If there’s anyone who understands what it means to change perceptions, push boundaries, and make progress, it’s Jared Burnett.
He’s been playing the violin from the insanely young age of three years old. And not only has he perfected his craft since the day he picked up his bow, he’s also broken out of its classical confinements and developed a unique sound of his own.
By the time I was 12, I was burned out on classical music and really wanted to dive into other genres and styles. That’s when I found jazz and rock influences. The tux came off and new tunes started streaming out.
He moved to Orlando from Lakeland, Florida at 18 and started busking on the city streets.
A local radio DJ approached me to see if I’d be interested in performing with an acoustic rock band she managed. I performed with them at their Universal CityWalk gig once and that lead to a two year solo feature in a show there where I got into more mainstream sounds and stylings.
From there, one of the entertainment directors scouted him for a more permanent role at Universal’s own production.
I did that for three years, but then a talent agent from Cirque Dreams, a Cirque du Soleil company, approached me about going on tour, which I couldn’t turn down. I did that for nearly ten years, traveling as a solo violinist in full costume, makeup and character work.
Jared’s also played on Broadway and every major market across the country, Europe, Qatar, Bahrain—all over the world.
Now companies will fly me in for corporate events, keynotes—you name it.
It’s safe to say he’s made it. And yet Jared still hones a sense of humility and pride.
I’m so fortunate that music is my career and my passion. Every time I perform, whether it’s for one person or thousands, it’s an absolute escape for me.
That’s something that brought him to Hart & Huntington tattoo artist Isaac Bills.
Isaac is great. A lot of his progress in his career paralleled mine. Like me, he’d grown up an aspiring artist. You know, kids who draw and play the violin aren’t necessarily the most popular, but now we’ve managed to turn those hobbies into careers. We could truly relate to each other’s successes in our crafts, how what we do never feels like work.
Jared got his first tattoo when he was 18: a treble clef, symbolic of violin music.
I wanted to express the musical side of my life, which became a representation of my entire life.
Now he’s focused on connecting with his heritage and familial roots.
That’s when I went to H&H and sat with the artists there. I wanted to do a half-sleeve that represented my mother’s Nordic background and my father’s Scottish, Irish and Cherokee side.
The H&H team helped him put together several symbolic elements to showcase each facet: a Nordic warrior’s battle helmet, a Scottish belt, and Jared’s family motto, “virescit vulnere virtus” meaning “courage grows stronger at the wound.”
It’s the idea that you can grow from the struggles you’ve had to endure in life.
At the top of his arm is an operatic piece of music that reads “vide cormeum” or “see my heart.” And the piece de resistance:
A Viking ship on the inside of my bicep. It’s awesome because the piece really jumps out. As I unpeeled the wrap and saw it for the first time, I was so excited. It’d finally been finished and connected the way I’d envisioned for over two years from when I first started the sleeve. The depth perception, the clouds and mountains in the background and the ship at the front, it’s incredible. Isaac did an amazing job.
What attracted Jared to H&H in the first place was its proximity to his job.
I’d seen the shop there for ten-plus years and was immediately drawn to it. It’s one of the most recognizable tattoo brands I’ve been exposed to. Not only that, but I’m also an Indian Motorcycle rider so I’ve followed Carey Hart for years. I really connected to the brand, its edginess and individuality.
And he hasn’t been disappointed.
Getting tattooed at Hart & Huntington is an unbelievable experience. When you set your initial appointment, you can use the online portal to upload photos and inspiration of what you’d like. It even connects your appointment to your iCalendar. The whole process is seamless.
But that’s not all.
When you walk into the shop, everything’s clean and organized—and so modern. You can scroll through each artist’s work on iPads for inspiration. This isn’t your average tattoo shop with flash sheets on the wall. It’s a much classier establishment.
The staff are what made the biggest impression on Jared, though.
Everyone in the shop is incredible to work with, from the front desk staff who check you in, to the managers and artists. It’s a great customer service experience from start to finish.
It’s no surprise that Jared has plans to come back.
I want to extend my half-sleeve all the way down to my wrist, likely with a raven as the next point of focus. Something Edgar Allen Poe inspired. Maybe with a clock or compass, and some roses. Either way, I know I can come in here and tell Isaac what I want and trust him to be really creative with it.
To anyone who’s considering getting a tattoo from H&H, Jared would say:
Go in with an idea of what you really want but allow the artist to do their thing. Let them embellish it, put their touch on it. That’s what they’re good at—bringing your vision to life.
Check out Jared's website for more info about his life and music.