We had the good fortune of connecting with Carlos Vazquez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Carlos, how do you think about risk?
I choose to think of risk as an opportunity to learn, grow, and experience life. I think about the options that I have and if I am willing to live with the consequences, whether that be negative or positive. I believe that the risks I took with less thought put me in the best possible positions in my life/career. When I was 15 and decided to spend my entire savings on a sketchy website to buy a tattoo kit, that was pretty risky. I could have lost all my money, or the day that the tattoo kit arrived and I ditched school to tattoo my friends. I could have seriously hurt someone or gotten in trouble with the law but I took the risk and the outcome years later has now grown to become a career.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I specialize in black and grey realism tattoo art but I also do color, script, and a variety of other styles the client may ask for. High quality and detailed tattoo art work is was sets me apart artistically, whether that be a small flower tattoo or a large scale greek mythology statue tattoo. As a business, what sets me apart is the friendly, professional, and welcoming environment I provide. I have worked at a variety of tattoo shops and what I find is that even though the artist are very talented they lack professionalism and people skills. Getting tattooed can be very intimidating and I believe I offer an open environment where all questions are welcome. To get to where I am today I spent 10 years observing and experimenting with different techniques and styles until I found what most people call a “niche”. Through the tough times I always tried to remain patient, I reminded myself that it wasn’t my time yet because I had more to learn. I couldn’t expect someone to pay top dollar for art that still needed refinement. It always helped to remember that everyone who has ever been “great” went through tough and enduring times to get to the top. I have learned that no matter what you do in life there are going to be obstacles that are going to stagger you and make you second guess if this is really what you want to do but you will get through it and if you don’t, you will get around it. In your life many issues will arise but that only means you’re living an active and engaging life because if nothing comes up, it only means you’re not living. I want people to know that my story is here to motivate and inspire others to do what their hearts tells them too. Not just with my art but also by speaking about my experiences honestly and openly to expose the reality of the false and unpractical expectations society makes us believe.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The Phoenix art museum would be one of my top choices to visit and maybe even the botanical garden. Grimaldi’s pizza and also Sonoran hot dogs on 35th ave and Thomas called “El Caprichoso Hotdogs”. Squaw peak and camelback mountain are very nice to hike and fountain park in fountain hills to enjoy the worlds famous fountain.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
In my life/career journey there have been both positive and negative people that have had big influences on me. My mother (Evelia Vazquez) never really liked my art and would often have negative comments to say about the subjects I was drawing. She usually would try to get me to draw other things that she found to be more beautiful and attractive. At first I took it to heart, that the person I was most trying to make proud was not impressed but I now see that her negative comment were conditioning me to take on the harsher comments and critiques that were to follow later in my career, in the “real” world. Despite the tough love she was supportive enough to let me pursue my dream by allowing me to spend every day (after school of course) apprenticing at a tattoo shop under a tattoo artist, Josue “Casper”. Casper an ex-convict/gang member in his late thirties at the time who had been tattooing for more than fifteen years had plenty of experience to pass down to the sixteen year old me. From tattooing techniques to life advice I got to see and experience real life scenarios that would ultimately never be seen by others and that would put me in an advantage later on in my life/career.

Instagram: @cv_ink
Facebook: Carlos Vazquez
Youtube: CV Ink tattoo

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