As a young kid growing up in the small town of Belle Vernon, PA, an old mill town surrounded by mountains and rivers south of Pittsburgh, Jake was instantly drawn into the thriving music and skate culture that would ultimately take hold of his life and give him an outlet to speak his voice.
"My friends and I were from a backwards farmland trying to make it in the city scene. Not only were opportunities and resources limited, but the small town mentality we were surrounded by made our dreams into a far cry from our actual potential. There was a handful of local music acts surrounding Belle Vernon (Punchline, Five O'clock Charlie, and Gene the Werewolf) who helped me grow as a young artist and made me see the possibilities of my art and music."
While developing his art as a hobby and pursuing his music professionally, Jake was introduced into the tattoo community through mutual connections he and his band (The Spiffies) had made during the pursuit of their career.
"I was absolutely intoxicated by tattooing from the first time I walked into a shop with one of my best friends, Zachary Santoro (who would ultimately be the one to push me to become a tattoo artist). I was a nerdy college student studying chemistry. My buddy was super into body modification and I joined him to go get his nose pierced. I look back at that situation from years later and it really blows my mind that such a simple thing could have influenced the rest of my life in the way that it did."
Along side his family at Black Star Tattoo in Belle Vernon, PA, Jake strives to provide the best possible service for his clients while focusing on positive energy, passion, and artistic integrity.
"My people are my life. I am truly blessed and humbled by the love I've been shown with my tattooing. I consider my clients my family. I was raised to treat others the way I would like to be treated so I make it a point to welcome everyone into my tattoo family."