Interview with Alberto aka Pina Pain

   Hello Alberto Pina Murillo aka PinaPain! Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview. Start by telling us something about yourself and your background. What inspired you to start tattooing? Do you have any formal artistic training? Hello, thank you for the interview. From an early age I was passionate about the world of urban art because it was the one that had the easiest access for me. At the age of 16, I discovered Chicano art through graffiti magazines, I saw the incredible murals in Southern California and I quickly began to soak up their culture and became interested in tattooing. At the age of 18, I acquired my first machine and began to practice until now.

Q: How did you learn the basics? Did anyone help you? What is your opinion about learning to tattoo? Can you be successful and self-taught on your own?
A: At first I ventured alone into this but luckily I met several friends who had been in the art world longer, from whom I was able to learn not only techniques, but to love tattooing itself and to travel around the world, to conventions and different studios, to be able to continue learning from all the artists possible. I think that if you can be self-taught, and sometimes just as many people can teach you their virtues, they can also teach you their defects, in my case I have learned from many people and I continue to learn, I will never stop learning.

Q: What kind of tattoos you used to do as a beginner? Would you re-do some of them now?
A: Mainly or at least in my case, do linear, simple tattoos, going too high can frustrate you at first.

Q: Who was your first client? What was the tattoo, do you remember? How did it feel to mark someone for life?
A: I remember my first client Murphy, over the time I did more tattoos on him, but he was the one that gave me the confidence. It was a phrase on his back that is probably difficult to read right now hahahahhaha, I remember that when I finished, my hand hurt from holding the coil machine for hours.

Q: Continue talking about your progress,
A: I began to feel more confident as soon as I started tattooing daily, I was 20 years old when I entered in my first professional studio. Thanks to the work that Adrian Hidalgo and Samuel Rico's studio gave me, I began to improve little by little and feel confident when working on new tattoos.

Q: Black and gray realism and some pretty Chicano tattoos. Why, what do you like most about these styles?
A: I simply started tattooing because of Chicano art, it inspired me so much that I just wanted to be able to create tattoos like the one my idols did in this style, the softness of the compositions. Over time I have learned to appreciate all styles and venture into different ones and mix everything up.

Q: Let's talk about Chicano style. What are the main features?
A: For me the main thing is to achieve a clear shadow in all its tones, from light to dark, fine, precise finishes, and have a good style not only technically but creatively too, everything has to flow.

Q: Unlike realism, I think Chicano style is a lot more fun and there is more room for creative exploration. Your thoughts?
A: It is a style that allows you to experiment, it is not based solely on making a cholo or a chola, for me it is interpreting all the elements you want, that tell you something, you can tell stories by making good compositions. Honestly, what has attracted me the most is that mischievous and at the same time it's an elegant style.

Q: Do you do a lot of sketching before the session or can ideas come spontaneously during the session?
A: Normally I usually have clear ideas and I carry them out but sometimes a design can take me longer than normal. I try to capture what my clients demand and I am grateful that usually no one requests any design changes.

Q: Both styles are no joke! Even the smallest mistake can "ruin" the entire tattoo. I think realism is unforgivable when it comes to this. Do you have any favorite tattoos you've done that are like a technical and creative "update"?
A: Of course, a bad line or a wrong tone can cost you a bill, it requires good technique and design preparation to know what tone to use at all times. I have several projects right now in black and gray with a very fine finish and others more contrasted and graphic. My intuition says that I'm going to work a lot more in this last style because I think those tattoos look better on the skin.

Q: I love big tattoos like sleeves and back. How long does it take to finish a tattoo as big as that?
A: It depends on the style, it may take more or less, if my clients for example want to hire me for a manga in Chicano style I can do them between 6 and 8 sessions but if I do a more graphic style I can finish them in 4.

Q: Regarding the long sessions, the longest one? How do you handle the pressure of achieving good results while maintaining great concentration and good stamina?
A: I think my longest session has been about 13 hours, although nowadays I think that the ideal per day is about 8 hours maximum. You can't put too much stress on the body because this will affect its healing. Simply to be focused, you need confidence in what you are doing and to be well prepared, then everything flows.

Q: Do you have any advice for those who want to get a full back piece or any other large tattoo? What should they do before a session?
A: First of all, be sure what type of piece you want to get and contact the right artist. My recommendation for any client before a session is to have rested enough, to have hydrated and eat well, and to be as relaxed as possible.

Q: Only black and gray? Any color tattoos in the future?
A: Unfortunately I have always worked black and gray :) although it is true that I am using some solid colors in a new style that I am working on, you will be able to see it soon.

Q: Do you have any tattoos? If so, tell me a little about your collection. How old were you when you got your first tattoo?
A: I have a few pieces, I wear pieces from different artists from all over the world but my collection is black and gray and lettering. Probably if I were clean I would make myself a complete Japanese suit. I think it is the most elegant style. I got my first tattoo when I was 18 years old.

Q: We live in a time where information is power and we seem to have a lot of information about anything and anyone. This can be due to social media, Insta-famous influencers, reality TV shows, and fake fame, usually without talent or authenticity. I think this covers the tattoo industry to some extent. It's easy to confuse true talent with a large following...

- Do you think potential clients can be confused when choosing a good tattoo artist?
Obviously, just because your ig account has a large number of followers does not mean that you are the most talented artist. I know very very good artists who are barely known, but in the world we live in I have understood that it is important that your social networks active. Since having a high number of followers will make first-time clients who do not have much knowledge notice you. Well, people are going to associate that you are good or not depending on your impact, whether you like it or not, the world works like that right now. You can be the best tattoo artist for artists but in the end you work for your clients, never forget that.

Q: Do you like the local tattoo scene? You have a huge scene and very good artists, at least in my opinion.
A: Thank you very much, I appreciate it. With the new studio we are working to create a solid base of good artists with good values ​​for both the tattoo artists and the clients. I love that new potential artists come out, and above all I like being able to work alongside them to learn from everyone.

Q: What about the global tattoo scene? Do you have a favorite artist you would like to work with?
A: Simply overwhelming, there are many incredible artists, I can't choose a specific artist because I can't stick to just one, but if tomorrow I had to share the room I would like to sit next to Abiru so I can learn some tips hahahah

Q: The American tattoo scene is very diverse and continually growing. Would you consider moving to the US? That would be a great career highlight!
A: Of course it is the country that attracts me the most, to grow as an artist, in fact I am working on my work visa to be able to start moving around the United States.

Q: If you have the opportunity to work in the United States, where do you want to go and why?
A: I would like to go in California, New York and Texas, simply because I know and have met many artists there. It is also where I have noticed the greatest impact of my work through social networks. I honestly love the USA.

Q: Nowadays artists travel to attend conventions and guest spots. It's really nice to see so many great artists, share knowledge, have fun and, if you're lucky, win a prize too. It's also great to see live tattooing, whether solo or multiple artists working on a large tattoo. It's great to see it in real life. How often do you participate in these types of events?
A: Of course, I think it is important to travel to different conventions to get to know artists and cultures. I am lucky to have attended many conventions in different countries in Europe, South America and Asia. It's great to be able to win awards as well. I have a special appreciation for a convention in Italy in (fovea) where I won the awards for "The Best of Show".

Q: This job requires a lot of time and total dedication. What keeps you motivated?
A: My greatest motivation is to continue doing tattoos and other types of art in all styles. I love seeing new artists and new works, seeing my team grow, it always inspires to continue improving.

Q: Write down your contacts, social media links and studio location. Also let us know if it is available for bookings.
Ig:pinapaintattoo
Ig Studio:hallkids_tattoo
I am currently open for bookings.