In this interview with Fernando Unda we discuss the beauty in tattoos, the importance of passion, and the strive for perfecting the craft. We learn what makes his favorite pieces, how he found himself in the tattoo industry, and how he predicts the progress of it in the future.
Do you remember the first moment you were drawn to art? Are there any important memories that hint at the artist you would become?
Since I was a little child I used to draw all the time. For example, while in school, all I did was drawing in class. I had several art classes which I enjoyed a lot. Music has also been a part of my artistic development, when I was 8 years old I started to learn drums and was part of several bands through the years.
Why were you drawn to tattooing and what made you pick this profession? Who were the tattoo artists you would and still look up to?
As I mentioned, ever since I can remember, I’ve been drawing. I’ve been doing it my whole life. I studied finance, but I got tired of that kind of life and I decided to quit everything to pursue my passion-drawing. That's how I entered the tattoo industry. Tired of a 9 to 6 job, tired of a corporate lifestyle. My creative side was feeling trapped and I’ve always been super curious so I just decided to go all in and become a tattoo artist. When it comes to other tattoo artists, I admire Oscar Akermo who by all means is one of, if not the biggest, tattoo name in micro-realism. There’s also two Mexican artists which in my perception are the biggest names in Mexico, Rodrigo Salcedo and Carlos Bautista, their conception of aesthetics is amazing to me.
Can you talk about your style and how it developed over time?
I think the style grows with you and it's defined by your own perception of beauty. What I believe is the most important factor about my tattoos is that every time I create something I always try to achieve perfection. Doesn’t matter if it's a line or a face, I try to look for every single detail and put it on the skin. I like to combine geometry, abstract elements, words and of course a main micro-realism component, creating compositions that are absolutely shocking for the eye, but also delicate and elegant. I like to think about how much time the customer will spend looking at their new tattoo, and every time they look at it they’ll discover something new that will blow up their minds.
4. If you are able to pick, which is one of your favorite pieces you have tattooed?
I would say every single one of my pieces are made with the same amount of passion and each of them has its own complexity level. It happens a lot that the last tattoo you did is your new favorite for a while, and recently I did an anatomical heart wrapped around a snake. It represents struggle and conquering the cosmos, and I think it is such an amazing piece. I loved when my customer couldn’t believe what she was seeing, she couldn’t believe that it was her own tattoo.
Many artists have a philosophy about their work or why they create it. What Is your artistic philosophy and your goals within it?
My goal is always to try to achieve perfection, I try to always look for new ways to improve my tattoos and grow as an artist. I think that learning about the craft is something that you have to do everyday and you need to stay humble. When you lose that will to learn or you start to believe that you’re the best, that’s it, you’re doomed. Passion is the key.
What are your favorite parts about the tattoo industry and where would you like to see change? How do you feel about the future of it?
The tattoo industry has been more professionalized in recent years, there’s more and more competition. And artists are creating better projects every day. I would say the main change in the future would be the kind of pigments and technology we can apply in order to create mind blowing tattoos. For example, I imagine that someday there’ll be machines creating art, or pigments that’ll change their color or even give properties to the skin. I would say the industry hasn’t changed a lot since it started, but there will be more technology in the upcoming years since it is growing so fast.
Do you have any projects, events, or plans coming up in the future that you’d like to share?
I'm working in several conventions and guest spots in the next year around America and Europe. I have some personal things that I’m working on, but it’ll be released in time