Jessica Cooke

… is the owner of Primary Concepts tattoo studio (on 219 E Street in Davis), where she also works as an artist. Call (530) 400-9622 for an appointment.

Tell me about the Mexican skin thing.

After you tattoo enough people, you start to pick up on little differences between skin types; there are certain skin types in particular that are problematic—they’re tougher and they don’t take ink as easily.

So Mexican skin is tougher?

It seems a little tougher, yeah; harder to get the ink to flow. But with a good tattoo artist, it shouldn’t make a difference anyway. And with Irish people, I noticed they bleed a little more.

Maybe it’s all the oppression.

Maybe. Someone said it’s the alcohol.

Are there any tattoos you won’t do?

I won’t do any tattoos that are intended to offend other people.

Like a penis on the forehead?

Eh, probably not, depending on the person.


No, I wouldn’t do it.

What are your favorite tattoos to do?

The really intricate and complicated ones … that are really colorful and take a lot of my thoughts. And stuff that is atypical.

You said something about Primary Concepts being a friendly tattoo shop …

A lot of stereotypical tattoo shops can be friendly, but they can also be really dark. You come in here and feel like you’re in some crazy living room with an art gallery, nice music, lots of plants …

No rockabilly dudes smoking outside.

Right. We don’t let anybody smoke in the front. People are really surprised at how relaxed and chill it is.

Do you ever get parents calling you like, “What the fuck did you do to my daughter?”

No, but we’re called Primary Concepts and it doesn’t say tattoos on it, so I bet a lot of the kids lie.

What’s your ideal customer?

A rich customer who wants their whole body done.