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Artist Toils Over Tattoos at Plush Gallery

“When people go into a street tattoo shop and look through a book of flash and decide in 90 seconds on a tattoo that they will have for the rest of their lives, they tend not to be happy with it for very long,” Jason Leigh explains.

“A tattoo is art that you wear on your body forever, so you better have a love affair with what you choose,” says Jason Leigh, custom tattoo artist and owner of .

That is why when a client sets an appointment with me to get a tattoo, we sit down and talk about their ideas, what they love, what their passions are, and I draw up an initial sketch. Then we take that sketch and critique it, rip it apart, change things until it is perfect. Once my client is happy, I draw up the final design. Everything I do is one-of-a-kind, after the tattoo is finished, if the client doesn’t want to keep the process, I throw it away.

“When people go into a street tattoo shop and look through a book of flash (generic tattoo designs) and decide in 90 seconds on a tattoo that they will have for the rest of their lives, they tend not to be happy with it for very long,” Leigh explains.

Unable or unwilling to pay the exorbitant price for painful and lengthy laser tattoo removal procedures, customers will come to Leigh to have these old, unprofessional, outdated, and/or fad tattoos reworked. Leigh calls it “polishing turds,” which helps explain why few other artists will fix badly done tattoos: they don’t want their artistic style associated with the original “turd.” Leigh, on the other hand, gladly fixes old tattoos because it brings so much confidence and happiness to his clients, and it often turns tattoo haters back into tattoo lovers.

Leigh opened  in ,1140 Main Street in 2006. Leigh and his wife were ready for some stability after 10 years of tattooing in various places from New York City (for Bruce Bart), to Chicago and even Holland. Having grown up in Dunedin since elementary school, they decided to move back and open a custom tattoo shop.

Plush Gallery Tattoo has thrived because of his 17 years of experience and quality of his work. In November, Leigh’s wife was able to quit her job to help with the business, and the couple, along with their 4-year-old son, get to spend more time together as a family.

Aside from owning the shop, being an artist, a husband, and a father, Leigh also tattoos in large conventions all over the United States. From Feb. 17 to 19, he will be at MegaCon in Orlando, the southeast's largest comic book, science fiction/fantasy, anime, gaming, toys and multi-media event. He is booking appointments for the convention.

If you are interested in getting a tattoo or having an old tattoo “polished,” call or email Leigh for a consultation. Then on Patch.

Want to Go?

  • Where: , 1140 Main Street
  • Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday and Monday, closed.
  • Contact: 727-738-8377, www.jasonleigh.com

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