Monday, March 14, 2011

Not Just Another FACE In The Crowd

Doing time for whatever reason is a real eye opener for many individuals. Some people find themselves at a cross roads in their lives, which often times results in life changing behavior and a fully modified way of looking at the world. Certain individuals after coming home, from any form of correctional institution find themselves with a hardened exterior and confused mind-state as to where exactly they fit into society. Similar to those who have bravely fought for our Country, these people who have paid their debts to Society are often misguided in the advice they are given and wind up right back where they started.

In a world plagued with absentee parenting, increasingly misguiding messages being given by the media to our children and all around bad decision making, it’s not often that the spotlight gets cast upon a person whose main objective in life is to be a father, mentor and friend to everyone he meets.
Face, a Los Angeles native, has lived the life that many people only see on the big screen or hear about in songs.

From running the streets with notorious kingpins, doing time for being a stand up guy (i.e. not snitching) and coming home a talented individual to a loving family, 
Face truly has come full circle. 

Having honed his god given talents, Face is making quite a name for himself as one of the premier tattoo artists in the Nation. But don’t think Face is strictly about marking up someone’s body, he wishes to make a mark in two peoples lives that can forever change how he is perceived.
(Click Read More For The Entire Interview)

Whattup Face hows the day treating you?
I’m good man, alive and blessed to be able to be working.
Speaking of working, how did you come to realize you had such a talent for drawing and creating such fly pieces of art?
I’ve always been into drawing, but I guess you could say that I was put into a situation where I was in jail and had to make money to survive comfortably in their, so I began to do tattoo’s on some of the guys in near by cells. After awhile your name begins to get around and then your known as the guy who does good work and people begin to seek you out for that.
It really started as just a hobby to pass the time, then after awhile it began to consume may entire day.
Is there anyone you would consider your mentor?
Deep down, I believe that a lot of people can be considered my mentor. A lot of my loved ones and artists I look up too, have helped to inspire me. People always want to take credit for someone else’s success, but you cant give someone else credit for your hard work. Childhood memories, friends, family members.

Where do you draw your creative influences, from?
The sick mind that I truly have hidden way down deep inside myself. When people come in for some work, sometimes they have a solid idea of what they want and most times they just say well I want something like this. From there I try to just go deep inside my mind and heart and come up with something that is very intricate.
What’s your biggest pet peeve about the tattoo industry?
The customer service people are giving. People are coming to spend money for something they will have for the rest of their lives and these guys think they are above being open and friendly to the customer.
This is something that is really a monumental moment for these people, I really want them to feel like we have a history together to ease their fears and their anxiety levels.

What is the best advice you have received?
Its funny I get so much good advice over the years, that I have never followed, (laughing.) No seriously, some of the best advice I have been given is to follow my instincts. My mind-state has changed so much over the years, now I think more long term instead of looking for the fast quick easy way out.
How long have you been out of jail?
5 years and some change. And to be honest everything is going perfect, I have nothing to complain about.

If you had the chance to speak to someone who either has lost their way, or has lost hope, what would you say to them?
I have a nephew who knows I dropped out of school and went to the joint and he feels that if I did it, he can do it, and I tell him every day, you don’t have to drop out of school to become successful right now, going to school only helps to solidify your game and your future.
There are certain steps that everyone must do before attempting to become a professional.

Your open and honest about spending time in prison, do you feel like the jail systems are geared towards helping turn peoples lives around or just locking up people to make money?
I think the system needs to be looked out in detail, to see what is wrong and how it can be fixed, but for those who go in there with the mind set of, I made a mistake and now I want to get my life in order, it helps to bring out the desire to do better for yourself and those you love. Being locked up you spend a lot of time getting to know yourself and I lost so much precious time that I could’ve been spending with my children that I will never get back. That right there made it abundantly clear that I needed to restructure how I was living my life.
Do you regret going to prison?
No, because I wouldn’t be who I am today if I didn’t slow down and take some time to think about the direction I was headed. But it had to happen because I was taking life for granted.

What’s your biggest career disappointment?
Having never had a career before this, I don’t know what to say. I have worked with great people, met a lot of great friends and have had so many positive experiences since coming home, I cannot complain to be honest. I have never been a follower, so I have always been gearing myself towards owning my own business. That has been my goal since I cam home, regardless of what the business was, I mean who wouldn't want to own their own business?
What are some of the best decisions you have ever made?
Like I said I was never a follower, but I told myself when I get out, I need to go work in a shop to learn the ins and outs of the tattoo industry. I came home from Jail and worked construction and knew that wasn’t the job for me, I knew I had to follow my dreams.
What advice can you give to someone who has never been inside a tattoo parlor, for things to look out for or ways to prepare themselves before getting some work done?
First and foremost, do not cry over the price. If your getting something that means anything to you, then you should not worry about the few hundred dollars its going to cost you. Its going to last the rest of your life, so pay for something your going to love not something that is funny for the moment. Check out their books, see how well they do the kind of piece you want, if they do great black and white work but their color is a bit shaky, don’t expect them to do great full color portraits.  Do your research on the artist.

Where do you see the Tattoo industry going over the next 5 years?
I believe it will continue to become more and more popular, the awareness about what is considered a good tattoo versus someone having something to be a rebel is becoming more prevalent. With TV covering so much about the lifestyle, it can only get better. People are becoming more open to living that double life. Its almost like when the internet came out, people were all excited about being able to be someone else, well now people wear long sleeves and hide their work until the right moment hits and its like they say, the freaks come out at night.

Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
I want to become more and more involved with my community and the inner cities. I want to be able to help oversee these kids who have no parents and help get them going in the right direction.
Helping kids and especially being a father to your own kids is truly important to you. I have to ask, would you say it is more important that you are able to come home and be a father to your kids or is it more important for people see you as a stand up man who took his lumps and straightened out?
Wow. You know what to be honest, I am not known for being a bullshitter. I care less what people think about me…I would give everything away to have my kids by my side. It kind of hurts a little bit, but while I was locked up, I lost out and missed out on a lot of memories and times that I will never be able to see happen again. I would be happy working a normal 8 hour gig, for whatever pay, to be able to come home and spend time with my kids. I haven’t shed a tear since coming home and that question right there brought me the closest I have been to weeping in years.
I can hear the emotion in your voice. Face it always is a pleasure spending time with you. For people looking to get in touch with you or for those out there who want that real advice on life how can the people get in touch with you?

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1 comment:

  1. all of his work is very clean, classic and beyond what you would expect to see coming from his story. It gives me hope that with all of the mistakes we all have made, i can still show my kids that we all can become something. good job. nice interview. props to Face & Cheeba for keeping shit real!