ride!
Tell us more about Out of Step Books! How did it all begin?
After writing for tattoo magazines for nearly a decade and working in the publishing field for many years, my husband and I decided to start Out of Step Books in 2011 to honor the artists, enthusiasts, and collectors within that creative world that we felt so lucky to have as readers. We are also very committed to arts education and wanted to create a publishing model that gave back to the art world, so we started our Arts Education Charity program where we donate a percentage of all book sales and 100% of profits from our Artists Print Series to art classrooms who are struggling to buy all of the art supplies that they need to keep their programs running. We work with Donors Choose to find teachers who are requesting aid and we are thrilled to have helped 149 classrooms (to date) get the art supplies that they need. It’s a fantastic circle of creativity that gets to flow between the artists in our books and the young artists coming up in the world who want to create.
Who/What inspires you along your journey?
The artists that I get to work with inspire me each and every day. They make every book fun and exciting and I love watching the artwork come in whenever we put out a “call for art.” It’s an amazing journey and I feel so lucky. I am also always inspired by my family and their love and support. That’s what life is all about!
Which are your favourite books?
Some of my favorite books are: 1984, Infinite Jest, Days of War Nights of Love, Walden, The Stranger, The Master and Margarita, Leaves of Grass, Carmilla, People’s History of the United States, and the Sherlock Holmes series. I LOVE to read! Love, love, love it!!
Someone once told me: both beautiful and bad tattoos will be regretted on day, if done without awareness. Do you agree?
I do agree with that. I have both beautiful and bad tattoos and I love some of the bad tattoos and regret some of the beautiful ones (go figure – LOL). But awareness is definitely key! As I wrote about above, I think that there are so many factors that go into making this long-term commitment and finding the balance between your heart and your smarts is very important when entering into this responsibility.
What does the word ‘commitment’ mean to you?
‘Commitment’ means dedication and devotedness to me.
What are your future plans?
I hope to continue to create books and publish the works of the artists who inspire me. My husband and I recently bought a home in Oregon that we look forward to moving to and enjoying in a year or so. We love to hike, camp, and explore, and Oregon is our dream spot for getting to do those activities. I hope to find time to work on my own art and also continue to read as much as I can. One of my favorite quotes is a lyric from the song ‘Rise Up’ by Cursive and it sums up my feelings on life. It reads, “Rise up, live life, dance, scream, love!”