EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH Rich Pineda by Iva Kancheska 29/04/2013
Hi Rich Pineda, thanks so much for taking the time
to answer some questions for our readers. Please start by
telling us a little about yourself, and how you got into tattooing?
Are you a self-taught artist? How did you learn the basic skills?
I started in this Industry 3 years ago. I have been an artist my whole life, always drawing from a young age, as a teenager I really got into work on canvas and other mediums and then continuing to do art as an adult by getting into custom automotive and faux painting as a career. Tattooing happened to come into my life at the perfect time, to me it was just a different canvas, it took some learning but once I got the hang of it I was hooked.
Q: You have a well-defined tattoo style. From technical aspect I can say that your work is outstanding. Seems like the color tattoos are something that you most enjoy. What is most difficult in doing a color piece?
I do enjoy color pieces and I like to use a lot of colors, sometimes I have a palette of 30-40 colors for one tattoo, so making them work together can be a challenge.
Q: Portraits are probably the most remarkable designs in your portfolio. What inks do you use? What is the secret?
I only use all Eternal Brand Inks, they have a large palette and every color is usable. It's a very high quality ink. Being that the ink is all that I leave the client I want to make sure I'm giving them the best I can. It was also the first set I ever purchased so it's been an honor to be sponsored by them as well. No secrets here, I think it's really just a knowledge and understanding of value and color theory when picking your palette.
Q: Would you consider yourself as a portrait artist?
I think I consider myself a realism artist. I love doing portraits but I also love doing anything realistic. But I do get chosen to do a lot of floating heads.
Q: Do you remember when the impression for this kind of work first began?
The first time I saw work from Mike DeVries, Franco Vescovi, Nikko Hurtado, Mike Demasi. I was blown away that this kind of work was being done on skin. I've been doing art from a very young age and was always into that style as an art form but seeing it on skin, it was unreal.
Q: Looking at some of your masterpieces makes me want to get a tattoo! lol Are you always "the main" creator in someone's tattoo idea? Are you always supportive to your client's idea?
Usually the client will come to me with an idea, we can go back and forth a couple times with images. I try to be selective with what I tattoo so that I can get the best for my client. I like my pieces to be heavy in value, the darker the dark is the lighter the light will appear. It doesn't necessarily have to have a lot of black, just dark values.
Q: What would be the weirdest portrait tattoo ever? Is there any piece that is still undone? (laugh)
When I had been tattooing for a couple months I had a girl come in and request a unicorn puking out stars and shitting out a rainbow, I thought she was joking but she was serious, that was definitely the weirdest tattoo I have ever done.
Q: What are the most interesting experiences with the customers? We would be happy to hear the funniest story.
I wouldn't say I have had anything really funny or interesting but I have had a lot of people who will fly out here just to come and get tattooed by me, that's pretty awesome and it means a lot to me that people would fly out here just to get my work on them. I've had people fly from Canada, New York, Australia, New Zealand, that's a serious form of flattery to me.
Q: Your crazy tattoo lifestyle give you the chance to meet lots of interesting people around. Is there any famous people that you've met and suddenly become your idols, people you look up to? Let's say meeting (the brilliant) Tim Burton?
Growing up with my family in the film industry I have had the pleasure of meeting people such as Tim Burton, and musicians that I admire such as Danny Elfman. To be honest though, I feel a little more starstruck when I meet some of my favorite tattoo artists that I look up to. I used to think a lot of the people in this industry were very unapproachable, but I have come to find out that they are very cool, super down to earth people. Freddy Negrete has been such an amazing person to get to know, I have the utmost respect for him, he's been doing this for awhile now and he is still a relevant artist today, watching him continue to progress and continue in this industry gives me hope that I can stay relevant and continue to grow as an artist as well.
Q: Any tattoo artists you want to work with? Or you simply love to keep it simple as an independent tattoo artist?
The list is pretty endless but if I had to pick my top 2 I would definitely have to say Nikko or Paul Acker.
Q: What keeps you creative? What is coming on your mind every morning while you go to work? Is there any trick that people should know in order to become successful?
Seeing the endless amount of amazing artists out there definitely makes me want to continue to push myself. I know I can always grow and always continue to learn, you can never stop learning. Every morning when I come to work I'm always thinking damn I'm late, because seriously I'm always running late, it may only be 5-10 minutes but you can always count on me to be late haha. I really believe that in this age social media is one of the best tools for your business, posting your work is the way to get your name out there, I can honestly say without it I don't know if I would have the reach to other countries that I have had.
Q: Being Rich Pineda, must be a blast, being creative and talented is a gift, lots of tattoo awards, magazine covers, would you say that those things gives you the adrenaline to become even better?
Don't get me wrong all that stuff is great but the best part of my life is doing what I love everyday. I get to wake up and draw on people everyday, that's pretty cool and I get to meet some awesome people while I do it.
Q: From your long tattoo journey, what would you say that was the best moment in your career? What is the next challenge?
Well it hasn't been that long but it's all been an amazing journey so far. I have had so many opportunities in this business that I never would have had the chance to experience otherwise. I have been accepted into this industry with open arms by some of my heroes. I just hope to be able to continue in this industry until I can't pick up a machine anymore.
Q: Any advice for those who are starting out their career?
Just be patient and make sure your going through the process the correct way and have the ultimate respect for those who paved the way.
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