Sugar skulls, creepy creatures and pop culture cuties of all kinds, the work of Roberto Euán seamlessly blends salty and sweet. His tattoos are the embodiment of eye candy, and will give you the sugar high giggles of glee that you've been looking for. But don't let all the glitter and glitz fool you, Roberto has the depth, devotion, and incredible strength of character that gives his work an absolutely inspiring aspect that is impossible to ignore. Infusing many of his pieces with his culture, influences, and deepest passions, Roberto was kind enough to give us some of his time to expound on the importance of heroes and heritage.
How did you get into tattooing? Do you remember the first tattoo you gave and received?
I have always admired tattoos from what I can remember so as soon as I could I started getting tattooed and learning about tattoo culture. Eventually I started working as an assistant to someone I really admired and that lead to my apprenticeship. The first tattoo I received was a Mexican pin up on my upper arm. The first tattoo I ever did was during my apprenticeship on a shopmate, it was a Virgin Mary owl that is still out there unfinished.
Your style is very much your own. How did you develop the tattooing style you work in and why was that the style you were drawn to?
My favorite style of tattoos is traditional, I love the variation of bold lines and colors but I also like using more than just the classic colors, I have always been a fan of cartoons, bright colors and silly imagery so it comes natural to go for that type of art on my tattoos.
I love that when I look at your work, I immediately smile. There is a lot of positivity and happiness within your artwork. How do you maintain a positive outlook? What makes you happy?
Thank you! Making someone smile through my work is one of the best and most rewarding parts of the tattoo world and it’s what makes me want to continue. Maintaining a positive outlook is hard at times especially when dealing with stress from work and mental health, but knowing that through my work I can make someone happy makes me have a positive attitude, this industry has given me so much that when I’m down I remind myself that what I do is what I love and to pour myself into my art to continue to be happy and grateful for everything, and my dogs, they make me very happy!
What artists, films, books, or music inspires your artwork? Who are your heroes?
My work is inspired by a very wide range of films, books, music and art. I love everything colorful and happy but I also love dark imagery that sometimes comes through my work, I’m a huge fan of horror but also anime and fantasy, it’s hard to pinpoint just a few as there are hundreds of different things that inspire me. My heroes are women, I could write a really long list of all the women that inspire me, from amazing tattoo artists, musicians and the women in my life but for now it’s all of them out there fighting for what’s right and who aren’t afraid to let their voices be heard.
The fact that you stay strong in your roots and culture is really inspiring. How do you feel your heritage has or hasn’t affected your artwork?
I was born and raised in Mexico so my heritage is something I carry with me forever, it’s very important for me to show my culture through my work because it’s full of love and color, as a gay immigrant artist it’s important to always be yourself, show who you truly are and voice what you stand for and my work is my voice as is for many other artists like me out there, so my work is always gonna have a hint of my heritage and culture because whatever I create happens to be a piece of me.
What is your personal philosophy on tattooing or creating art?
Do what you love and let it take over, there are no rules when making art other than make it look good for you and for whoever you are creating. If at times you feel stuck just continue, look for inspiration everywhere, don’t ever stop learning and remember to have fun!
What do you love to do when you’re not tattooing? If you had to choose a different career what would it be?
When I’m not tattooing I love hanging out with my partner and my dogs, I go to the movies a lot and watch a lot of Rupaul’s Drag Race while drawing, which is another show that inspires me so much. If I wasn’t a tattooer I would still be doing something relating to art, I’ve always been a painter so I would probably be dedicating more time to that.
What will 2018 bring for you? Any events, collabs, or travel plans you’re looking forward to?
2018 has been a fun ride so far and I can only hope that it continues to be, continue meeting new people, online friends, keep growing and learning and become a better person and artist. I don’t have any travel plans outside the States at the moment but hopefully sooner than later I’ll be traveling around, I don’t have any collabs coming soon but to my friends out there who want to I am always up for it! And for events I have some fun theme flash days brewing in my calendar that I can’t wait to work on!