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Joseph Pasternak has been tattooing professionally since 2005.


Born and raised on the “South Side” of Chicago in the Marquette Park neighborhood, Joseph was always drawing.  The son of an immigrant machinist and an office worker, this catholic school kid grew up fast.  His parents worked hard to provide for their 3 children, often going without to give them the opportunities they could have only dreamed of as kids. 


As time went on, Joseph’s love for art did not weaken.  Encouraged by his parents, Joseph kept at it.  His father, always working to provide for his family, taught Joseph a thing or two about responsibility.  When the machine shop slowed down Joseph’s father worked construction, quite often utilizing his son as “cheap” labor.  Working with his father was, at the time, underappreciated to say the least.  But as he grew older Joseph realized exactly what his father had done.  Family, responsibility, hard work, integrity, perseverance…engrained and never to be forgotten, “Blue Collar.”


After graduating from Marist high school in 1996, Joseph was the first of his family to attend college.  In 2001 he graduated from the American Academy of Art in Chicago with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, majoring in illustration.


In 2003, after working in the printing industry for several years and realizing it wasn’t for him; Joseph decided to take a “leap of faith.”  Newly married with a baby on the way Joseph began his traditional 2 year apprenticeship at a “world-renown” shop in Lockport Illinois.  After paying his dues and completing his apprenticeship in 2005, Joseph was eager and ready.  Working in Lockport until 2012, Joseph had the privilege of working with some of the best artists in the industry.  During that period, learning the business, perfecting his craft, and building relationships that would last a lifetime.


2013, it was time for a new beginning.  10 long years in, his dream finally becomes reality.  Working together with his two best friends, they achieve their common goal, “Solidarity”, Blue Collar Tattoo is born.


Joseph is known for his impressionistic bold color and illustrative style.  A “painter” at heart, his work takes on a uniqueness which can only be described as his own.  When Joseph isn’t tattooing he is most likely playing husband, dad, son, brother, repairman, psychologist, machine builder or friend.  If you’d like to get tattooed, big or small, by this extremely humble hardworking character, he would be honored to work with you.

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