Tell us about your start as a tattoo artist leading up to your current career at Goodfellas Tattoo.
The first time I was introduced to tattooing was when I was 18 years old. I didn’t really want to do it because I felt that it was too hard of an art form for me to handle being permanent and on someone else. After a little time passed and I saw friends of mine tattooing out of their garage, it gave me the attitude of “Fuck it if they can do it so can I.” At age 19 I ordered a cheap tattoo kit online for like $200 and started hacking away at people. Shortly after I realized tattooing was something I wanted to take seriously and started looking all over Huntington Beach, Westminister, Costa Mesa etc. for an apprenticeship only to be turned down at every shop. Long story short I knew a guy that knew Steve Soto, owner of Goodfellas Tattoo in Orange County – where I landed an apprenticeship and still tattoo professionally till this day.
Do you have a morning routine? What are some of the things you do daily that contribute to your daily happiness as a creative? (How much is part of your daily routine making something?)
My morning routines usually change up every few months or so but currently every morning before work I go for walks or if I have time I go for hikes/runs with my dog Ruca and just kinda clear my mind before my day starts. I usually like to spend and hour before work whether it be at home or at the shop working on the design for that days work, before my client shows up so I can usually get started as soon as they get there.
What are some struggles and hardships you have had to endure in your career as an artist that has brought you to this present day and made you stronger?
Aside from struggling just to find an apprenticeship and losing hope on that, when I did finally get one it was about a long 9 months before I actually got to touch a tattoo machine. Even aside from that the whole time I had a full time job and went to school. Throughout those 9 months I could remember thinking to myself — is this even worth it? Am I even going to make it?” Luckily I stuck it out and now I’m here.
What’s the best part about living and growing up in Orange County?
The best part about living and growing up in Orange County & Southern California is without a doubt the beautiful weather. I’ve been to a lot of places and I have to say, there’s no place like home.
What does Art & Tattooing mean to you?
Art for me in a way is like music to musicians. Its a way to express how I’m feeling or even what I like but without saying it. It’s also in a way self meditation and helps clear my mind at times.
When you are not tattooing or drawing what do you like to do in your spare time?
When I’m not tattooing or drawing I’m either going to art museums or libraries or festivals etc. looking for some type of inspiration or ideas or I’m either hanging out with friends and loved ones drunk… trying not to talk about any kind of art or tattooing (laughs).
They call you Alec Roseriguez… Do you ever get bored of tattooing roses? What is your favorite thing to tattoo?
At one point I did get bored of tattooing roses but after exploring other options I started realizing how great they go with everything. So now I don’t mind one bit. Currently I’ve been doing a lot Greek Mythology, religious and renaissance artwork which I also enjoy doing. I thoroughly enjoy all art work that is black and grey realism to be honest.
How do you stay above the pace of the tattoo industry and focus on your creative process and work?
I have no kids and I’m not married so you could say that’s a way to stay above the pace and do nothing but focus on my work and creative process.
How has the industry changed since you first started tattooing?
I’ve only been in the industry for about 5 years now so I haven’t really seen many changes myself but it seems like there are just so many young up and coming tattoo artists that are killing the game all over the world. Its crazy!
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
In ten years I see myself tattooing on a private island which you have to take a helicopter to come see me…. yeah something like that.
What’s the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you? And who was it from?
Some of the best advice I was ever given as a tattoo artist went something like, ” don’t try to impress other artists with your art work they’re not the ones paying your bills, the people are.” With that being said I always like to give my clients what they want with a little artistic guidance to keep them happy and save the crazy ideas for my personal art work unless a client request otherwise.