Looking at Manuela Soto’s work makes me completely fan girl the f*** out. The long nails, the hoop earrings, the tears and sparkles...I love it all. And her style makes me miss Los Angeles like crazy. Before I moved to NY, I’d often drive down to Venice Beach, blasting 90’s hip hop, dressed to the nines like I was some kinda poor man’s Lana Del Rey. One glance at Soto's gorgeous gals, and I'm immediately transported back to those days of palm trees and sun. For me, Soto Gang's work is incredibly nostalgic...it even reminds me of being a kid, watching Sailor Moon and hoping I would grow up to be a strong warrior princess too.
JM: How and why did you get into tattooing? What do you think, as far as your past, background or upbringing, supported your artistic career?
Your work is so inspiring, partly because it’s incredibly forward thinking in how sex positive and body positive it is. How did you become so self-confident and what advice do you have for others who are trying to do the same? Do you hope that your designs inspire others to embrace body/sex positive outlooks?
Your work in other fields, such as fashion, is totally aesthetically seamless and coherent. Fashion in particular seems to be a really important part of your personal artistic outlet. How did you get into fashion and what designers or styles inspire you?
I read somewhere that a lot of your portraits are based on the clients themselves. Do you have them send you selfies, or do you sketch while they’re there? What is the process like, and how do you so perfectly capture their essence and personality?
You’ve flawlessly adapted the art forms of anime and manga to express your personal voice, as well as your clients. How did you develop your style over the years, and why were you so drawn to anime?
What does the future look like for you? Any collabs, mediums, or artists who you hope to work with this year?