Exclusive interview with Tony Mancia | Mancia tattoo 10/05/2010  

It's such an honor to speak with you Tony. You are one of my favorites tattoo artists!! You style is impressive! You're 22 and you're already big name in the tattoo industry! People love your work, share photos of your art...  I bet working with Brandon Bond (All Or Nothing Tattoo) is more than an honor and a great opportunity to grow. Magazine covers, working with many artists, tattoo awards... So much to be told and to be remembered, let's start with some basic info...

Q: How long have you been tattooing?
A: I have been tattooing for about 4 1/2 years.

Q: Do you remember your first experience?
A: Well my first experience was when I was 15. I went to a shitty local shop and got a lot of tattoos..... Then after realizing how horrible they were, I decided to wait till I was 18. When I was 18 I went to a shop to start my back piece. After talking with the artist, he asked if I wanted to apprentice under him. I agreed and that's how it all started. And the only thing I can say about my first tattoo is, thankfully it was on a good friend.

Q: Are there any famous artists, that have influenced you down the path of your career and your creativity?
A: There are many that have given me inspiration to push myself and my artwork. I would say there are two artists that I greatly look up to. They are Tim Kern and Tommy Lee. My first good tattoo experience was getting my ribs done by Tim. Other then the beautiful tattoo, Just watching and talking to him helped my realize what tattooing is about. And Tommy has become a great friend who I look to for inspiration and knowledge.

 Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: I do, I went to Mary wood University to study fine art and painting. Ha I lasted 3 1/2 years and couldn't take another day. During college I was working Tattooing and studying. So two hours of sleep a night was common. I realized that tattooing was more important to me then anything.

 Q: Your tattoos are all custom works, witch is really impressive! How much time do you spend on doing a sketch for each tattoo? What is your biggest inspiration?
A: Yes almost every tattoo I do is custom. That usually means I spend hours for each tattoo design I do. Depending on what I am doing I can spend well over 10 hours on designing a tattoo! It is extensive, I get a sense of satisfaction after doing something I spent a lot of time on, even when the client never realizes that part of the process.

Q: What about the creative freedom in tattooing?
A: About 50 percent of my clients give me full artistic freedom. I love when clients give me a base to start with and let me take it where I want to. The other 50 percent I don't really give them to much of an option, but there are usually more limitations as for subject matter etc...

Q: Can you be permanently creative?
A: There are time when I get artistically burnt out but I usually just need to take a day off.. Which has become difficult with my schedule and traveling, but I love what I do.

Q: Your favorite project you've been doing lately?
A: I have a few projects that have consumed me recently! There are two sleeves and a few large scale side panels that I am having a lot of fun with and that are a good step in the direction I want my work to go.



Q: Tattoo conventions are a good opportunity for all (especially the new) artists. How often do you go on tattoo conventions?
A: I usually try to make as many conventions a year possible with my schedule. this year I would say about 15. Next year I am going to limit Conventions to mostly European conventions and guest spots.

Q: What is your biggest challenge in being a tattoo artist?
A: Time!! There is never enough time in a day to get everything done. Also I haven't had as much time to paint as I would like. But I'm trying to fix that now.

Q: Are there any artists you would like to work with?
A: I don't think there are any specific artists I would want to work with, I just enjoy working around friends and artists that are trying to push themselves. That way you are constantly getting feedback and inspiration from others.

Q: How is the feeling to be so successful and respected at 22?
A: It is an honor. I still have a long way to go. I will never stop trying to progress and create. But I am grateful to have respect from others in the industry that I look up to. And it is nice to be able to travel and meet people you don't know and they have some form of respect for you for what you do.


Q: What would you recommend to someone who is willing to start tattooing?
A: This is a hard question to ask because I feel it comes down to the individual person. For those who are serious about bettering this industry, you will need to sacrifice a lot and put 150 percent into everything you do. And not be a rock star. That`s not what its about.

Q: What are your feature plans?
A: I am working on a little bit of a style change right now. So I am hoping to make some big changes in my work for the better... Also I will be traveling a lot more in Europe and will be taking more time off to paint. So pretty much expect a much more mature style of art for me.

More info at
Thank you Iva!
You are welcome Tony!