Juano is a humble, friendly guy and full of energy and street charm. We asked him some questions about his career and life.
Did you go to school to become a tattooist?
Not to be a tattoo artist, but to become a Graphic Designer. I finished my studies in Cordoba, in the Lino E Spilimbergo art school, where I learned about color and composition which helped me in becoming a tattoo artist. A lot of what I know now was self-taught, but I'm proud to say I met some really good people on the road who helped me and gave me a proper direction to my career.
When did your passion for tattoos start?
It was always there from when I was a kid. It was something really attractive to me, but it really became a passion after my first tattoo. That's when I started to ask and learn about needles, inks, machines, etc. It was a nice way to keep myself busy at the beginning, but each day the passion grew stronger. After some years it became a huge thing for me, a complete lifestyle. I can say I was really fascinated by the connection between the tattoos, the music and skateboarding. A whole world full of things to discover.I have amazing memories from that time.
When did you get your first tattoo? What was it?
I got it when i was 16 years old in my hometown, Tartagal. A friend which also was part of the local rock scene at the time put me in contact with who I believe was the first real tattooist and expert in needles ironing at that time. He also gave me some tattooing tips. The design I chose was a skull with a dagger, completely black. I got it and I still have it, I'm happy with it as it was a really nice adventure full of rock and roll.
When did you open your first studio?
I opened my first official studio this year, 'The Gentlecat tattoo atelier'. It came as an alternative to the mainstream that is becoming popular today. The main focus in our studio is to work with designs that people are passionate about. Keeping exclusive, and giving the possibility to the artists to develop their own personal styles.
Before this, I worked in many different studios all over Europe and Latinoamerica. And I had some private studios too, where I could really work on my designs and I felt no time pressure.
Where is your studio?
My studio is located in Frankfurt Am Main Germany.
I've worked as a resident in Germany for two and a half years. You can find first level tattoo artists all over Germany, but Frankfurt for some reason is still artistically young but it is growing really fast. You can also find good people who make tattooing their passion and not just make it a cold business, which is really important for the scene to grow. I also think it depends on what people want tattooing. We all had different schools and learned with different masters. In this sense, I can say, I'm a lucky guy.
What artists influenced your art?
It's a long list, but in general, l was very influenced by Graffiti artists, illustrators of plastic artists etc. In Cordoba I had the opportunity to work with big artists. They were really versatile in all aspects, not just in tattooing but also in sculpture, painting and even music which really helps a lot in the beginning when you are learning what it is all this about. I found it really important to have a proper guide.
What tattoos do you like to do the most?
I mostly like tattoos with a graphic look because have a lot of elements from the comic books, engravings, and Urban art. This mix gives you a lot of freedom. Classic tattoos are something I personally enjoy too. I think tattoos with a concept and story behind them are also incredibly amazing and have even more value. Through the years I've been constantly studying and learning about tattoos. This brought me to combine different techniques and styles. Always trying to make sure the color lasts long and stays solid trough time. Of course, tattoos are limitless which is what I love most about them.
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever tattooed?
The infinity symbol.hahaha
What passions other than tattooing do you have?
Music, over all it is always good and healthy.
What music do you like?
ska, punk, hardcore, reggae , are the genres that define me as an artist and as a person. But I'm always open to any music, lately I’ve been listening a lot of blues.
What advice do you have for future tattooists?
You should always take it seriously. Studying is a MUST! It does not matter how good you are as an artist, it is your manners that are also important. Be respectful to artists from the past who helped to build this history up, Be constant and carry on if it is something you really love.
If you are interested in getting tattooed by Juano you can request one via direct messages on his inkbe page.