Q&A: Jake Patterson

Q&A: Jake Patterson

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So Jake tell me a little about yourself, where does the concept Watershed come from and how long have you been established?

My name is Jake Patterson and I am the owner of Watershed - A surf, street-wear, lifestyle brand based in Cornwall, U.K. I graduated in graphic design from Falmouth university in 2002, and then proceeded to work in the surf industry until 2011 when I started my own company, Watershed. I started selling multi branded surf products but quickly moved into creating my own product which is when I re-launched as a stand alone brand in 2015. We design surfboards, clothing and accessories. Our inspiration mainly comes from Californian surf culture.

How long have you been getting tattooed for and what made you want to get tattooed in the first place? Anything to do with your graphic design interests?

My first tattoo was in 1998 when I was eighteen! But was definitely inspired by the surf culture and nothing to do with graphics…There was a pro surfer who surfed for the brand O’neill called Matt Archbold who was pretty covered in tattoos so I guess he inspired me to get my first.

It appears your tattoos mainly fit into the traditional style of artwork - is there a reason for that and what inspired this style.

50s and 60s culture has always really inspired me, the way the style of tattooing was back then for me is just so authentic. Traditional, Sailor Jerry style is my favourite.

Does having tattooed skin make you feel more confident or comfortable in your own skin or is this something you haven't considered before?

It's not really something I have considered… As soon as I get a new tattoo, to me, it feels although I've always had it. I like the way a tattoo just becomes a part of who you are…for the rest of your life.

How do you feel tattoo culture sits within your industry - the surf industry?

I think tattoos have been a part of the surf and skate industry for such a long time now, tattoos are a way of expressing yourself and I feel like the surf industry has a very expressive culture.

Does tattoo artwork inspire any of the creative direction towards Watershed?

Absolutely - we've done several tattoo inspired graphics on our clothing. Being as myself and my right hand man Jamie, are both really into tattoos it fits into our brand really well. As I was saying before as the tattoo “scene” is so much apart of the surf culture many of our customers and brand associates are tattooed themselves, it's the perfect synergy.

Does tattoo aftercare fit into your self care regime? If not would you consider using an aftercare to preserve the quality of the artwork?

I think actually up until trying the Stories and Ink products I would have said no. But now I've tried them and seen the clarity it adds to my tattoos it's definitely something I will be using regularly! It actually feels beautiful on my skin and the smell of the products is subtle and not too feminine which I like.

Lastly - where is next for you in terms of getting tattooed? Is a full-body tattooed look on the cards for you?

Haha - yes for sure. I think my next tattoo is going to be on my back and will be a fairly large piece. And again I think that just goes to show that my tattoos are not necessarily a style or a look that I'm going for, I don't get my tattoos for other people. Getting tattoos in places that will mostly be covered up like my back is just as exciting for me.

Photography by Jamie Mitchell