What do Justin Bieber, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, and Bella Hadid all have in common? Aside from being high-profile celebrities with gigantic fandoms, they all have gone under the needle of the New York-based tattoo artist Jonathan Valena, a.k.a. JonBoy, at some point over the last couple of years.
Whether it’s the delicately drawn meow tattooed on Jenner’s inner lip or the teeny-tiny angel wings located on the backs of Hadid’s ankles, a JonBoy original is definitely one for the books. His signature fine line tattoos are shattering preconceived notions about ink—posing as dainty accessories for a new generation of young people embracing the power of ink.
I started tattooing almost 17 years ago when the type of people who were getting tattoos was definitely more like the rough around the edges crowd,” says JonBoy. “But today, the game has totally changed. I’ve seen trends and styles come and go, but the fine line, minimalist designs are definitely the future. I don’t think we knew tattoos could look like that years ago, and now that we’re seeing that it works and the clientele that I’m tattooing, it’s exciting.”
So far, JonBoy has left his mark on everyone from Hailey Baldwin and Sofia Richie to fashion industry creative’s like Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele and the model Vanessa Moody. You name them, he’s inked them. “Celebrities definitely inspire my other clientele with designs. Most of the celebrities that I’ve tattooed will always inspire one of their fans to get something similar.” Case in point: The infamous cross JonBoy tattooed under Bieber’s eye last year. “Yeah, people have definitely asked for that one,” laughs JonBoy. “It’s the Justin Bieber special.”
Here, we’ve rounded up some of the biggest do’s and don’ts in the world of tattoos from one of the most sought-after celebrity tattoo artists in the game.
Aftercare of the tattoo is very important
“I always say listen to your artist when it comes to caring for tattoos post-visit because of every artist tattoos differently and uses different needles and tools. There’s also the fact that everyone’s skin is different, meaning some people might need to moisturize more than others. But the whole aftercare process is super important. You should make sure your artist is telling you how to care for your tattoo once it’s bandaged up.”
Get it where you like it to be
“Women are getting more and more comfortable with their getting their arms tattooed these days just because designs can be so sleek and subtle and almost like little accessories. They’re also getting them on their necks. It’s surprising for me because it can still be taboo when it comes to looking professional.”
Do your research before getting it done
“Do your homework on your tattoo artist. We live in an awesome time with social media, which didn’t exist when I first started my career. There are hundreds of great tattoo artists out there all over the world. Make sure they specialize in exactly what you’re looking for. People think that anyone can do these little fine line micro tattoos, but that’s not true. A lot of tattooist doesn’t do it because it is hard and there’s so much precision involved in it. And most importantly, be patient. A good tattoo is worth the wait.”
Fine Line Tattoos Might Be Your Best Bet If You’re Afraid of Pain
“People say the rib cage is the most painful to get tattooed, but for me, it’s the palms of my hands that hurt the worst. To be honest, with the fine line tattoos that I do, I have to be super light with it and have the right machine. I’ve heard people say that they hurt way less because of that. I also don’t want people to think tattoos are painless, but fine line tattoos are not that bad.”