How is Jordan Feno?
I am a diehard tattoo collector who has been in the game for close to seven years now. I have collected over 400 hours of work from about 30 artists so far. My collection includes work from Nikko Hurtado, Boris, Denis Sivak, Kyle Cotterman, Ryan Evans, David Vega, Robby Latos, Michael Perry, Matt Jordan, Jak Connolly, Orks, Stefano Alcantara, Isaac Roman, Josh Hagan, Fred Tattoo, Daniel Rocha, Vetoe, Cecil Porter, Vic Vivid, and more. My main goal here is to inspire and assist as many people as possible to collecting work that will literally improve their lives by adding happiness and excitement.
When did you start to get tattooed and why?
I started to get tattooed when I was 16. I know tattooing has become pretty mainstream nowadays but back when I started seven years ago it was still somewhat rare. I always felt like a black sheep anyways, so I started getting worked on to increase my individuality. But since then I have fallen head over heels in love with this art form and all the exciting possibilities.
I have learned that the best friend you can have in the tattoo collecting game is patience, poise and discretion.
Why did you choose those artists? Could you tell us more about your collection and what each piece represents for you?
I chose artists in my collection that all tattoo with the healed product in mind and who all have relatively similar styles so that I could get the overall feel of cohesion in my collection. Half of the work I have was free rein, meaning just simply artistic freedom, pieces that don’t necessarily have much meaning but are always open to your own interpretation. The elephant I have symbolizes the amazing memory I’ve been blessed with as well as the kindness I strive to attain. I have my parents’ portraits as well as my grandmother’s who doesn’t have much time left, unfortunately. I have a gorilla to represent protection and aggression in the right aspects. I have David and Goliath to represent being counted out in life but keeping that chip on my shoulder. I have pieces symbolizing my faith which I have always been interested in although I am a very flawed human. My hands to me mean life and death, reminding me that our time here is precious but temporary.
Who do you admire, in art and in life?
I admire people close to me who get cooler and cooler the more I get to know details about them. I have made friends with some individuals who have high life statuses and who are high profile, and although some of them are very very amazing with impressive layers to themselves, plenty of them also get way less cool the more you get to know them and how some of them treat the common folks. I love when I catch someone close to me doing something incredible without looking for any praise for the action. I respect humility which, despite my perceived internet persona at times, I really do work on every day, I respect when people are confident enough and self-secure enough to admit their own bullshit and fix it. I respect curiosity and frequent question askers and strong hunger to learn and grow.
I respect when people have shitty ass situations but are able to turn them upside down somehow and consistently stay on the bright side.
What is “LeadtheFollowers”? Tell us more about your awesome platform…
“Lead The Followers” is a brand I started back in 2013 that originated as a clothing company and has now expanded into an entertainment website which drops soon that is built for fellow Realism tattoo lovers like myself. “The mission is to inspire and assist as many people into collecting Realism tattoos they are proud to walk around with for the rest of their lives, and to entertain folks with content we curate ourselves, fixated on this genre of tattooing. I hope to expand it into the largest online tattoo retail store on the planet, and have a lot in the works which will be revealed over time”.
Do you think your roots influenced your collection?
My roots definitely did influence my collection, even though only two of my family members (my cousin and aunt) really have tattoos. My family has a lot of faith in Jesus and I grew up all around the church and have always been interested in it which is why many of my pieces are faith related. My mom and dad have always hated tattoos, but since I started collecting, I influenced my mother to get a few small ones on her wrist and am currently trying to convince my dad to get something for his faith. Half of my collection is sentimental.
Which is you fav style in the Art of tattooing? And the most inspirational for you?
Realistic tattoos will always have my heart. I respect other styles but am honestly not very knowledgable about them at all. Realistic tattoos are my obsession and I know way too much about them and the artists in this genre for my own good (laughs).
What do think about tattoo nowadays? Is tattoo a trend or a way of life?
Tattooing is definitely a way of life. When you become heavily tattooed or even just tattooed in a visible place, you are signing up for everyone you cross paths with to now look at you differently, for better or for worse. I have met a countless amount of individuals throughout the years, simply because they had a reason to approach me because of my work.
I am sure my art has also filtered out plenty of judgmental individuals who don’t belong in my life anyways.
How much time have you taken to have your entire collection?
My entire collection under the needle is well over 400 hours now, not including all the time I spent waiting in lobbies, taking breaks, travelling on airplanes, driving, etc. I can’t imagine how much time overall, but I’ve definitely given this hobby everything I have and more.
What do you think about social media in the tattoo world?
I think social media is beautiful and sad and lonely all at the same time. I think it’s so beautiful because I have met so many friends in the tattoo world, I have connected with so many artists and been exposed to so many profiles that I’m able to select my favourites from and seek them out to collect from, and I’ve been able to build a community on my profiles who share similar interests. I think it is also disgusting because of the fact that so many people like to say hurtful things and hide behind keyboards, which almost always roots from their own unhappiness and insecurities. I think it can be lonely because now that I have a following on here, I have noticed many of my old friends stopped reaching out to me and there usually aren’t many conversations with them unless I initiate. It is a dangerous world and I like to remind myself and others how healthy it is for our minds and bodies to disconnect at times.
Which is your fav tattoo show?
My favorite is definitely Golden State, I have collected a lot of amazing work and memories there since I started going in 2017 and I plan on attending every year.
Nowadays you can find a lot of different styles on the tattoo scene but what’s styles do you think will never die?
I think Realism will never die, and I think Traditional will never die. It’s crazy seeing certain styles get popular nowadays such as tattoos that are intentionally meant to look like prison work (laughs).
Have you any new pieces planned at the moment?
I am about to start removing two large new pieces, one on my side and one on my leg, so I can make room for intensely detailed Black and Grey work from my bucket list artists. I am also about to get two massive sessions in with Matt Jordan this Summer to finish up my back. I have made a countless amount of errors in my eyes during my bodysuit journey, plenty of them which have been fixed and plenty of them that still need to be situated in due time.
What is the art of tattooing for you?
Tattooing is everything for me. I fell head over heels in love with this art form and wish so badly that I had five bodies to cover with tattoos because there are so many artists I’d still love to collect from but I am so low on space. I will never stop working on my bodysuit though and adding layers.
This passion of mine grows stronger and stronger every day, every amazing piece I see online and in person when I’m lucky enough.
My main goal in tattoo collecting is to build a complete and cohesive Black and Grey Realism and Surrealism collection that flows properly together as a unit and that includes work from my favourite artists on the planet.
What do you think about lasers… remove or leave the history on the skin?
I love love love the idea of laser. I love the permanence tattoos have but I also love so dearly the fact that although it is a long mission to remove and redo, it is very possible to completely switch directions if something is causing you unhappiness. This is just the way the world is heading and I am so amazed that I was able to literally remove my whole arm and start fresh, then end up having my dream tattoo sleeve from one of the best humans to ever touch a tattoo machine (Nikko Hurtado). I still feel like I’m in an amazing dream.
And just one last question… Is there anything you would have liked to have talked about in the interview that we have not asked you?
I want to let people know that through collecting tattoos, I have begun to feel so alive. This is my number one overall passion and I can’t imagine living in a world without tattoos. I wish everyone in the world had an amazing bodysuit so I could look at them all day long. That would be a perfect world for me.