We had the good fortune of connecting with Jenny Bunny Davis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jenny, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I come from a traditional Chinese family, where the vocational expectations are very rigid. Both my parents were scientists, I am very logical and science minded, and I could have easily gone into the field of science or medicine. But I didn’t. I couldn’t!
I could not continue living with myself, wondering, “What if I pursued my dream of becoming a tattoo artist?”
Tattooing was something I had dreamed about since I was a child. It was perfect for the kind of lifestyle I wanted to have as an adult – making my own schedule, being my own boss (after many years of paying my dues and building a clientele), no dress code, I can travel with my work, etc. etc. I could not imagine being content if I was plagued the rest of my life with that big “What if?” I can live with some small what ifs. But this one? I couldn’t.
I joke to my dad, who came from a very poor family in Taiwan and had always wanted to be an artist but cultural and economic status kept him from those dreams – that I am the manifestation of his suppressed artistic side.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
When I was a tattoo apprentice and getting ready to “leave the nest”, my mentor asked, “Jenny, what would you call your style?” I had no idea. I still don’t have a name for my style – it’s just…. Me. The kind of work I do goes with the flow of my clients’ needs.
There are many tattooers who’ve found their niche, which can be very specific – some do only American traditional style, some do only black and grey, some do only cats in outer space. And that is amazing and fantastic – I laud these artists who’ve carved out a place in the industry this way. For me though, I’ve always thought about tattooing as a service, and being a well-rounded artist who can do different styles is something I strive for. I also think it’s a personality thing – because of my autistic/ADHD brain (I was officially diagnosed as an adult), I am able to hyperfocus for long periods of time. That’s why I can do a week’s worth of work done in 2-3 days, without sacrificing quality. However, it comes with its consequences – among other things, I tend to burn out more easily than neurotypical people, so in order to manage and prevent burnout, I hop from style to style. From fine line florals to geometric patterns, from Asian style influences to fandom tattoos, from dot work to color work, the variation of style keeps my passion fresh.
First and foremost, my tattooing is a service to my clients. It’s a collaboration, it’s story sharing, it’s a glimpse into the life of my clients who come from ALL walks of life. I see myself more as a conduit for helping people express themselves outwardly. Without my job, I would not have learned as much as I have about the human condition. It has helped shape my character as an adult, a member of society, an artist, and even a parent.
I’ve been tattooing since 2005 and while I have experienced sexism, racism and misogyny in my field of work, I have been very lucky to have had my mentors/bosses, Craig Foster, Cap Szumski, and Eric Reed, who have always treated others with respect and set a good example for the rest of the industry. The time, blood, sweat and tears it took to build up my clientele and brand, I credit my mentors’ example setting and my neurodivergence for my success. My hyperfocus, attention to detail, autodidactic tendencies, high motor memory, adaptive coding, lateral thinking and strong work ethic has helped me learn the craft, perfect the skills (which I’m still doing!), work well with clients, and navigate a white male-dominated industry.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a huge animal and nature lover, so I would take my guest to any of Georgia’s national parks for hiking, fishing or camping, Blue Ridge Mountains, the Georgia Aquarium, Fernbank Museum, Wild Animal Safari, Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary, Atlanta Botanical Garden (both locations), and my own home to show them our personal collection of reptiles and amphibians
If my guest has young children like I do, I’d take them to Lilburn City Park on a nice day – it has a huge open field, a new playground, trails and a creek to dip your toes in! It also has Agavero Cantina, an outdoor restaurant that both kids and adults love!
I love cooking for other people, so I’d take them to Super HMart (Suwanee location is my personal favorite) to explore new foods and get some comfort favorites – their candy section is also amazing. I go there just for the packaging I also love going to downtown Duluth for window shopping and eating. Sweet Hut is also a favorite go-to with guests, especially if you like boba tea and Asian pastries – SO yummy.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
– Craig Foster, my tattoo mentor, of Skinwerks Tattoo & Design in Carrollton, GA – Cap Szumski, mentor (RIP), of Timeless Tattoo in Atlanta, GA
– Eric Reed of Alameda Tattoo in Alameda, CA
– My husband, Josh, for being my number one fan and cheerleader
Facebook: Jenny Bunny Davis
Other: Tiktok @theinkbunnystudios
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