Over the past decade, Memphis tattoo artist, Jordan Epperson, has gone from apprentice at No Regrets to one of the Flyer’s “Memphis best” tattoo artists. His down-to-earth personality meshes well with his artistic style. He has gained a committed client base who proudly wear his work on their sleeves (literally).
Born into a military family, Jordan moved around a lot growing up.
“I was born in San Francisco. I had my first (memorable) hot dog in Chicago, I learned how to ride a bike in Kentucky and I had my first kiss in Little Rock. Then, my first drink was in Memphis.”
He planted his roots here in Memphis where he calls home. When asked about what made him stick around, he responded:
“First and foremost, it’s the people—they are like a community here. It’s an easy place to be in the fact that a lot of the people are some of the nicest I’ve ever met. There’s a lot of talent here, too. Some of the best friends that I have made have all been in this city. AND the food’s awesome, too. So it’s a good place to meet folks and a good place to eat. And that’s really all I need”.
When he started school as a drawing major at Memphis College of Art, he had no intention of becoming a tattoo artist. Then, he met a man named Adrian Berry, and that opened his eyes to the art of tattooing.
“It was the first time that I had seen tattoos as art with the level of craftsmanship that he was able to bring into the medium. At that time in my college career, that was a very potent time to see here is a guy not much older than me, that is able to tattoo, make art and make a living. Because in college, the “starving artists” was a real thing. So to see that to make art and also be able to eat food was very appealing.”
Then, Epperson decided to approach the best tattoo shop around. Though his resume was filled with art skills, such as Photoshop, it was his last skill he listed that won the shop over: he makes a really, really mean spaghetti.
“During my interview, they asked me, ‘So you make a mean spaghetti?’ So I come in one day, and I bring this big ole pot of spaghetti. And it was really, really damn good spaghetti. In the end, they ended up picking me.” The rest is history.
Though Jordan has “between seven tattoos and twenty-six” tattoos, his most personal tattoo is of a robot.
“My first tattoo was this little tiny robot on my arm. It was a New Year’s Eve party at Seventh Street, in 2006. They were doing a special where they were, doing like little small, party tats and everything. I remember my girlfriend looked at me, it was like, ‘Oh my God, if you get a robot tattoo, I’m gonna love you forever!’ So I did. Fast forward to the end of that story, I ended up marrying her, which was kind of cool. I don’t remember much–my memory is really, really bad. But I remember that sentence.”
When asked what “no regrets” means to him, Epperson responded “If I ever write a book, or a memoir, I think it’s a very cool name for a chapter of my life. I think no regrets is a cool battle cry.”
If you’ve ever gotten tattooed by Jordan, you know how innovative and detailed his creative process is. He will sketch out an idea for his clients, taking their ideas and turning it into the reality of a meaningful piece of work. He has a knack for personalizing tattoos so no two tattoos look exactly the same.
When Jordan isn’t busy tattooing Memphians, you can find him perfecting his spaghetti recipe, cruising the Greenline, or drinking a gin-and-tonic at RP Tracks.