Tattoo Artist Jake Karamol Talks Making It Big On Tik Tok | Painful Pleasures Community

Tattoo Artist Jake Karamol Talks Making It Big On Tik Tok

Tattoo Artist, Jake Karamol, is using social media to expand his professional brand and grow his client base by creating hilarious, yet, educational content that is relatable to both tattoo artists and clients alike.
by Danny Tress Last Updated: September 16, 2021

Instagram: @jakekaramol

With over 1.9 million followers on TikTok, tattoo artist Jake Karamol knows a thing or two about making viral content. He’s become the #1 most followed tattooer on TikTok — and grown a worldwide client base in the process. Jake’s Tik Tok gives you a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s really like working in a tattoo shop.  

“I decided to start making videos around the shop and it just kind of exploded after that […]  Being famous on TikTok has changed my life in a lot of different ways […] now our shop is known worldwide, and people have come from all over the country. So, I’ve just kept doing it and talking about my experiences with clients or other tattooers growing up in the industry since I started really young, and that’s been kind of my claim there.”   

Jake has been tattooing for ten years now. His Instagram is full of vibrant neotraditional work and bold personality. From his charisma to his signature sunglasses, Jake has the world’s attention… and more than a few appointments in his books. We chatted with Jake about how TikTok made his career explode.  

TikTok-ing His Way to the Top  

Tik Tok: @jakekaramol

Before he was a social media legend, Jake Karamol was nearly a social media virgin — and all his clients were local. Now, some of Jake’s TikTok followers fly all the way from France and Germany to get tattooed by him at Timeless Body Arts in Northeast Maryland. If you ask Jake, getting active on social media is one of the best things you can do to grow your client base. 

“I feel like you have to kind of ride this social media wave that’s going on right now […] TikTok as a platform is so new that when I got on the platform, there was only a handful of us tattooers on there and now we have thousands of different tattooers from all over the country making  TikToks and expanding their business.”  

The TikTok platform gives Jake everything he needs to connect with clients. It’s new, exciting, and versatile for creative users in all trades. 

“[TikTok is] a good combination of Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube all wrapped in one. It’s a great place to promote yourself in the work you do, and maybe your humor within your workplace.” 

So, he downloaded the app and took the reins. His niche? Sharing the (often hilarious) trials and tribulations of being a tattooer… in short video formats. 

“It really rang a bell with me and I was like, ‘Yo, I want to download this app! This is really funny!’ […] I decided to start making videos around the shop and it just kind of exploded after that. I’ve just kept doing it and talking about my experiences with clients or other tattooers growing up in the industry […] and that’s kind of been my claim there.” 

Tattoos, Laughs, and an Education 

Tik Tok: @jakekaramol

Humor has helped make Jake Karamol an icon. Getting laughs is a part of all his content — even his signature sunglasses. Jake wears them as an homage to a tattooer who caught a lot of flak for wearing sunglasses on the job. Now, TikTok users everywhere recognize Jake for his cheeky shades. But above all, Jake uses his TikTok to educate.  

“The type of content I post[ed] on Tiktok at first was very one-dimensional. It was very set on skits based with my clients or interactions that I’ve had with my clients. Over the past year and a half, I started kind of experimenting with different types of content […] that’s directed towards helping the younger generations understand what it’s like in our industry.”   

And Jake knows exactly how tough it can be. He went through a more traditional and challenging apprenticeship with coil machines, needle soldering, and intense criticism. With his 10 years of hard-earned wisdom, Jake speaks directly to incoming tattooers AND body art collectors.  

“Maybe some younger [people] that are going to be [tattoo] clients in the next couple of years might know how to be a better client because they have a good example. Or, maybe some younger generational tattooers might be a little bit more informed about how cutthroat this industry can be […]”   

Social Media Success = More Opportunities   

Instagram: @jakekaramol

After so much social media success, it could be easy to get a big head. But Jake hasn’t reached the peak of his personal mountain just yet.  

  “I think when you start out tattooing, you just ultimately think that at some point, you just get good and that’s it. But it doesn’t work that way […] it’s a constant grind every day. It’s always working to get better and it’s something that never stops.”  

Part of Jake’s self-improvement is going for new creative opportunities. Enter “Business as Usual,” the pilot TV show he’s been working on — it’s 1 part educational,  1 part hilarious. Jake is directing the Web series with the help of professional producers, hair and makeup artists, a sound mixer, and a lighting crew.

“It’s about two best friends working in a tattoo shop — one with really good clientele and really good luck and the other one who doesn’t have such great luck and doesn’t have the greatest of clientele. So that way we can showcase the difference between good clients and bad clients and the differences between attitudes and tattooers and what really goes on in a tattoo shop without trying to go the reality show route […]”  

For Jake, a Web series was the natural next step in his career. He considers TikTok a great launching pad for creativity. 

“When I started TikTok, I had so much fun with it and I’ve just been so creative on there. But I felt like I was kind of stuck in a box with the timeframe […] I wanted to be able to create something that had more context to it that had a little bit more length and had a little bit more room to add more to it.” 

Check Out Jake’s First Impressions 

Nonetheless, Jake’s magnetic personality isn’t just limited to TikTok and his web series. Check him out on YouTube and Instagram reviewing the latest tattoo supplies to hit the scene.  

“With products coming out every month, […] it’s hard to pick and decide what you want. So maybe they can skip a little bit of time by watching some of these videos and gaining a little bit more understanding of some of these products.”  

He’s reviewed products from top-rated brands like World Famous, PEAK, A Pound of Flesh, FK Irons, Recovery, and InkJecta. For Jake, the best products give you that perfect “sweet spot.” Tattoo inks that aren’t too thick or too watery or cartridge needles that don’t wobble. Best of all? Simple aftercare that works consistently. Jake ultimately hopes to help you find your sweet spot, too. 

You can watch all of Jake’s first impressions and product reviews here. After checking out his reviews, stay tuned for more from Jake Karamol on his Tik Tok and Instagram. His tattoos, sunglasses, and signature content are here to stay. 

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