Gabe: Sides and Stomachs

Best Pensacola Tattoo Artist-01
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Q and A

At Hula Moon we try to transcend expectations and are professionals artists. However, as artists you can become a bit eccentric at times so expect the unexpected. We want people to be comfortable and relaxed. We know that people are going to be nervous and we want you to feel at home. Sometimes when you’re greeted at the door the questions might seem a bit gruff, but we are just trying to get the root of what you want so we can make sure we get the best possible person for your tattoo. There will be plenty of time to talk in depth about what you’re looking for once we’ve gotten past the initial questions. We understand the tension, you’re getting needles stuck into your skin

You see all these people on Jersey Shore and all these teeny boppers with tattoos. If they can do it, anyone can do it.

I don’t mind it. I’ve had my share of the pain but at the same time its kind of the goal to have a lifetime of art on you. Once you have it, the pain completely disappears and all that you see is the good stuff thats left behind.

I think Justin Beiber is awesome, I love his music. I think unbeknownst to a lot of people Justin Beiber is a really good freestyle rapper. Not even kidding, look it up, its called Google.

I got tattooed by a dude named Dirt…We were on our way to go BMX biking downtown and this guy named Dirt gives me a tattoo that was supposed to be a skull.

The first paying client I ever did was bugs bunny with a ball cap leaning on a baseball bat. I was so pumped to do it. It was my first bit of money ever made doing what I love.

Realistically its the challenge that everyday, its put your money where your mouth is. Its not like oil painting where you can scrape it off and start over. You gotta do it right and do it bad ass first time. Every day is a challenge. Its not just the technical part of the image. You gotta think about where its going on the body, some parts of the body are more difficult than others. You have to think about who you’re tattooing and how they’ll sit for the session. Whats the skin like. There are lots of criteria in determining whether a tattoo will be a success or not. Its the challenge.

No way. There’s no way it could ever be monotonous. Every person is different. Every day is different. Every tattoo is different.

I definitely do a lot of painting. I tattoo all day, then paint all night.

I have random shows around town and have my work up at Hula Moon.

Captain Billy Lions, an infamous ol school biker kinda guy. When I was growing up there wasn’t a lot of exposure. He was the first guy in my area doing any work.

There isn’t enough space to go into how many guys are out there doing amazing stuff right now. There’s a bunch of kids out there just beating so much ass right now. Every day in the industry there are kids pushing the limits on what can be done artistically. In the past few years I’ve really been influenced by Sean Herman. He’s like a brother to me. He’s lit the fire under my ass and keeps me from settling down and being too content with what I’m doing. He’s kept me pushing the limits in my art.

Thats a double edged sword. When I first started we couldn’t find anyone to rent to a tattoo parlor. We were seen as a seedy industry. Now its more accepted by the general public. Being welcome by the community is a definite plus. On the flip side, everyone watching these tattoo shows on TV thinks that they can make a business out of it. People are learning the wrong way and then tattooing the wrong way. At Hula Moon we can fix other artist’s mistakes, but thats not the stigma we want in the industry.

Education and patience is the way to go. You wouldn’t let a doctor operate on you without knowing a bit about the procedure before hand. I’d suggest going to multiple shops and multiple artists around town until you find someone you’re comfortable with.

When I’m not booked up you can come in and chat with me. You can also reach me by email or on the shop phone.

Yeah quite a few. The problem is that with most famous people you have to sign a non disclosure agreement. I can say this, I’ve tattooed a lot of bands so I’ll say that I’ve tattooed Britney Spear’s base player and leave it at that.

Steering. Its against the law but some taxi cab drivers still do it. The idea is that a certain business will pay a taxi cab driver to “steer” these navy kids to their business when they are asked for the best tattoo shop, best club, or best restaurant. The cab drives will get a kick back for “steering” the guys to the business. We don’t participate in the activity and will kick a cab driver out who asks for money. If you’re not good enough to pull customers in by your own talent or merit you don’t deserve the business.

Usually we can make an old tattoo look better, cover up, or some other fix. We’re somewhat limited in what is possible so we always advise that clients are patient and do their research on shops before hand.

It depends on the project. Some projects I’m able to squeeze in. Others might require some prep time. Starting in 2013 I’ll only be taking appointments 3 days a week and the other 3 days a week I’ll be doing first come first serve appointments. If you have smaller project I might ask you to come in on one of my first come first serve days. You might wait a bit that day, but you won’t be waiting months.

It depends on the project. How long it will take, what it will involve. For example a 2-4 hour session might cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $200-$300.

Two long and not long enough, but in human years..about 2 decades.

I’ve travelled a lot and never really settled down until i was driving through pensacola and my car broke down. Just haven’t left 😉

I like doing any type of tattoo that I draw. You wouldn’t ask a photocopier what kind of art they like. A photocopier doesn’t create art.

Definitely. Direction from the client is important, but I like to have artistic freedom to bring their vision to life.

Of course, whatever makes the customer happy. I can adapt to any type of artwork. However, given the chance I think a customer will be happier with my original artwork.

Without a doubt, Miles Davis. I know it sounds kind of crazy, but hear me out. When Miles composed a song he never practiced it. The reason being is that the true beauty in art is its creation and not its rehearsed rendition. So i try to push the limits on what I do. Like Miles always said when you go one direction in your art you should step into the dark and go into the unknown and go places you haven’t been before. Thats how you grow and expand as an artist. I’ve certainly been into the dark.

I was always good at drawing and painting. When my brother and I were kids he always wanted a tattoo and would ask me to get a kit and start tattooing on him. I’m glad I didn’t though and learned the right way from a real shop. From there it just grew. However, its a process and you’re always learning and growing.

The guy’s name is Nick Molderson. Nick’s made me do the craziest tattoos I’ve ever done. From one of SigFried and Roy bobble heads flying out of an exploding portapody to a portrait of me on his arm so he can point to people who want to know who does his tattoos.

Almost every day. The one really awesome thing about this career is while I’m focusing on my career and my art I’m meeting amazing people all the time and hearing their story, sharing their life experiences. Through tattooing I’ve met some of the greatest friends I’ve ever made and will probably still be friends with till the day I die.

Its the quintessential passion of everything I do.

Any type that you don’t want. I don’t discriminate based on body part or tattoo.

If you’re coming in for a tattoo have your ducks in a row and have the tattoo thought out. Come in with an idea of what you want. Don’t expect Rome to be built in a day. Smaller projects we can do the same day. Sometimes we need to take time to prepare though. Remember you’re permanently marking your body so we don’t want to rush it and half ass the job.

I guess I’m gonna quote my daddy on that, “Oh Hell, my daddy said a lot of things. Thank you very much.”

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