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Meet Jhon Gutti of Outer Limits Tattoo in Long Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jhon Gutti.

Jhon, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’m from Colombia, I’ve been tattooing for about 14 years, the last six here in LA area with Outer Limits. Started tattooing almost at the same time, I started studying architecture, to make some income and to help my parents with the expenses of my career.

When I finally got my degree, I realized that my true passion was tattooing, and against all my family expectations, I decided to just focus on the art of tattooing. It’s never been easy, back then, no one wanted to share any knowledge nor take you as an apprentice. There wasn’t much information online as there is right now, so you pretty much needed to do it on your own, and to build up a set of skills and a good reputation was always a challenge.

After many years of hard work and focused on getting better, you realize that the best way to learn is respecting what you are doing, taking care of yourself and being very honest with yourself when critiquing your work, I do that a lot, I stare at my work after I’m done and analyze every inch to see what I can do better the next time. I think the majority of Artists around the world push themselves to become the better version of them, and that’s not exclusive to Artists, I found inspiration in many people that are not related at all to tattoos, but they are just a great example of what you can achieve when you work hard to get your goals.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I don’t think there’s such thing as a smooth road when it comes to life, every person will encounter challenges along their way. Difficulties can tend to shape the best of you. Since day one, I have had to deal with many of these; coming from a very traditional family where everyone expects you to become what they had created in their minds about you. Visiting countries around the world where they always think of you as a drug mule or trafficker because that’s the only reference they have of your country when you are only bringing art. And moving to a country where you don’t speak the language, where you are not familiar with the culture, manners here are very different from what I know. These are just a few. Not every door you knock on will open, but you can’t let yourself down because of that, you have to keep trying.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Outer Limits Tattoo – what should we know?
I specialize in Realistic tattoos mainly in black and gray. People come to me when they want a very custom piece, or a portrait of a loved one, and even more a portrait of their dogs. I’m proud of having the opportunity to meet so many people, some of them come in as a client and they leave as a friend, some of them became family. I think people come to the shop because of the atmosphere, there’s almost a hundred years of history within those walls, and getting tattooed by some of the artists is normally a very fun experience. It hurts too.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My wife had always been a pillar to me, she knows every corner of my world, she always helps with my struggles, always gives me an honest opinion. She inspires me everyday to be better. Kari Barba the shop’s owner, she offered me an opportunity that not too many can have, working side by side with her it’s been always an honor and a complete pleasure, I always tell people that she’s like my second mom.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Photo of me credits to Alejandra Salazar.

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