Part of Redneck Wedding filmed at Dream Illustrations

Karen Danner
Up front: Tattoo artist Jesse Lewis stands in front of a painting done by a client at Dream Illustrations.

Jesse Lewis and Dream Illustrations will make the national list of household names when “My Big Redneck Wedding” airs on Country Music Television in February.

Lewis will soon do the honor of tattooing a handprint on the arm of James McQuade of Henry, the future groom, who will marry Taran Shofner, also of Henry, on the show.

Shofner drew the handprint design by tracing their son’s hand, and Lewis will make it a permanent piece of art.

The filming crew arrived at Dream Illustrations in downtown Chillicothe Thursday, where Lewis works.

He consulted with McQuade and drew out the design for him.

Lewis, a Chillicothe native who now lives in Washington, has three daughters and a son.

“I drew a lot at the end of high school,” said Lewis. “I got my first tattoo here, and I decided I wanted to work here under Kay (Davis, Dream Illustrations owner).

That was seven years ago. Lewis, who said he does two or three tattoos a day, said he has never seen My Big Redneck Wedding.

“My least favorite place to tattoo is on stomachs,” said Lewis. “It’s like tattooing Jello. Forearms are my favorite, but necks are the coolest.”

Lewis sports his share of tattoos, done by about 15 different people.

As a tattoo artist, he first practiced by giving his father a Zippo lighter tattoo with an Old English “L” for Lewis.

A national “Who’s Who” member, Davis has owned Dream Illustrations for 30 years, and has been in the same location at 934 N. Second St. for more than 10 years.

Davis has four employees, and is well-known for her work with permanent makeup and paramedical tattooing.

Lewis said he estimates it will take about 1 1/2 hours to complete McQuade’s tattoo.

“I’m excited, just like any other,” said Lewis. “It’ll be cool to do something that means something to them.”