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Art & Life with Rodrigo Rincon Jr

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rodrigo Rincon Jr.

Rodrigo, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley since I was a little boy by my parents who are Mexican immigrants that came to the United States in the mid-80s. I am the oldest siblings of four. I was a very problematic child growing up, bouncing from one place to another including schools even to court almost every other week. Art began to be an escape for me. I was always drawing in some way shape or form. I remember as a kid, I went to CVS with my uncle who was like a father figure me, to pick up drawing pads. When I was transferred to Taft High school in Woodland Hills I met two of my favorite teachers, Mrs. Nazarian (a calligraphy teacher) and Mrs. Flood (an art teacher), both amazing and talented women. They never once judge me nor cared what I did in my past or came from.

All they want me to do is grow from my art without any restrictions and move forward. I received my high school diploma from John F. Kennedy High School in 2007 and I pushed drawing to the side for bad reasons once again. My love for art never faded even when I was discouraged by an art instructor from college. Apparently the way I drew and held my pencil was incorrect so I stopped going to college. Instead, I focused on drawing designs for people to get tattooed which led me to purchasing my first tattoo machine when I was 20 years old. I applied for a tattoo apprenticeship and was given the opportunity by John Corell from Why Not Ink Tattoo in Mission Hills, CA. I started my apprenticeship in 2010 and became a Tattoo Artist by 2012. I learned many things by meeting many artists and building a clientele. Fast forward to 2020 and I am still tattooing at Why Not Ink Tattoos. I still can’t believe how fast a decade went by. This year I started some exciting new business ventures with some in the works but some already created such as my Podcast station.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My art consists of tattooing, drawing and lettering. I enjoy creating my art while listening to classical music or music such as Lindsey Stirling. With this music my atmosphere shifts and I am transported to a different dimension. When I am completely alone, and my imagination takes over. Depending on my mood is what defines what I will be doing for the day. For tattooing it is therapy for myself as it is for my clients. I become a therapist, a friend and their confidant to all. I get the most amazing, weird, and funny stories that make my tattoos that more memorable. I create art with a story behind that they can take back to their family and friends and in return, I receive new clients, friends and stories. I am currently trying to focus on the life drawing and portrait tattooing as it captures a more personal aspect of life. I create what I see and do what feels great. When my clients get a new piece by me it comes with laughter and fun times. I enjoy tattooing black and grey pieces as well as capturing pictures as it takes you back in time to a more simple but beautiful time.

How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
As an artist, I define success by your personal accomplishments. I personally believe having an open mind and being ready to receive constructive criticism in order to become a successful artist at your craft. I have come across many artists over the years and always learn something new which I applied to my art whenever I can. I have seen many artists who let their ego take over and refuse to take advice which in contrast would hinder them not being able to progress to the next stage. It can be something very simple as learning a new technique or something more of a personal thing. Being a successful artist is also becoming a successful businessman/woman as well. From knowing how to price and valuing your work, time and yourself. Don’t cut yourself short. Coming from my own experience, in the beginning when I first started tattooing I wasn’t sure how much I should charge or if I would make any money. I became more open-minded and started to accept constructive criticism. This gave me the opportunity to support my family, to buy them more things and take them places where I have never been. Success is also being able to show your family a different perspective in life.

Another way I can say you can be successful as an artist is being able to teach other people. Teaching them new things so that they can share with others, this is a form of success in my opinion or as Denzel Washington said “each one teach one”. When I heard his speech this had a resounding effect on my life and if you apply this artistically it makes even more sense. What this means is if you learn something don’t keep it from somebody. Help them out, help them push further beyond the boundaries of what they are currently at. This in return will come back to you when it is most needed, and someone will help you to push forward. This to me is a form of success that is more valuable than monetary compensation.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
People can see and support my work by following me on Instagram @Tattoosbyrigo or they can also follow my podcast “Life is Crazy”. It is available on the following Podcast platforms: Spotify, Apple Podcast, Anchor, Breaker, Overcast or Radio Public. I will also be posting dates on my Instagram of the art shows/ tattoo conventions that I will be attending this upcoming year. Merchandise will be coming out very soon.

Contact Info:

  • Address: Why Not Ink Tattoos
    15424 Chatsworth St., Mission Hills, CA 91345
  • Phone: 818-336-0167
  • Email: tattoosbyrigo@yahoo.com
  • Instagram: tattoosbyrigo

Image Credit:
@scarlet_martinez

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