Home / Spotlights / Business / North Atlantic Tattoo bursts onto the scene bringing passion, knowledge and experience to the South Coast

North Atlantic Tattoo bursts onto the scene bringing passion, knowledge and experience to the South Coast

North Atlantic Tattoo at 1881 Acushnet Ave may be a new business, but the artists are industry veterans.

Tattoos and tattooing have been around since Neolithic times – at least 5,000 years. This is evidenced by the famous Ötzi the Iceman discovered in the Austrian Alps in 1991. Ötzi was roaming the earth sometime in the 4th millennium B.C.E. and had a minimum of 60 tattoos. In all likelihood, tattooing goes back much further in time, but this is the oldest known historical case of tattooing. Of course, it is part and parcel of many cultures that came after Ötzi – Teutons, Picts, Goths, Vikings, Rus, Celts, ancient Chinese, Egypt and so on. Virtually the world over.

Owners and artists, Jae Audette (left) and Andrew Pequita (right) have been professionally tattooing for well over a decade each.

Tattoos were a part of early man’s culture for a variety of reasons. Most of which are the same reasons people ink themselves today: a rite of passage, tribute, homage, self-expression, tradition or identifying with a certain sub-culture. However, unlike yesterday, today’s collector has greater access to artists, a variety of styles outside their culture, and may get tattoos for no other reason than that of pride or vanity. Have a favorite show, beer, or celebrity? You can make them permanent.

And unlike in pre-historic times, tattooing is no longer relegated to an elite few – soccer moms, grandmas, lawyers, doctors and teenagers have the opportunity. Tattoos and tattooing has come a long way since its modern inception and it was reintroduced to America in the mid-19th century by a German immigrant living in Boston, Martin Hildebrandt. That makes Massachusetts the place where American tattooing got its start. So it should come as no surprise that there are quite a few tattoo shops in Massachusetts, particularly the South Coast.

One of the newest shops to open recently is North Atlantic Tattoo. While the shop may be new, the artists are not. Proprietors and partners, Jae Audette and Andrew Pequita are salty dogs – veterans who have been professionally tattooing in the U.S. and Canada (Jae did a foray to our neighbors up North) for 12 and 15 years respectively. That’s full-time, 40-70 hours per week. This work ethic has been carried over to North Atlantic Tattoo and the shop is the only full-time shop in New Bedford.

As I mention in many articles, passion is a crucial aspect to talent and success, particularly when it is combined with dedication and experience. Jae and Andrew became two of the best tattooists in the area through immersing themselves in their work and surrounding themselves with some of the industry’s best talent.

An example of Jae’s ability with Japanese traditional.

This not only motivates and inspires them, but keeps them always learning and improving. It keeps their fingers on the pulse of the latest art techniques and sterility. All true professionals in the industry are always striving to improve their artwork and the hygienic conditions of their tools and shop.

The two forces behind North Atlantic proudly display the thousands of pieces they have done on the walls, excepting some proudly displayed tall ship and whaling ship oil paintings that Andrew’s grandfather did in the 1980s and Jae’s signed Horiyoshi III painting. While you will find flash on the walls, both relish the chance to do custom work. While both artists have a desire to create timeless work and are adept in virtually all styles of tattooing, Jae favors and excels at classic American and Japanese traditional.

He is a student of American and Japanese history and when he is not tattooing he is typically engrossed in a history book – in fact his Instagram account has the tag “1776.” He knows the deeper meanings and nuances of the artwork he does and eagerly shares this knowledge with anyone who wants to understand the permanent piece of art they are getting. While the collector may be getting a tattoo because it’s “cool,” they can also understand the deeper symbolism and tradition behind it, making the it all the more meaningful.

A New Bedford resident, Andrew enjoys tattooing in a very illustrative way and has a more modern hue to his artwork. He has a passion for anything organic or nature-based – animals, skulls, snakes, demons and the ilk. He has a wide range in that department, from aggressive, masculine tattoos to things more feminine. He is also fond of historical subjects like mythology. Opening up shop on Acushnet Avenue had meaning for him: he’s overjoyed to be working in the very block his parents and grandparents ran a business on for 33 years.

North Atlantic Tattoo’s entrance, counter and custom artwork displayed on the walls.

When I asked Andrew what he felt one of the biggest misconceptions about tattoos were he said “…that it has to have deep significant meaning. If someone wants a tattoo with meaning, that is fine too. However, first and foremost, the tattoo should be aesthetically pleasing. I think the way the tattoo flows and how flattering it looks on the body is far more important than the overall meaning. Do not be afraid to get large work. Try and have a game plan if you want to be frequently tattooed. That way the tattoos can eventually all flow together.”

In addition to these, on a weekly basis North Atlantic Tattoo produces American traditional, Japanese, portraits, lettering, smooth black and grey, religious iconography, and bio-mech. Regardless of what custom art you bring in, you can tap into Jae and Andrew’s vast experience. They have likely done something similar. The other benefit that comes from this much experience is how they handle customers. They’ve seen everything from tattoo virgins to collectors with very little room left. It’s difficult enough to come across tattoo artist’s with amazing talent that run a clean shop, let alone find a shop that also thinks that making customers comfortable is just as important. In a day and age, where there are shops everywhere, covering all these bases is one of the things that separates North Atlantic from the others.

Their service to customers goes far beyond coming in and getting a piece done. There is a process from the time you enter, until the time you come back. They will suggest you browse the portfolios and ask them questions. They respect and value that you will be wearing this forever and want you to make the most informed decision. Many shops will be content to put a horrendous tattoo that just isn’t right, as long as you are paying. That thought doesn’t sit well with Jae or Andrew.

While Andrew is known for his graphic, aggressive art, this shows his softer side.

They will then ask you questions about the art you have chosen, where it goes, and then share suggestions. Andrew and Jae are both friendly, likable guys who put out a relaxed vibe. Anyone who spends 5 minutes with them will vouch for them. You will already be comfortable before you even sit and turn on your music or watch TV – yes, they have Netflix.

After you have finished, you will discuss the product while checking it in the mirror and provide feedback. As Jae or Andrew are bandaging the tattoo they will share aftercare protocol and remind you make sure you call in the next few days if you have any other questions or concerns. They certainly don’t want you to ride off into the sunset. Both Jae and Andrew are looking for a relationship with collectors. Both are pretty proud of the fact that they have made hundreds of lasting friendships.

If you’re looking for a local shop that combines world-class artistry, experience, affordability and customer comfort, your search is over.

North Atlantic Tattoo
1881 Acushnet Ave
New Bedford, Massachusetts
Phone: (774) 202-1973
EMail: northatlantictattoo@gmail.com

Mon-Tues: 10:00am-9:00pm
Wed-Thur: 12:00pm-9:00pm
Fri-Sat: 10:00am-9:00pm
Sun: By appointment only

Facebook: facebook.com/pages/North-Atlantic-Tattoo/674524539310849
Website: northatlantictattoo.com
Shop Instagram: instagram.com/northatlantictattoo/
Jae’s Instagram: instagram.com/jaeaudette1776/
Andrew’s Instagram: instagram.com/panzzerfaust/

Jae Audette’s Art

Andrew Pequita’s Art

About Joe Silvia

When Joe isn't writing, he's coaching people to punch each other in the face. He enjoys ancient cultures, dead and living languages, cooking, benching 999#s, and saving the elderly, babies and puppies from burning buildings. While he enjoys long walks on the beach, he will not be your alarm clock, because he's no ding-a-ling.

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One comment

  1. Best shop in the city for sure , both Jae and Andrew are amazing artists and can pull off whatever style of work you throw at them. Great vibe and great prices, they make it a point to put in the work every step of the way to make sure you get a great TATTOO !

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