Artists: Jose “Mota” Ortega
Jose “Mota” Ortega
What year did you start tattooing?
I started in 1995 for fun, but took it seriously by 1998.
How would you describe your style?
I would say that my style is versatile thanks to my ADD. Because I get bored doing the same work over and over again, it challenges me to be creative in many other levels. However, my preference is black-andgray, and realistic new school.
What type of tattoos were you doing back when you started?
When I started, like any other newbie, I was stuck with lettering, tribals, butterflies, suns and moons, dolphins, etc. At work I had to make the quota for the boss, which meant commercial tattoos. So in order for me to grow as an artist I had to work long hours at home after work, giving tattoos away to convince my friends to lend me their skin to try new things that people most likely wouldn’t do or even pay for.
You are good with portraits and realism, but lately there has been more custom work coming from you. Is that the direction you are moving in?
Definitively. I want to concentrate more on drawing and custom work. This way I don’t have to follow any “rule” in particular but can let the imagination and art flow, making each one of them a unique piece.
When do you decide to freehand versus sketch a design on paper?
The difference is the freedom it provides. When creating or brainstorming the art I take many factors into consideration in order to choose which I will use. Amongst them: the area of the body where I’m going to work on, and the type of work I’ll be doing. For example, stencil is something I use when I want to keep a correct symmetry and details, like when working with portraits. On the other hand, I work freehand when the idea is formed in my head and the client is willing and trusts my artistic judg – ment. Most of the time I sketch the idea for the client to have a sneak peek, but never so detailed like when drawing on the skin.
What conventions do you regularly attend, and what countries do you usually guest spot in?
Consistently I visit the Miami, New York, Oregon, and Panama tattoo conventions. My guest spots are Puerto Rico, Texas, New York, Panama, and Mexico, and I’m looking forward to adding more.
Do you practice any other art media?
Yes, I do practice a little bit of every – thing, but the ones I like the most are oil painting, carbon, and color pencils.
Are there any sort of new projects we might expect to see from you soon?
At the moment I’m concentrating on traveling to different shops for guest spots and conventions around the world. I’m sharing with different artists, gaining more knowledge, and expanding my horizons. In the near future I visualize opening a shop in San Antonio, where I currently live. Among other projects is The Out of Step Books, which I participate in with great artists from different parts of the world.