Jay Boogy / The Cheshire's Grin
Jason Taylor, Founder of Ink Nurse sit's down with Jay Boogy for a chat!
JT) So I have had the absolute pleasure of knowing you for about 6 years now. You're someone I respect and have always admired your work ethic and approach to life. So, why don't you tell the people how we first met? - Then we can get into the rest of the interview!
JB) Ohh You’re too kind.
After you sent an introduction message via Instagram promoting Ink Nurse, we arranged a time to meet at the studio I was working at the time, I’m pretty sure it was a warm summers day, not a cloud in the sky, If I recall: I grilled you pretty hard! I wanted to know exactly everything on your ingredients list & discussed different allergies some clients had encountered with using different aftercare products. As we both know, all the boxes were ticked & it’s been a love affair ever since!
JT) So Jay, for those who don't know, tell us what you got going on in life? Both business and creative. Basically, how many Instagram accounts do you have? (I think that should give the people some insight into just how much you juggle...)
JB) Safe to say my plate is definitely full... (look how long it took me to get around to doing this). I’ve spent the last 6 years working 7 days a week growing ‘The Cheshire’s Grin’ as well as tattooing to the point of putting my body in harms way, resulting in regular chiropractic visits. We even cut half a kg of hair off to try ease the strain on my back.
2021 has new goals and a lot of exciting opportunities but I like to keep things quiet until after they're done, so watch this space - big things are about to happen.... Oh hahaha I currently have 4 Instagram accounts, 6 email addresses 2 Facebook pages & a couple other accounts that don’t really do much...... not bad for someone who went without social media for years.
JT) Most people like to think they work hard, OR; they think they're putting in the MAXIMUM amount of their effort towards their businesses. However, I know first hand how you literally live and breathe 'the grind', the hard work and the true entrepreneur hustle. For full transparency and full disclosure to those who read this: you are actually a shareholder and part owner of Ink Nurse. So as your business partner, I DEFINITELY know how hard you work on all the ventures you have going on!
Tell me how you got this way? What makes you wake up and work every day, What inspires and motivates you?
I’ve been paying my own rent since I was 15, I tell ya now ain’t no one else gonna do that shit for ya! I think the older I get, the realisation that we are only here once, This human experience is enough motivation to want to learn & try as much as possible. The thought of being confined to just doing one thing & that’s you until it’s not, scares TF outta me.
Oh I almost forgot: DEADLINES!
Those fuckers will keep ya awake at night...
JT) How long have you been tattooing for and how did you get your start?
JB) I actually lived with a tattooer (RIP D.WADZ) fresh outta school at age 16-18, Which was my first real introduction to the industry and the lifestyle that went along with it. I knew I was hooked immediately. At the time I was busy skating everyday & partying way tooo much, so I definitely lacked the discipline to focus on tattooing back then. It wasn’t until coming back to Melbourne with broken bones in my foot from skating around Europe I made the decision to chase an apprenticeship. So I did my first “proper” tattoo in 2007 - shout out to WOODY (IG @Irizumiink) for letting me scratch up a storm on a very good friend of mine (@Leestain). It was a rose with a skull in the bud. Oh and most of it fell out hahaha. I was then taken on at the iconic “Advanced Art” in Fitzroy North, crazy to think that was 14 years ago!
JT) Can you tell us what you think the current state of the industry is like and what you think the future holds for the tattoo community?
JB) The tattoo industry is and always has been incredible. It’s an ever-evolving beast, with a never-ending appetite. Right now it's moving at such a fast pace and the level of artistic talent in the community is mind blowing! Not to mention the advancements/technology used in the machines, ink production, needles and of course aftercare.
JT) How has this whole COVID pandemic situation affected you and perhaps forced you to approach business differently?
JB) Can I get political in this?! Everyone who knows me, knows I love a good rabbit hole or conspiracy hahaha but I’ll keep it positive for now.
As we all know, tattooing was deemed non-essential, even though hygiene standards and contact tracing (consent forms) has been a part of tattoo studios daily requirement for decades.
Unfortunately not being able to tattoo, it forced me to go all in with the jewellery hustle (The Cheshire's Grin). This opened up a few amazing opportunities, one of which now has me back at university chasing a diploma in dental technology. Trust me, the dental industry isn’t ready for what we have planned! ;)
Ultimately, COVID made me take a step back and realise where and what makes me the happiest. So now I’m chasing that and life’s good.
JT) Tell us about The Australian Tattooist's Guild. What is it and what does it stand for?
JB) The easiest and simplest way for me to sum up the ATG is; They are the foot in the door with local, state, and federal government for anything tattoo related coming through parliament. As we all know, dealing with government is a numbers game and can be very tedious and difficult.
The ATG is a not-for-profit organisation, spear headed by some of our industry greats. They're devoting huge amounts of their time for FREE, purely so the powers that be, actually recognise the industry as a trade. You’ve only got to look back to 2020 with the COVID restrictions where the government classed tattooers in the same category as sex workers - leaving most of us wondering why hair dressers were permitted to open before us (the ATG helped with getting the doors back open). The Vice President @tashi.glt is the perfect example of being the change you want to see. Submitting countless submissions/proposals for the removal of some of the more draconian “laws” that were put in place under the “tattoo parlours bill 2012” eg: the removal of the finger/palm printing and not to mention assisting with so many amazing artists nationwide in obtaining their tattoo licenses.
So if you're a tattooer reading this and not yet a member - Get on the right side of history. Sign up today: https://
JT) How did you get started with The Cheshire's Grin?
JB) Myself and a few of the boys planned a trip to Thailand where I was going to get my lower 4 incisors swapped out for some gold perms. Once arriving there I decided I didn’t want to deal with the dental pain during my first holiday in years and as soon as we got home, I regretted not doing it.
It wasn’t until a few months later I ran into my now business partner - Paul (@apsjewellery) who I hadn’t seen in years. We got talking and I told him I wanted some gold teeth and if he could make me a set. His reply was that he’s never done that before, but we decided to give it a go anyway.
This took about 6 months to get right and when I say 6 months, I mean: we worked on these 3-4 days a week the entire time and I was so over it. However, Finally we had done it, we had it figured out! The more I wore them, the more people asked about them.
It wasn’t until @Deadcherub got a set and then had himself a few TV appearances with them in that his phone began blowing up. That's when it became obvious we had to do something with it. 5 years later and a global pandemic, here we are.
Much love to all the homies who jumped on from the start and added fuel to the fire. There’s too many to name but you all know who you are, Yeah ......I’m talking about YOU, we couldn’t have done it without ya!
JT) Leave us all with this; What does 2021 have in store for Jay Boogy? What can we all look forward to seeing from you this year?
JB) I’ve been training 3 days a week with @thefrequentflyer so my 6 pack will be coming out of it's 16 year retirement hahaha. Who knows, might even see me dunk come the end of the year! #Whatislife
Basically I’m just gonna keep pushing the limits & see what happens.
JT) Always a pleasure brother.