Known for her pinups, portraits, and distinctive style, Jo Ann Atwood has been tattooing professionally for over 20 years. Available for all styles of custom tattoos in San Diego, CA, Jo currently tattoos at Avalon Tattoo II.
From the very beginning, Jo was always involved in art. At the University of California in Berkeley, she became more certain than ever that she wanted to pursue fine arts as a career. After earning her BFA, Jo moved to New York City in 1995, just before tattooing was legalized in NYC in 1997. During her apprenticeship with Lesley Allen at Lady Luck in Brooklyn, Jo worked hard and cultivated respect for the history and craft of tattooing.
Like many of the new wave of tattoo artists, she had been to art school. But she also learned to do things the old-fashioned way, using hand-drawn stencils and making her own needles. “I’m glad to know how to do those things even though I don’t need to anymore.”
Jo Ann’s formal arts education is a major influence on her work. “I thrive on pieces that draw from my fine arts background—figures, pin-ups, color theory. It informs my work in a way that would be very different if I hadn’t gone to art school.”
After working in Brooklyn for several years, Jo moved to Edmonton, Alberta in 2002 and tattooed at Urge2 Tattoos for over ten years. In 2013 she returned to her hometown of San Diego where she tattoos at Avalon Tattoo II studio in North Park.