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Jay Pittenger

Apprentice Tattoo Artist

Jay Pittenger got his start in Pittsburgh as a student of industrial engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. His love of art began in class, where he found himself drawing in the margins of his notes. He thinks in terms of patterns, and enjoyed making art that explored the symmetry and harmony of complex geometry. At the same time, he began what would become a consuming fascination with tattooing. Jay is an avid photographer, initially exploring the art as a creative outlet while he was in school and working. Fans of his work are familiar with his keen eye and sense of proportion. All the while, he was collecting tattoos with a voracious appetite, his interest in the art form and history growing as he honed his own artistic eye.

When the opportunity to learn to tattoo was presented, he rose to meet it, and is now the apprentice tattooer at Sanctuary Pittsburgh.  Jay’s in-depth knowledge of mathematics and engineering leads him to explore the relationship between geometry in its purest form and in the expression we see of it in nature, the order of the universe manifest as spirals, architecture, even motion.  Through tattooing, Jay seeks to bridge the philosophical side of geometry and math with the physical art of tattooing, and create art that transcends both the abstract and the tangible to create something entirely new and sacred.

While his goals are ever changing as he learns and grows, Jay’s ultimate desire is to tattoo large scale geometric blackwork projects. He hopes to work with likeminded clients who come to Sanctuary for the open-mindedness and welcoming community that he hopes to perpetuate. He wants people to know that if they’ve ever felt intimidated or unwelcome in a tattoo studio, they are welcome at Sanctuary Pittsburgh.

While Jay is not currently booking apprentice tattoos, he will be opening his books again in May. For additional information or questions, please reach out at, or click the link below. Follow him on Instagram for the announcement that his books are open, and to see his available flash sheets. 

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