Time to discover an artist who is utilizing their vision and perspective to create.
Who are you and what’s your brand?
I’m Diego Flores, a Brazilian artist based in San Diego and my brand is… myself. I’m currently a tattoo artist and applying ink on skin is my medium hahaha, but I like to think that I’m not “only” a tattoo artist. Tattooing people is part of my life and has been for the past two years only. My journey as an artist started in my childhood, where I was always engaging with drawing and painting. Eventually, when a teenager, I got really serious about street art: mainly graffiti. I always enjoyed all types of street art, from stickers, tags, stencil, posters, street photography, street musicians, and any intervention in the public area. Where I’m from (São Paulo, Brasil) there is a typical style of tagging called “pixação” that has a whole culture behind and although not very aesthetically pleasing for the majority, it’s definitely really impressive and inspiring to see what people are capable of accomplishing for “their” art regardless of others’ opinion.
What about your art platform expresses your uniqueness and individuality?
When creating art any platform will be special, unique, and magical; from a piece of garbage you found in an alley you can put love, passion, creativity, thought, emotion, and create the most beautiful (but not necessarily) meaningful piece of art. You can use diamonds from the ashes of someone’s remains, cover them in gold, and put in a huge oil canvas painting. This could take 365 days to finish and also make something meaningful.
So the platform itself doesn’t matter that much, especially for people like me who like to play around with so many different things, and explore new techniques and mediums.
What matters the most is the emotion you can generate to the spectator.
What I like about tattooing, is that everyday when I go to work, I’m touching peoples life’s forever, generating a lot of emotion and feelings, that are permanent on someone’s body. From the smallest to the biggest, for that client that tattoo is so important that the person endures pain to have it forever on their skin; it’s magical. Tattooing is a sacred interaction between artist and client, not only is it part of the human story, it’s a tradition for many tribes (a historical form of art dating more than 5000 years old). For many tribes, the tattoo craft was passed along following family lines. It is a sacred craft and can be a spiritual experience. Warriors could only get certain designs once they accomplish certain things– you’ve got to own it–when tattooing someone the artist and the person have a connection forever, a bound.
Now-a-days this still happens, but it’s also lost in a sense, not everyone can notice, or not everyone thinks about it. The practice has become so casual, people don’t take all that into consideration, it’s just like buying a piece of clothing for some, and a life experience for others.
I like to think that when tattooing with me, you gonna have a tattoo experience, sacred, spiritual, and a connection at least. Even if all you want is a little dot on your finger, it is your own special dot done by me.
I like to think the art I create will create a good experience and people will choose to collaborate with me based on our connection. My art resonates with them, we are vibin’ on the same frequency and recognize somehow in that moment the universe brought us together to touch each other’s lives.
What’s your vision for your art and brand?
I think that my tattoo skills are only gonna improve, that I will be able to develop a certain unique style at some point and work with just a specific niche. This is a short-term to long-term goal and I know the process is going to be really fun. I am really blessed that I’ll meet and connect with so many beautiful souls on my way. As I continually study and push myself, I’ll also face many challenges. It’s all about the journey and I’m already super happy with the present moment. There have been so many blessings already, so to be honest my vision is to always be able to produce pure art. Keep the stoke, keep the hungry, keep the beauty and do it for the right reasons. In this way, there is nothing to be concerned about; the universe will provide because I’ll be in tune with my life purpose.
If you had one piece of advice for aspiring artists what would it be?
My advice for aspiring artists is to follow your heart, listen to your intuition, question the status quo, allow yourself to be yourself at all times, regardless of others’ opinions or criticism. We are unique, we are all special, we all came to this three-dimensional world to learn and develop ourselves, some are in tune with that, some are just blind to this fact, eventually everyone is going to awake. We artists are sensitive people, in tune with forces that are beyond the limitations of this world, we came to bring change, we are here to question, to plant seeds, to touch hearts, and the way to do that is through your art, whatever it is. Take action, it’s easy for us to just live in our own little world of imagination.
Learn about the business side of your art, or hustle hard to support your art, just make it financially possible to continue to create art. Take care of your body and keep your mind healthy, this is what is gonna put you in touch with the high frequency creativity zone/source. And most importantly… (because it took some time for me to understand) You are an artist, yes you are! Even if you still don’t live out of your artwork you are still an artist and you should pursuit this path.
- What unexpected challenges arose from pursuing your art?
Each step of the ladder has different challenges, and I’m still on the beginning steps.
I guess my first challenges were overcoming depression, homesickness, self-doubt, and considering myself as an artist. It took time to learn how not to care about criticism, learn to embrace the process, take the first leap of faith financially, control my expectations, be welcomed as a member of the industry, battle barriers and obstacles placed by others, find balance, discover my own process, understand the differing intentions of others, learn about business, learn about my clientele….
The list can go on forever, and challenges are just part of anything in life.
Everyone will face them, just never quit pursuing your dream because of any challenge. You grow so much from it, and art is a forever learning process, therefore forever challenging.
Intrigued? Find this artist’s collection at https://highclasstattoosandiego.business.site.