About Us

How & Why We "Ink Different"

Thank you for taking the time to look into and understand Ink Different Tattoos. We are a nationwide community of artists and supporters of the arts who believe in the future of the tattoo industry. We have been owning and operating tattoo studios for over a decade, and have a unique approach to creating boutique studios that look and feel like art galleries, with a focus on how we treat our clients, our apprentices, and each other.

Our Mission: 

To Ensure excellence and equal opportunity in the tattoo industry. We believe that every artist from every walk of life deserves an opportunity to make a living from their art.

Our Vision:

A Nationwide Community of Art Gallery Inspired Tattoo Studios, staffed by Good Human Tattoo Artists who Create Memories for Clients and Safe Spaces for Apprentices.

Our Cultural Philosophy: Good Humans

From our Jobs page you'll se that we are always looking for Good Humans who also happen to be Very Good Tattoo Artists, Teachers, and Professionals.

How do we define Good Humans?

Our company handbook goes over a lot, yet some bullets would be:

  • Someone you can trust to watch your kids on the playground while you take an important phone call.
  • Someone who makes sure that if you’re having just a little too much fun tonight, you still get home safe.
  • Someone who you can trust with your wallet and leave alone at the cash register.
  • Someone who brings a lost cell phone to lost and found.
  • Someone who does NOT bully, harass, haze, lie, steal or expect to be paid for work they did not do.

Tattoo Apprenticeships

Tattoo apprenticeships at Ink Different are based on the traditional tattoo apprenticeship model with an increased focus on ongoing professional development, practice assessments, and real work experience. And yet, we pride ourselves on being different from a traditional apprenticeship. We "ink different" by providing clients with the warmest, most welcoming tattoo studio they've ever experienced—and our apprenticeships are no different. We believe in giving our clients high-quality custom tattoos and world-class customer service and teach our apprentices the skills to do just that. We provide apprenticeships with dignity to artists from all walks of life, and as a result, we have one of the most open and diverse artistic communities in the tattoo industry.

How are we doing this?

We inspire, educate and empower a community of Good Humans who create memories for clients and safe spaces for Apprentices.

Our Beliefs

  • We believe that everyone with a passion for the visual arts has the right to pursue a life as a professional Tattoo Artist.
  • We believe the future of the tattoo industry is one of diversity and inclusion for all people from all walks of life.
  • We believe that abundance is available to anyone willing to do the work.
  • We believe that happiness is a high-stakes game we win!

Director of Curriculum - Janine Pierce

With over a decade of experience teaching Visual Arts in Seattle Public Schools, Janine Pierce is a certified Art Educator who holds a BA in Visual Art, a Masters in Art Education, and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction. She is a distinguished Art Educator and has earned awards for creating curriculum that aligns Art with Mindful Awareness for the district's Social Emotional Learning Model. Janine received recognition in Washington State for the Art Inclusivity Project, in addition to obtaining various state and district awards for her work as an art educator over the years. Janine has overseen Educator Effectiveness implementation in her Seattle district and believes focusing on the process of a growth mindset are key factors for educators and administrators. 

As the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Ink Different Schools she strives to support educators so that the content being delivered to students has a positive impact on their personal journey to becoming a Tattoo Artist. She seeks to ensure a curriculum that is authentic and relevant to the individual by connecting the 4C’s; Communication, Collaboration, Critical and Creative thinking.

As an active member of the Artist community in Seattle, Janine currently sits on the board of KEXP, where she serves to connect art education to community partnerships. She is a Professional Materials Committee (PMC) Member for Seattle Art Educators, is an active member of the National Art Education Association, and is active with a variety of Partner Learning Community committees for art educators in the district, as well as general educators across the state of Washington.

 National Program Director - Gabe Jaksich

Gabe Jaksich Ink Different Tattoo SchoolOriginally from Argentina, Gabe started learning the art of tattooing in 1982 and opened one of the country's first retail tattoo studios in 1989. He migrated to the United States in 1995 where he developed his skills not only as a tattoo artist, winning several awards in tattoo conventions across the country, yet also as one of the pioneers in Cosmetic Tattooing. His industry contributions in the early stages of microblading, permanent makeup, scalp pigmentation, and paramedical aesthetics, have led to two published books on these practices, with a special focus on areola simulation and scar camouflage.

With over a decade of experience in tattoo education, Gabe brings his experience as the educational mastermind behind Master Tattoo Institute and Oriana Tattoo Academy, to Ink Different. His passion for education, professionalism, ethics, and raising the bar for the future of the tattoo industry, along with his over 30 years of experience as a Tattoo Artist, make him the perfect fit as the National Program Director for Ink Different.

Some of Gabe's Work

Founder/CEO - Paul-Anthony Surdi

Initially seen as a disruptor in the tattoo industry over a decade ago when he began the creation of what is now Ink Different Tattoos, Paul-Anthony’s experience in the music and film industries fueled his passion to help ensure that everyone has an opportunity to make a living from their art.  His entrepreneurial adventures as a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council lead to being a contributor in Forbes, Inc. and Huffington Post, yet the coverage he received in Billboard Magazine for his work inspiring women to vote and winning a Los Angeles Film Award for screenwriting, are the kinds of passion projects that keep focused in the arts.

His personal mission to empower a world where children can grow up knowing that their dreams can come true, have kept him focused on Ink Different’s ability to succeed on its company mission, regardless of the initial resistance in the tattoo industry to equal access to education, and of course, the challenges of surviving a global pandemic where every location was forced to shut its doors. 

Now on the other side of all of those experiences, Paul-Anthony and the team at Ink Different find themselves equipped with the experience and good fortune to be at the forefront of an industry that is professionalizing itself in new ways, and provide opportunities for artists that they desperately need. While we all know artificial intelligence has the potential to create massive job losses around the world, Paul-Anthony doesn’t think we’ll be trusting a robot to a four-hour tattoo session on anyone’s ribs, any time soon.

Who We Are

We're Ink Different. 

We're transforming the future of the tattoo industry. 

We're willing to rethink everything we’ve been told about how things are “supposed to be done.” 

We're different and we like it that way. 

Being different allows us to do what no one else is willing or able to do. 

It has allowed us to do what others told us was impossible. 

We have overcome every obstacle to our success because at our core, we help people and we change lives. That is who we are.

Celebrating Diversity in Our Community

At Ink Different, we've always inked differently by treating every artist and every client with care and respect. We believe that every artist from every walk of life deserves an opportunity to make a living from their art. We hope you will be inspired to join us.

Tattoo Apprenticeship

Organizations We Support