Ocean Beach Bulletin

Bay Area

People of Ocean Beach: Jesse Tuesday

Daniel McElmury/Ocean Beach Bulletin

Jesse Tuesday of Judah Street's Tuesday Tattoo pauses while tattooing a customer.

All photographs by Daniel McElmury

The last few blocks of Judah Street have become something of a collective icon over the past few years, symbolizing the outer Sunset District to people from the other side of San Francisco and, through extensive media coverage, from the other side of the country. Whether the area really is representative of the whole neighborhood or not, there are good reasons it’s getting so much attention: innovative restaurants, creative and quirky shops, and sidewalks filled with both fashionable young people and longtime neighborhood residents. Tuesday Tattoo, at 4025 Judah St., is in the middle of all of it. The Ocean Beach Bulletin recently caught up with proprietor Jesse Tuesday and asked him about his work, his life and his place in the neighborhood.

Ocean Beach Bulletin: Where are you from, originally?

Jesse Tuesday: Southern California. Topanga Canyon, to be exact.

What were you like as a child?

I liked running around outdoors, skateboarding, climbing, reading, drawing.

How long have you lived or worked in the Sunset District?

Six years.

What do you like most about the neighborhood?

There’s many things I like the most about the Sunset District, not just one thing. It’s the whole enchilada that makes it what it is, not just the cheese.

How did you get started doing what you do now?

My lifelong interest in art, and my discovery of tattooing as being a rich and timeless form of artistry, got me started. I wanted contribute to the art in a positive way.

What is your dream project, or what is your biggest dream?

My dream project and my biggest dream occur every day. No kidding.

What are your three biggest talents?

Hard question. Sometimes I’m better at things, sometimes worse. But tattooing is at least one of my biggest talents.

In a sentence or two, what is your philosophy on life?

I’ll give the simple answer: Try and treat folks as you’d like to be treated is a good philosophy. A really good one, as a matter of fact.

Describe a real-life experience that inspired you.

The experience of growing up with a mother who is a very creative, independent, hard-working person who has always made a living doing what interested her.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

My mom told me once, “When you’re a young dog you can bark and bite, and folks will put up with it. But when you become a big dog and do the same thing, you get taken behind the barn and shot.” I took that one to heart. Oh wait, maybe that’s philosophy!

What other professions have you had?

Many construction jobs, a cook, etc. Basically hard working jobs that a kid with a mohawk he refuses to cut off can get.

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be?

I wouldn’t want to trade with anybody. My life is entertaining enough, I wouldn’t want to miss a whole week.

How would you improve the Sunset District if you could?

I’m leery of folks who have ideas about “improving” things.

Have you done any volunteer work? If so, In what way have you given back to you given back to your community?

Without having officially volunteered for anything I still feel as tough I give back to the community every day by being a positive member of it.

What attracts people to your business or project?

I think we really do our best to be of service to those who walk in the front door of the shop.

Who do you think of when you think of really interesting or important Sunset District personalities?

I think of all the folks I’ve met who grew up around here. All the recent additions as well. People passing through. Also the folks I see who run the businesses on my street. All of them. I feel if you take the time to talk to the people you see, you will find they are all interesting and important personalities that are part of the Sunset District.

What advice you can give to a youngster coming up?

Work hard. No, harder.


See more of Daniel McElmury’s work at his website,

Source: Ocean Beach Bulletin []

Become a KQED sponsor

About Our News Associate

The Ocean Beach Bulletin covers the news, history and culture of Ocean Beach and nearby neighborhoods on San Francisco's western edge.

Follow KQED News on Facebook

Follow KQED News on Twitter

For the latest updates from KQED News, follow us on Twitter.