Working at Soul Signature Tattoo since
Co-founder of Soul Signature Tattoo, 2004.
I specialize in Neo Tribal, mixed Polynesian, Filipino, black and grey, heavy black work with a twist of calligraphy and graffiti influence.
Who are you? What is your background?
I am a child of the Islands. I was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to Los Angeles at the age of 12. Soon after I moved up to the Bay Area, cultivating my art and focused in on Bboy culture (hip hop). I later then moved to HawaiiI at the age of 21. The islands showed me what Polynesian culture was truly about. I saw traces of my own culture and experienced deeper connections within a tribe. It was the drums, the people the dance and the rituals, the deeper meanings they saw in everything. I consider myself in constant migration, always traveling and learning from all these places, allowing my mind and vision to expand. To gain a better sense of who I truly am in this present day.
How did you get into tattooing?
Kalihi Valley is where I lived with my big bro Orly Locquiao, where I received my first birth mark (Tattoo). ‘New Tribal Tattoo’ was the epicenter of tatau culture at that time, placed in the side streets of Waikiki. A legendary place where we all communed and I was given an opportunity to apprentice under all of the greats; Po’oino Yrondi, Aisea Toetu’u and Mike Ledger. Learning along side Lucky Olelo, we created a think tank of styles, mixing traditions and contemporary concepts. We stayed with that and fused it all. I feel that could only happen there and then. I feel so honored to have been there for that wave of new ideas to formulate this new identity. We created something we can call our “SOUL SIGNATURE”
What interests you the most in tattooing?
My greatest interest in this tattooing is learning about the connections among all the Islands and the migrations that took place. Learning about history that is not found in traditional American history, but rather the true sense of our journey as independent, indigenous and native peoples. Seeing modern day people restore there self identity through this craft and study. To attain knowledge everyday as I meet more elders and others to connect more dots. It’s been a lifelong journey and the story is still being written in the flesh.
What is your favorite line of the human body?
Every part of the human body has certain lines that we work off of. All the different parts inspire a different flow. I can work with anything in front of me. This is why this art requires great trust in the artist. This art is unique because it is created in the moment. It is birthed from the synergy between client and artist, pure vibes.
How do you keep yourself inspired?
Inspiration is everywhere. It takes a willing eye to see the beauty in everything. First and foremost I am inspired by nature and music. I’m inspired by life, by people and by movement. I’m inspired by struggle, inspired by truth. True inspiration is being in the SPIRIT (root word) full of life full of meaning. I’m just translating what I see and what flows through me, becoming more of an instrument.
Do you have any specific hobbies besides work/tattooing?
A true artist extends his hands and skills and mind over everything he touches. Yes we Tattoo, but that’s just one aspect of our being. There are many spokes on the wheel that keep the wheel spinning. I treat tattoo with great care and respect and I also have many other aspirations and creative endeavors, projects that keep me inclined to work and play. I come full circle with all aspects of the arts. Growing up as a dancer and painter, I also have my hands in photography, film making, wood working, making music and currently funneling much of my time building a house and cultivating the Aina. The main thing here is connecting all of these practices, all of these mediums to form one thing.
ARTISLIFE, it’s all art!