Today we’d like to introduce you to Ignacio Suarez (aka: Cacho).
Hi Ignacio, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Coming from an artistic family, I’ve been drawing since the age of five. My father is a graphic designer and painter, and my mother always encouraged me to express myself through art. By the age of 17, I began to establish myself as a self-taught fine artist; I had my first solo gallery show, and several collaborations with exhibitions and I was invited to speak at important conferences in front of people already in the field. My goal as an artist has always been to create a positive impact on people’s lives and to connect further with my clients and people who appreciate my work.
With this goal in mind, to create an impact on people’s lives through art, I started diving into several art fields that explored that, I did animation, painting, illustration, apparel and finally murals.
Murals are big-scale paintings that would let my art be more approachable for everyone in every moment, that’s exactly what I wanted. But I started to feel limited when it came to the human connection, and I wanted a new canvas to explore. With that intention in mind, I crossed paths with the tattoo world, I became involved in exploring this industry and I wanted to learn more.
After a lot of rejection, I finally met my mentor Erik Gutierrez who opened the doors of his shop for me and was willing to teach me the craft of tattooing.
He showed me what tattooing is not only from a business or money perspective, he showed me that tattoos are the most meaningful form of art that you can do to connect with someone, someone who is willing to trust you with their skin for life.
Tattoos help heal wounds or celebrate special and happy memories, tattoos are marks that tell a story and that help people carry special moments of their lives with them, and the one creating this eternal connection is the tattoo artist.
During one session, which is about two or three hours, there is nothing else other than the tattoo artist and the client, exchanging energies and stories that will be marked for the rest of both of their lives.
When I learned that, I completely fell in love with tattooing, I never felt more attracted to a from of art. It was then that I decided to put all my energy, all my time and all my effort to be the best tattoo artist that my hands and my eyes would allow me to be. I still have a long path of growth and learning ahead, but I am in no rush and I continue to enjoy every step of this beautiful journey.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I wouldn’t call it a smooth road in any way.
By the time I started learning how to tattoo I had no tattoos on me at all, compared to other artists who get tattooed even before they start learning, so by the time they are working in this field, they have so many on them already. By the time I had this meaningful connection with tattoos, and I learned what they could mean to people, I don’t feel like I can just put anything on my body, and when I do know what I want, I would want to work with an artist I can trust who would put the same amount of energy and importance that I put every day on the tattoos of my clients.
So I’m very picky and that’s why I have no ink on my body yet. I have received a lot of negative comments from people in the industry, telling me that I can’t be a respected tattoo artist if I don’t have tattoos on my body.
Another challenge is that I challenge myself every day to be a better artist, there is always room for improvement in this tough industry, and that pushes me to work every day and to be on top of my game every single time.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
What I do is a fine line or single needle tattoos. It is a craft that was very interesting to me since the beginning because of the intricate way you need to work on the skin.
The needle and the speed should be in perfect synchronization, because with one needle doing the work, if you do it too slow the needle will not drop any ink into the skin, and if you do it too fast, the needle will become a blade and it will only cut the skin, so finding that sweet spot right in between is what took me some time to find and now that I got it I love the results I’ve been getting with it.
I like to be known for my fine line work, being able to create tattoos that have very intricate details but most of all I want to be known as an artist who truly cares about his clients. I never try to impose my artistic point of view over my client’s vision or meaning, when I’m able to listen to what they want, I’m able to connect with them and in that way, I’m able to create the best art piece I can possibly do.
What am I most proud of? My hard work, I don’t take anything for granted, I started this path with nothing; borrowing a machine for the first year of my career, with no clients, in a foreign country, with no “important” friends in the industry that could do favors for me. I had nothing and I worked myself up to where I am, and I’m very proud of that, I’m the living proof of what hard work, commitment and focus can bring into your life.
And what sets me apart from others? I think we all are different, I like to see myself as an individual, I don’t like to compete or compare myself to others, I like to think the sun shines on every one of us and that there is plenty of room for all of us. I focus on myself, every day I wake up and I want to be better than what I was the day before, my biggest competition is myself. So that’s how I rule my life, and I think so far people can appreciate it and they come to me because of that. Good energy, hard work, passion and smiles.
Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
One day when I was maybe around 5 or 6 my dad saw that I was interested in drawing, so he took me to his studio and he had filled all his walls with craft paper and gave me a pair of charcoal and let me draw everywhere. That pushed me to feel free and encouraged me to create. That memory turned me into the artist I am today.