Jose Lopez: OC or orange county that's where I grew up, in garden grove to be exact. I came to the USA when I was just 12 years old. It's a trip I didn't even know English back then, now that I think about it it seems funny how things turn out.
Tribal: How long have you been tattooing and doing art?
Jose Lopez: I've been tattooing and doing art for 17 year straight now. It all started just to pass the time in school, you know to get trough my English or biology class nothing serious. But a series of unfortunate events change the course of my life. I got shot in a drive by shooting leaving me in a wheelchair unable to walk anymore which led to a very bad depression. That's when I found the passion to really draw following with tattooing the old school fineline prison style tattooing. A homie of mine who had just got out of prison sold me my first prison tattoo machine, which started it all. The rest is history.
Jose Lopez: Chicano style. I grew up in a place where good things and dream don't happen very often a place where people aren't very supportive even our own parents but this is also a place where if you really put it in your head that you are going to do something and if you really believe in your self even if others don't you can do what ever you dream of accomplishing. In other words I move forward even when the current pushes me back I made the best of what I had with my life, drawing and tattooing. That's the Chicano way to come from a faraway place to a foreign country to look for a better life and to adapt to the present circumstances and make the best of them!
Tribal: Who are some of your influences?
Jose Lopez: I have a lot; one of my greatest is Jesus Helguera. He is my hero and my teacher. When I left the hospital after getting shot I found some calendars laying around in the house they where beautiful drawings of Aztec warriors and princesses, that really motivated to start drawing so I began to copy them time after time I use to lose my self drawing them after that tattooing came along and I started looking at magazines the first artist that caught my attention was Paul Booth then Brian Everret one of my best friends now then Jack Rudy another good man in my book its funny I just meet this guys about two years ago but it seems like I known them forever. I do a lot of reading so I get a lot of inspiration from philosophers, painters and sculptors you know Devinci, Michelangelo and Nicollo Machiavelli.
Jose Lopez: I think we found each other I believe in the powers of attraction. If you are good people you will attract other good people. That how I see it my boy Bobby is a good man so it's always a pleasure to work with him.
Jose Lopez: Yes this is going to be long but I will make it short if I forget someone remember that I keep everything inside of me and I appreciate everything and every body. My wife is the first I want t thank she has been with me through thick and thin she really helps me out with everything even when I'm unfair. My family and friends they always support me and help me out back when things were bad and now that thing are good they are always there for me, my fellow tattoo artist that work as hard as me or even harder for inspiring me to do better you know who you are, my boy Jun,Brian everet,Chuy Quintanar,Tattoo Tony,Cartoon,Bobby,my boy Anthony for taking care of the shop when I'm there and when im out, my brother Gus,Steve,and Tony,Joshep,my boys that go with to conventions and put up with my bullshit Lokot,Klown,Abbey and Shade. A very SPECIAL THAKS to my homie Og Abel for his friendship and inspiration he is some one who I really look up to for his talent and simplicity, I want to be like him when I grow up lol. Finally my Princess my everything, the reason why I get up everyday my only daughter Vanessa you are an extension of my heart baby girl. Thank you Your friend and artist Jose Lopez.
To see more pictures of Jose Lopez' work and more more information, visit his myspace profile