Jairo Carmona Velez
I started learning about tattooing when I was 17 years old when I was introduced to a semi-famous tattooist at that time in my city. I really wanted to get a tattoo and they told me that he was really good, my intentions were never to go for an apprenticeship or anything like that. I went to the shop and it was super bright and it had loads of tattoo flash on the wall it was almost like a little casino with a cool atmosphere, then this guy asked me for the idea for my tattoo and I told him that I wanted a pen and some paper to draw it because I didn't know how to explain it. (by the way, I hate when people do this haha) In the middle of the stress of drawing in front these people I came up with some terrible designs but he told me that my lines weren't too bad, that maybe I could come to the shop to help and learn how to do tattoos. I was just finishing school at that time plus I was about to start university it was a difficult time because I was really busy but I said yes, he taught me a lot, how to do lines, how to make the needles, how to clean the shop properly and organise his station, even some colour basic theories that at the same time I was studying at uni. I was really influenced at that moment by graphic design, punk rock, graffiti's,comic art it was like an understanding one single thing by two different way with one purpose.
I still think that to understand a tattoo shop you need to go through many colours, personalities and stages of understanding of what you are doing I think that was my beginning but not the end of my hunger for learning, I knew that if I wanted to learn I had to travel meet people, draw, paint and explore different techniques I think every time that I had the pleasure of meeting artist that understood this as good as me helped me to learn a bit faster, it's all about the contrast.