interview with Chris Alcala | black & white tattoo style | 25/10/2018

 Hello Chris Alcala! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers.

Q: Tattooing may seem like an easy job but in fact it is not that easy, even if a person has amazing drawing skills. It takes time, patience and dedication to reach a pro level. What s your opinion? Was it hard for you to learn how to tattoo?
A: Hey Iva! Haha you're right, it's not an easy job! I think progress is more about how you react to the situations you're not comfortable with...but I've always loved too learn, I guess that helped me a lot.

- Do you have any artistic background?
I liked art when I was young but I don't have an artistic background as such, I even failed my art GCSE. I didn't really like the theory part.

Q: What s your opinion about tattoo apprenticeship? How crucial is to have some experienced artist to guide you through the learning process?
A: I think an apprenticeship is important... A good artist should teach you the correct way to deal with hygiene, designs, customer care, shop duties, etc. Just from watching a top level artist work you can learn a lot.

Q: What type of art you like the most? Do you feel inspired by some artists out there?
A: I love black and grey realism, that's always been something I'm drawn too. I like all other arts, and I'm definitely inspired by other tattoo artists even some painters and photographers.

Q: Beautiful play with white and black ink, nicely done details and awesome highlights that make every tattoo so special. That's how I would describe your work. ; ) I don't see any color ink, are you more comfortable in this type of work or that's what clients want from you?
A: I've done color before and found that it's not really my thing. But I'm willing to try more, I'm just requested more for black and grey so I guess I don't think about doing a color tattoos as much.

Q: The eye expression is perfectly done, portrait tattoos are definitely the most remarkable designs in your portfolio. People gone crazy for tattoo realism in general but especially portraits. To be able to do a great portrait tattoo, I guess it takes tons of work experience and lots of patience. What details are most time consuming or just nerve wrecking to finish?
A: Faces and features are some of my favorite things to tattoo... I really enjoy doing every part, from soggy old beards to on fleek eyebrows. Hair for me is probably one of the more time consuming features.

Q: Do you cheer up your clients when they complain that tattooing hurts? haha
A: For sure, I'll hold out until someone is in real pain for encouragement. But most times I'd like to think I'm gentle. I normally take breaks every hour or so just to give the client a breather, there's nothing worse than getting consistently stabbed all day long.

- Any funny stories to share with us?
Okay, so this one time I was tattooing a girl and we had just started, I could see from my stencil that she was going to pass out, so I put my machine down and made sure she was steady, little did I know she farted... I stood there holding her waiting for her to come too again. Yup... Sometimes tattooing does you dirty.

Q: I like how you mix more photos in one design tattoo. Very creative. Do you collaborate with your when it comes to ideas? Have you ever refused to tattoo some designs?
A: Yes, I normally speak with my clients and get a feel for what kind of design would suit them before I make the design. I don't really refuse, I'll try to point the client in the right direction if I feel their ideas could be stronger.

Q: How much experimenting is important when it comes to artistic progress? Would you try something different in the near future?
A: Experimenting is very important for progress. You find you're capable of much more if you step out of the comfort zone. Maybe it's time for me to buy a set of colors haha ;)

Q: I think in the last decade the tattoo industry grew so much. We have many interesting, new tattoo styles, new, young exciting artists, tv shows, magazines, seminars, conventions... Even the tattoo equipment, ink brands are so advanced than before. Are you happy to be part of this new era? Do you think there's something we should change in order to get even better?
A: It's great to be part of this new era... So much amazing work going on around us. The levels are always being raised and that makes me want to work hard everyday. I wouldn't change much to this industry I'm happy doing what I'm doing and I love using the new equipment that comes out. But I'd love to see a robot take my job.

Q: What would you recommend to those who are willing to try becoming a pro artist? What's the best approach?
A: I feel flattered that you ask me that... For me the best approach has been to soak up knowledge like a sponge, strive to learn more and create your own style. Also it pays to keep up to date with what the best artists are producing :)

Please write your contact info and some info if you're attending some tattoo conventions soon so me and my readers can say hello and book an appointment ; )
Thanks Iva for taking the time to interview me, that was quite fun actually. Feel free to contact me on 07861514655... I have not yet planned my convention schedule for next year but will be booking it all up soon. Which conventions are you thinking about going too? Many thanks.
Chris @cs_tattoos

Mr.Chris Alcala, Thank you so much for the interview,
Kind Regards,
Iva Green