Triad Magazine

A Hillsborough Community College Student Publication since 1978.

Inked up in Ybor

By Daniel Clark

Jeff Srsic, Tattoo artist and Co-owner of Red Letter 1

Ybor City is filled with places to be tattooed, and yet there are even more people waiting to fill your skin with ink. With so many tattoo parlors in Ybor, it becomes hard to tell them apart. However, there is one place that operates a little differently than most. Red Letter 1 located at 1818 N. 15th St., is Tampa’s only all custom tattoo studio.

There are no pre-drawn tattoos hung on the wall for browsing at this studio, only pieces of artwork painted by the artists. Red Letter 1 has been hailed as having,
“the best tattoo artists in Ybor,” by HCC art student, Ashley Niven.
“Whether doing a large scale tattoo or a smaller one, I always take the time to find out exactly what each customer wants before proceeding with the tattoo,” said Jeff Srsic, one of the tattoo artists and co-owners of Red Letter 1.
“I was amazed at how much time and effort goes into creating a tattoo,” said HCC student, April Prather who had a consultation with Srsic.
“We spend a lot of time tattooing,” said Srsic. “We also spend a lot of time preparing for tattoos and researching artwork before beginning the process.”
Spending about six days a week in the studio, Srsic maintains the mantra of quality over quantity.
Even with the amount of dedication he has for the artwork he places on his clients’ skin, Srsic is still able to create his own paintings, drawings, and sculptures during his spare time. “Everybody that works here is heavily into art,” said Srsic. “We create other types of art besides tattoos; when we’re not tattooing we’re painting, drawing or making stuff out of metal.”
Srsic has been tattooing people for 15 years and has been at Red Letter 1 for the last three and a half years. He entered the business by working in a tattoo parlor answering phones, then began tattooing his friends to build his portfolio. “What we do, I feel, is create a high-quality product… people come in with an idea and we work with them to find the perfect tattoo.” So, when searching for the place that will go above and beyond what the usual tattoo studio does, check out Red Letter 1, and let one of the many talented artists, like Jeff Srsic, make your dream tattoo a reality.

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