After earning her B.F.A. at the Berkeley campus of the University of California, Jo moved to New York in 1995, just before tattooing was legalized in New York City in 1997. During her apprenticeship with Lesley Allen at Lady Luck studio in Brooklyn, Jo Ann worked hard and cultivated respect for the history and craft of tattooing. Like many of the new wave of tattoo artists, she had been to art school. But she also learned to do things the old-fashioned way, using hand-drawn stencils and making her own needles. “I’m glad to know how to do those things even though I don’t need to anymore.”
Jo Ann’s formal arts education is a major influence on her work. “I thrive on pieces that draw from my fine arts background—figures, pin-ups, color theory. It informs my work in a way that would be very different if I hadn’t gone to art school.”
Jo tattooed in Brooklyn for several years before moving to Edmonton, Alberta in 2002 and working at Urge2 Tattoos for over ten years. She currently tattoos at Avalon Tattoo 2 in North Park, San Diego, CA.