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Daily Inspiration: Meet Abel Hernandez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Abel Hernandez.

Hi Abel, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I was first introduced to tattooing when I was 14 years old. I didn’t know it at the time, but tattooing would singlehandedly make the biggest impact on my life. From the moment I built my first ‘prison’ machine, I was hooked. Did my first tattoo on my best friend later that week and completely ruined that piece, haha.

After high school is when I really began to dedicate more time to learning the craft. Even today, I’m still a student of the game. For many years I worked with various artists in private studios or even on my own. Almost a year ago now, I was blessed with the opportunity to work under Robert Pho here at Skin Design Tattoos and was even fortunate enough to study directly under him in Hawaii for a few months. I can’t thank him enough for being an inspiration to me and tons of other artists out there. I’m eternally grateful for him taking a chance on a kid from the desert and showing me how to level up in art and in life.

Now I’m back in Orange County ready to put forth my best effort and make some noise out here.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Most definitely NOT a smooth road. It’s supposed to be difficult. That’s what makes us great. Devoting yourself solely to one single thing can seem difficult when the outcome you seek isn’t guaranteed. I’ve been homeless, I’ve gone hungry and there were times I didn’t have a bucket to piss in. The struggles are infinite and too much to even want to reflect on, but I will say I am grateful for the lessons they taught me. Above all, my trials and tribulations would have been enough to break me had it not been for the love and support of very few treasured individuals in my life. I keep them with me at all times.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
The types of tattoos I am best known for would be high contrast black and grey realism. I’m a big fan of American traditional as well and would like to do more work in that style. I like to do a bit of everything..kind of like that saying A Jack of all trades is a master of none but still better than a master of one.

I don’t believe I have done a tattoo I am most proud of. I enjoy them all along with the experiences I have with those who get tattooed by me.

To be honest, I feel I am not set apart from anybody. I don’t feel I’m set apart by my skill set or anything like that. I share a connection with the people I work with and it’s genuine. I live for that.

Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
A risk taker? Me? I try my hardest not to be… the same reason I’m not much of a gambler, there’s no guarantee in winning. No risk no reward? Yeah, but that’s only if you didn’t work hard to get what you wanted in the first place. It’s a grey area to be honest. I have taken risks before, some paid off, others did not. That’s life.

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Image Credits:

Bruno Baltazar

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