About Jose Perez Jr

Jose Perez Jr, owner of Dark Water Studio, is one of the top black and grey Realistic tattoo artists in the world. 



During my career, I’ve turned to some of the best artists, both old masters in art and new artists in the tattoo industry, as well as many other forms of art, craftsmanship and nature for inspiration.  Knowing that tattooing is a vast industry, I had to push myself to learn and recreate realism — to be able to stand out amongst great tattoo artists.  I strictly tattoo in the realm of black and grey realism that pushes the limit on texture and detail. It’s all about getting the right reference photo and I have always been a very visual person. I strived to achieve something that other artists weren’t doing at the time and I continue to work hard to perfect my craft.


When I began tattooing 14 years ago I would have never thought I’d be where I am today.  It took a lot of hard work, dedication and perseverance over the years.  I was exposed to tattooing when I was 16 years old and decided to goof around and built my own machine out of a Walkman motor and guitar strings. But don’t do that! I enjoy the art aspect of tattooing most, honestly.  It amazes me that you can accomplish such a beautiful piece of art on skin, it intrigued me to continue and learn more about the industry.  


Currently, I own and work out of Dark Water Studio in Willow Springs, IL, a southwest suburb of Chicago.  After many years of traveling the world guest spotting and doing conventions, I’ve met so many amazing people and tattoo artists, and enjoy being a part of this industry. Over the past year and a half, I have been focusing on teaching on my YouTube Channel (YouTube.com/JPJTattoos) and seminars , both one-on-one at my studio and to groups at conventions. I want to give back to this industry that has been so good to me, and help lead the way for the future of this industry. 


Stay tuned, been working on a lot of large scale pieces that I will be finishing up over the rest of this year. And hopefully, pumping out some paintings along the way.


For appointments please visit JPJTattoos.com and fill out the contact form.  


Check out and subscribe to YouTube.com/JPJTattoos for Professional Tips & Tricks, Tattoo Time -lapse videos and Jose's world travels.  


Follow him on Instagram @joseperezjrtattoos


Follow him on Twitter @JPJTattoos


Purchase the Jose Perez Jr Dark Water Ink Set on the Merch page.


About Manny Abadi

My name is Emanoiel but everyone knows me as Big Manny. I am from Los Angeles, California. I have been professionally tattooing since 2010. I specialize in black and grey realism. I moved to Chicago at the end of 2014 to work with Jose Perez Jr. I love traveling going to new places. I love the outdoors. I often get mistaken as Mexican. I love cats, and have a cat named Bam Bam. I live by three words and that is: NO STOPPING THIS


About James Brennan


Hi my name is James Brennan, Art has always been a massive part of my life. Raised by my mother who had to work two jobs to provide for me and my older brother and sister, I spent a lot of time with my nan. My nan was a natural artist and would always have a pencil and pad in my hands. I always remember my nan telling me "don't become an artist because you'll only make money when your dead". 

When I was 15 years old I got my first tattoo and straight away I wanted to be a tattoo artist, but every time I asked the artist, how you become one, I just got shot down in flames. 

Following suit to the generations of males in the family I joined the Army once I was 18 years old. Whilst serving I was always designing tattoos for my friends and still had a strong passion for art.

I met my now wife and we started a family, this and along with several deployments I decided that i need to find another way, I was fed up hearing "your not supposed to be happy going to work, thats why its called work". I wanted "if you can make a living, doing what you love, you'll never work a day in your life". 

With these in mind and realising what my nan told me might not be 100% the truth, I pursued the hard task of learning as much about the tattoo industry and craft as possible from friends who where already established in studios.

After 12 years in the military including 4 operational tours, I left and starting working as a professional tattoo artist.

My preferences in styles and what I'm more known for, are portraiture and black and grey realism.


About Amy Wallace

Amy started her tattooing career as an apprentice in 2005.  She continued on to work at a shop on the North side of Chicago.  After a couple years there, she joined forces with Jose Perez Jr., and started working for Dark Water when it opened 8 years ago.  For the past couple of years, Amy's focus has been pulled to the marketing and design for the studio, but she is eagerly transitioning from her marketing position back to a full time tattoo artist.  Although she has done more color tattoos in the past, Amy wants to shift her focus to Black & Grey Realism going forward.

Amy is available for appointments weekdays 11am-5pm.

Instagram @amytattoos