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Bradley Reis can be seen tattooing out of Renaissance Studios, in the heart of San Clemente, California. He has spent most of his time observing, learning, and practicing to teach himself specialized techniques. Many of these techniques have been picked up from artists including, Allan Rivera, Rich Pineda & Josh Puckett. Recently Bradley has had the pleasure of meeting Corey Divine and Dillon Forte who are huge inspirations for him today in dotwork and geometric design art of tattooing.  Bradley Reis has always seen himself as an artist and continues to  look for inspiration in his surroundings to create pieces of art.

What is it like living and working as a tattoo artist in San Clemente? Walk us through a typical day at the shop and in your neighborhood.

San Clemente is absolutely beautiful. Waking up to a cool ocean breeze and perfect weather everyday and doing what I love is a blessing. A typical day at Renaissance starts out with all of us there by 10am hanging out getting ready to work, drawing, stenciling and tattooing. We are a pretty sought out shop in the area. Our shop is filled with extremely talented local artists. We work hard, we BBQ and function like a big family.

What is your earliest memory of wanting to be an artist? What does being an artist mean to you?

I have always intuitively known that I wanted to pursue art. Being an artist is the ultimate freedom. I create what I feel and I inspire to create a feeling.

Your style is sacred geo and dotwork… have you always been attracted to this style. If not what was the moment you decided to change and go that direction.

No, when I first started out tattooing i focused on realism. Not until about 3 years ago I decided to take my art into a different direction. Creating something real was a challenge within itself but creating something more organic and free felt fulfilling.

Is there any specific criteria or objectives when composing a geometric design or dot work pattern? Do you get inspiration from buildings or textiles that surround you?

When I design my tattoos I draw a lot of inspiration from the ideas that my clients present. Then I compose something organically with those elements to make something that flows with both of our ideas.

Does your design change depending on the placement of the body? If so explain this process and creative process from placement to completion.

Placement is almost everything, depending on what part of the body I’m tattooing the whole design concept can change. Normally for longer extremities I tend to do more shield shaped mandala designs to better fill more naturally. For rounder areas I tend to do more circular shapes that grab and hug better. After I figure out placement on the bigger shapes I fill whats left with patterns and try to complete the flow. Once I’ve achieved all that, I blend all the concepts together during the tattoo to get the overall feel were both looking for.

You just attended MUSINK 2016 in Orange County, CA. How was that? Are there any specific events or expos you look forward to each year?

Musink is one of my favorite shows. Its close to home and its like one big reunion. I always have a good time seeing familiar faces, doing killer tattoos and cracking brews. I plan on doing a lot more traveling within the next few years. I really want to travel internationally to check out some of the amazing talent out there.

Image credit Jared Sislin Photography

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“Don’t take life to serious you’ll never get out alive.”

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