Joshua Hall sold his art to his friend’s father before realizing where his career was headed. His friend’s father was a tattoo artist, which soon influenced his further path. Now Hall’s tattoo parlor in Gibsonville has clients all over the east coast.
Hall’s artistic career began in a small part of Burlington, NC. Inspired by his older brother, Hall was fascinated by the ability to bring images to life through color and mixture, and he wanted to learn that skill himself.
Hall has been open for 24 years and owns J&J Tattoo in Gibsonville, named after him and his wife Jessica, one of his first apprentices. Hall said his favorite part about the tattoo business is building personal connections with customers. He has worked with clients struggling with mental illness, battling cancer, and those who wanted scars covered in the past.
“Sitting down and actually being able to help people is my favorite part about this job,” Hall said. “To be able to cover up scars… there are so many things I might not even think about, that I can do to help people mentally. I’m kind of a therapist for my clients because they can come in and tell me everything so that when they go out they leave a new person. “
Hall said he knew he wanted to be a full-time artist when he finished his education. When he was studying with his friend’s father, he began traveling for a construction company that took him along the east coast.
“I built a huge clientele in Savannah, Georgia, and I had a decent clientele in New York, but when travel got too much, I ended up in Gibsonville,” Hall said.
Hall is currently training two apprentices and hopes to be able to expand to other locations in the coming years. One of his apprentices, Lynn Overman, said she appreciated the family atmosphere in the studio.
“Working with Josh really opened my eyes to the possibilities of tattooing,” said Overman. “Whether it’s about tattooing or life, he’s a great role model and mentor. I consider him my tattoo dad along with his great wife Jessica as my tattoo mom. “
Kris Freeman, Hall’s newest apprentice, said the studio was a place to learn and grow professionally.
“He really wants us to have a full understanding of what it is to be a tattoo artist, which involves a lot of drawing and practicing,” Freeman said.
Hall said he was confident that his support system will help him make his dreams of expanding J&J come true.
“I’m planning on renting the upstairs condo here to expand that way and we’ve been looking for a couple of other locations so we can open more J & J’s,” Hall said. “I would like to have a few more stores so everyone who comes in and learns from me can be placed in these places, and I plan to let everything snow from there.”