Sturgis motorcycle rally
Jay Brown was born in Ojai, California, just outside of Ventura. He took a great interest in art at an early age, 5, under the tutelage of his Grandmother, who was an artist and recently passed away. After many years of dedication to art, he came across the medium of tattooing in 1984 when he started doing hand poked tattoos on his friends with ink from his Grandma's art supplies and a sewing needle from her sewing kit. In 1986 Jay stepped into the world of professional tattooing, first getting tattooed, two in the same day, and then started his apprenticeship a month later, when he found the art very appealing. He decided that tattooing was for him after trying his hand at commercial art, and feeling unsatisfied. He tattooed in the West Coast for the next few years out of a bus on the road with the Grateful Dead Tours, when not at home. In 1991 after he moved to the Midwest, where he met Mr. R.J. Rosini, who later became his mentor, good friend and father figure, trading designs and talking shop. In 1992 he started attending tattoo conventions and hoped some day he would work as an artist. His dream came true in 1993 when he was attending the Tattoo Tour Convention in Chicago, where he was asked to work by Mr. Rosini in his booth. From there it went wild, doing 12 or more shows a year with the world famous R.J. Rosini Gypsy Tattoo Tour, till the end of the 90â€™s when his attendance to conventions slowed down to 3-5 a year. Jay also got involved in tattooing at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, first on his own in '88, '89, '91, & '92, and then for Mr. Rosini at his world famous tattoo corner at 1000 Main St. from '93 till '02, and after Mr. Rosini's death with his partners Mike Powell, Cherokee Chuck and Chris Shaffer, in '03 and '04 carrying on the legacy. In 2005 their building was torn down, and replaced with a Hot Leathers, and they had to move four doors down to 1016 Main where they now have Gypsy Tour Tattooing every year during the rally for many years to come.