Jenn Cordero, Carmelo's Ink City
On this episode of Working: Syracuse, we go inside Carmelo's Ink City tattoo shop, located just off Hiawatha Boulevard, to meet one of the city's few female tattoo artists: Jenn Cordero. Cordero is a 30-year-old artist, gamer, and proud owner of an ugly cat. In a tough, male-dominated field, Cordero employs her smart mouth and sharp eye to set herself apart and attract clients. In the decade since she first picked up a needle, Cordero has worked to elevate her craft. She believes a good tattoo encompasses more than the artistry and execution of the design. The experience of getting each piece also plays a role. "I watch and I listen and I pay attention — even to the tone of the voice and stuff like that," Cordero says. "And being a female, I know how to feminize everything." Tattoos cover Cordero. Her small frame features pieces that illustrate her life story, but she's saving space for a few more chapters. "My back is empty 'cause I'm saving it for when I'm 40. 'Cause my homeboys who taught me how to tattoo are covered by the time they were in their mid-20s, and they were like, 'I don't have room for the rest of my story,'" she says. "So when I'm 40, I'm gonna tell the good bit of it."