tattoo interview with arlo | Elysium Studio, colorado 26/06/2017

 Hello Arlo! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions for our magazine.

Q: Was it hard to learn tattooing? How long took you to learn the basic skills?
A: Yes, it most definitely was the hardest medium I have ever learned to express my art through. I would say it took me about a year to get down the basics but I still feel like there is so much more to learn and definitely do not feel like I have even come close to mastering this medium.

Q: Your style is really unique, every tattoo is like an illustrated story, so beautiful! You make a mix of realistic and surrealistic designs all in one piece... Tell me more about this. How do you combine the basic ideas to the final one?
A: Well, I typically start by searching or browsing through my plethora of reference pictures to find some image that fits the direction of the client's interest. Then once I find some that appeal to me and that I feel goes along with the theme or direction my client is interested in I then piece the image together in a way that I feel is aesthetically pleasing.

Q: Beautiful, highlights, perfect use of white and black ink in every tattoo, how much the knowledge of tattoo inks play a big role in professional tattooing not just right after when the tattoo is finished, but even years later?
A: I believe having high quality plays a huge role in the longevity of the tattoo. I feel I have seen tattoo ink progress tremendously even in the short time I have been in the industry. Or it could just be the application of the ink has gotten that much better, or maybe a mixture of both. I know from an artist's perspective you can definitely notice a difference when using different inks. Consistency, vibrance, and of course the healed product.

Q: Arlo, all this time tattooing, must be a blast, instead of just countless hours of hard work. You created your own, recognizable style. It only takes a second to say, Oh, that must a tattoo done by Arlo! I guess this is every artist's goal in their career! ;) What makes your style so special? :) Is it the technique, the creative approach?
A: Well, thank you! I feel honored that you feel that way about my work. It is definitely something every artist strives to achieve. Of course my style was built and influenced by many other artists that I have been exposed to throughout my career so I can't take full credit. :) It's extremely tough for me to say what makes my work so recognizable because I'm looking at these pieces and artwork for hours and hours, so I think that tends to interfere with the way that I perceive my work. I feel like when I first really started developing my own style is when I got my own artistic freedom and was able to start doing what I really wanted and not just what the client wanted. I have always been attracted and drawn to eery imagery, something that incites a feeling of the unknown.

Q: Some people would probably say that your tattoo works are a bit philosophical, like there is something more than just a tattoo. Is there any hidden message in some of them?
A: Each one of my tattoos is very different. Some have a lot of deep meaning behind them where as others are just an imagine that provoked an emotional response within myself and hoped would translate into a powerful piece that the viewer would feel the same about. The goal with the majority of my tattoos is to elicit a response of question, awe, and wonder similar to the feeling you used to have as a child first being introduced into this reality.

Q: Would you experiment with different styles some day?
A: Yes I would, I'm always looking to expand and try new things. I believe art is ever evolving and I personally would not like to find myself becoming complacent and doing the same style.

Q: In your every day life, you meet lots of different people, telling their life stories while getting tattoos. Did you learned something from your clients? :) How much being friendly-open to the clients makes more of them?
A: Yes, I learn and try to learn new things from every individual I encounter, not just clients. I would say I do get to know my clients on a more personal level because of how intimate the tattoo process is. I approach everyone with the same level of openness and feel that approaching people in this way forms stronger bonds which in turn contributes to the experience as a whole.

Q: Where are you located now?
A: Currently I am located at Elysium Studio in Grand Junction, Colorado. I can be contacted at, on Instagram (@arlotattoos or @elysiumstudio), or on Facebook (Arlo Tattoos).

Q: Tattoo conventions and guest spots are also big part of your tattoo life. What are some of the upcoming collaborations, project that you look forward?
A: I will be attending the London Tattoo Convention, Puerto Rico Tattoo Convention, and Viva La Tinta in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Q: Any motivational words for the new artists?
A: If I should give advice to new artists it would be to set aside at least one day a week to do a tattoo that is an art piece or design that you want to do, even if it means you are not getting paid to do it, you are able to display the style of work you truly enjoy doing.