Artists: robert bonhomme
What year did you start tattooing: 2003-01-01
Do you have any special training: I started drawing and painting pretty early on. As I took my work more seriously I experimented with watercolor, ink, acrylic and oil painting.
Conventions usually worked: New York, Philly, Baltimore, Berlin, and Costa Rica
Where did you apprentice?: I apprenticed at Studio Dep under Willham Paredes. Though he was my friend, it still was a hard apprenticeship. I'm glad I went through it. I use what I've learned everyday. So I am very thankful. At the time I thought that my art background gave me a real edge on tattooing but it was quite the opposite. I had no idea how easy it was to learn to tattoo but how unbelievably hard it was to be good at tattooing.
What tattoo artist do you most admire: I love the innovators, ever changing the idea of what a tattoo is suppose to look like and the flipping the craft on its head. There is a lot of talent all over this world, just amazing. Horiyoshi III, Filep Leu, Tin-Tin, Eddy Deutche, Don Ed Hardy, Jack Rudy, Henning Jorgensen, Gogue, Sabine, on and on. The guys I get to work around on a daily basis inspire me all the time and for that I am very thankful.
Before someone gets a tattoo what advice do you give them?: A great tattooer Myke Maldonado was working with Anil Gupta. I wasn't tattooing at the time it was just before my apprenticeship. I had swung by to say hello to Myke and see the studio off of Avenue A and 6th street. Myke was working so I ended up having a great chat with Anil about Art, Tattooing and just Life. His advice for me was to be "specific" about what I want to pursue, convey, whatever. Later as a tattooist I conveyed that same idea of being "specific" with new clients in the development of their tattoos. To focus in on a few elements makes just a better tattoo.
How did you get into tattooing: My Dad had a small hand poked cross on his hand near his thumb it was faded but when I was a kid I loved it. I would draw on my skin, clothes, notebooks. When i was older I got tattooed by Mike Bakaty "Fineline Mike" when I was 16 years old. Private underground studio in the Lower East side, tattooing was outlawed at the time. Got the first one and was back in a few weeks for another. I would drawing tattoo designs for friends. A crew of friends I met became tattooers and I would just hangout at the shop on and off for years. Sometimes getting tattooed or helping out, whatever it was like a second home.
What inspires you to be an artist: I think traveling has made me really see my life and whats out there and it has influenced my work and direction. I've done my best to empty my cup so to speak to fill it with more. I always look ahead and try to elevate my craft everyday.
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing: I like the collaboration and development of ideas. When its right you get something that neither client or myself expect. I like all types of tattooing. For me, I'd get bored if I did just one kind of tattooing. I was taught to deliver on all kinds of work. I don't really label myself as a "Tattoo Artist", I'm a Tattooer. You want a Portrait? cool, have a seat. Skull and Dagger? Awesome. Dragon? Fantastic.
Is there a tattoo that you haven't done yet that you are dying to do: I really gotten into some of the more obscure japanese mythological creatures, I'd have a blast working on one of those.