Fayetteville tattoo artist goes viral on TikTok with hyper-realistic portraits

FAYETTEVILLE, NC (WTVD) – For most of Jonathan Dump’s life, ink and needle have been his choices.

“I’ve always had a passion for art,” he said.

It’s a passion that the Fayetteville native says became a real interest of his by the age of 14 or 15.

“Jon” has been bringing his artistic skills to a local tattoo parlor known as the “Best Ink of Fayetteville” for nearly 10 years, and spends that time perfecting his two favorite styles: “I think portraits and realism are mostly my focus is. “

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His hyper-realistic tattoo pieces have spawned loyal clients like Zack Mcclanahan, who said he’d been returning to Jon for a couple of years.

“It was a great job. Every time I come in with a piece or an idea, I give it to Jon and he makes it happen,” Mcclanahan said.

Jon’s work has also drawn the attention of millions to the popular TikTok video app, where he posted many of his tattoo portraits. Portraits of famous musicians like Meg The Stallion, Lil Nas X and countless other celebrities have created a huge fan base. The same musicians even recognized Jon’s work on social media and spread his talents to even more people.

Jon started posting videos on the app during the pandemic. His videos really take off in November.

Since then, the Fayetteville-based tattoo artist has garnered a whopping 7.5 million likes, received up to 5.6 million views for one of his videos, and gained more than 600,000 followers.

“I’m very shocked. If you had asked me ten years ago when I started tattooing, if it were, I would tell you you are crazy,” laughed Jon.

This new fame has impacted lines outside of the Skibo tattoo parlor and has even brought in new clients from overseas.

“I did a portrait of Garth Brooks and (the customer) flew in from Mississippi,” Jon said.

Jon said that local celebrity status and worldwide attention won’t change who he is, and it’s an honor to represent Fayetteville.

“Just proud of it, you know, to keep it on the map. I know everyone put it on the map; I’m proud to keep it on the map,” he said.

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