1. How did you get your start in tattooing?
Through my friend Sam Ngo from Big Buddha Tattoo, Fullerton, CA and through Annabelle Headlam from Poetry on Skin Tattoo, Zell am See, Austria
2. When did you learn to tattoo? Did you have a formal apprenticeship? How many years have you been a tattoo artist now?
I started to tattoo on and off late 2007, but really didn’t get into it full time until early 2010.
3. When did you realize that you wanted to become an artist and make it your career?
Ever since I was a kid. I was sidetracked though many times but in the end I found my way back to it and earned my degree in art from the California State University, Fullerton.
4. What did your family and friends think about you getting into the tattoo business?
They are not surprised at all. They are very supportive and know that I have the heart of an artist. Nobody expected me to be a tattoo artist, but what does anybody expect at all anyway?!
5. What would you say is your favorite part of the job?
If a customer leaves all decisions by me and trusts me completely. Then i can take off!
6. What are your favorite styles of tattooing?
Since I’m also a classical, figurative and representational oil painter, I love tattooing original great master paintings and/or my own creations in the manner of these. But besides that, I do also like cartoons, stylized and dark subject matters.
7. Do you have plans to travel much this year to work conventions or guest spots?
If so, where can collectors find you? Do you still have appointments available? I will travel but more for my oil painting side of me. As far as it goes to tattooing I will be available at Poetry on Skin Tattoo, Zell/See, Austria and Classic Rock Tattoo, Salzburg, Austria
8. Do you have any favorite machines that you have been using lately? What about inks?
Yes, definitely. I love the bishop rotary. Besides the craftsmanship and great power, I also love the fact that it’s made in Orange County, CA where I first started this art.
9. What are some of your favorite things to do outside of tattooing? As I mentioned above, painting in oil, photography and of course traveling.
10. Do you have favorite tattoo on yourself?
Yes on my lower left arm, a 18th century painting called ‘the moon’ by Bouguereau and on my left shoulder a Baroque painting by my favorite Old Master Caravaggio called ‘St. Jerome’. Both done by Annabelle Headlam.
11. If there was one thing you could change about the tattoo business, what would it be?
Not sure. Everything seems to run quite ok. Maybe some of the old school studios could loosen up a bit on the draconic rules.
12. Do you feel that tattooing is finally getting recognized as a fine art by the arts community?
Oh absolutely. In California and NY where I first started, many gallery artists crossed over to tattooing (like myself) and visa versa. There are great examples of tattoo artists that can paint like Old Masters. Some of which could teach an art professor one or the other thing. Bottom line is that both communities can feed from each other and that a marriage of the two, if not already happened, is inevitable. I curated the first gallery artist meets tattoo artist art show in Salzburg under the name “Brush 4 Needle, Canvas 4 Skin 1.0”. If people are up for it, we’ll do another one.
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