Meet Chase Tafoya, artist, tattoo specialist, lover of dogs but not cats
"My first tattoo was a tiger head on a buddy of mine. I had no clue what I was doing!"
TF/M/O(34, Male, Oregon)
Favorite ice cream flavor?
Pear and blue cheese from Salt and Straw. Sounds gross but so good!
Fruits or Vegetables?
I eat watermelon 24/7. So fruit.
Last book you read?
The autobiography of Gucci Mane. Brrrrrrr!!!
Did you ever have a strange attraction to any of the Golden Girls?
Betty White is my boo. (I wonder if that's a hashtag?)
What made you first get into drawing?
I started drawing when I was 3 and have never stopped. Art was never forced on me as a kid, but my parents always made sure there were markers, pencils and paper in every room of our house.
Do you remember what your first tattoo was (that you gave someone else) and if it was good or not?
My first tattoo was a tiger head on a buddy of mine. I had no clue what I was doing! I just remember him saying, ‘I have a lot of tattoos and I don't remember them feeling like this … I don't think it should feel like this … ’
Have you ever fucked up on a tattoo?
[laughs] ... That same tiger head.
Do you have any advice for aspiring tattooists/artists?
Constantly work on your craft, and don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something. If you want something bad enough, then follow your dreams and never quit. You'll get it.
Did your parents ever hang your artwork on the fridge?
Yes. They still have a box full of those old drawings in storage.
How many dogs do you own and what are their names?
My wife and I have two dogs: a Staffordshire Terrier named Mason and a French Bulldog named Ohana.
Any cats? Are you a cat person?
Next question ...
How many hours out of the week would you say you're practicing (both drawing and tattooing)?
I easily put in a full 40-hour workweek between all the different art forms I do. Probably closer to 50 hours.
What do you wish you could draw/paint but don't think you can?
Being able to create my ‘masterpiece’ like the Sistine Chapel, or The David. Something on a grand scale that would take years to complete.
Favorite mediums to work with and why?
Although I constantly use most mediums, I find this real connection with painting.
Three things that bother you when people are sitting getting tattoos from you:
I honestly have the best clients these days, but when I first started it was this:
1. When a client’s entourage show up, and they all give their input on how to do my job.
2. When a person constantly asks, ‘Are you done with that part?’
3. When someone stinks! They know we're gonna be sitting for a while next to each other, yet they don't bother to take care of personal hygiene.
I want to shout out my parents for putting up with me for all these years, my wife Katie for being so supportive, all my awesome clients that allow me to tattoo them, and to anyone else who supports my art. I'm able to live off my passion because of that support, and I cannot thank you enough!
What a wild ride 2017 has been! I started in the art industry 10 years ago and I can't say thankyou enough to my clients who have believed in me and help put food on my table, and a roof over my head. Without the support, motivation, and encouragement from you all, I wouldn't be in the position that I am. Talent and drive doesn't always equal success if you don't have a strong network of those who believe in your abilities. Success is also a matter of opinion, and I'm not the best/most successful artist by any means, but I hope I can be one of the most humble ones in this industry, and that is success in my eyes. I constantly feel that God has given me more than I deserve, and I am grateful for that. I can't wait to see what 2018 reveals. Much love!
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