Artists: Sonia Mendez-Anderson
What year did you start tattooing: 1993
Do you have any special training: I apprenticed under Adrenaline Tattoos shop owner Steve Owen and have attended numerous tattoo seminars since beginning my career. I am always willing and interested in learning more about my craft.
Tell us about the style of your work: I love to do reworks and cover ups, I consider them to be a fun challenge every time. It's a great feeling to take a person from unhappy with their tattoo to leaving with a smile. It's an incredible honor to have someone that doesn't know me trust me with something as valuable as their skin. I take pride in my work and I believe it shows through the great responses from my customers.
Conventions usually worked: I set up a booth at many of the Tattoo conventions that roll through South Texas, at least 2 every year. The Alamo city convention in June and Slinging Ink convention in March are usually the ones I prefer to attend. But, my real desire (and one of my goals) is to work at The Hell City convention.
Where did you apprentice?: I apprenticed in San Antonio under Steve Owen, owner of Adrenaline Tattoos. We have been working together for 20 years now. He is my mentor and brother. We have a great staff of artists at Adrenaline and I am able to learn something new every week.
What tattoo artist do you most admire: I love Madame Lazonga and Hannah Aitchison !! Their work is phenomenal!! But, Cory Miller is amazing to me, the best.
Before someone gets a tattoo what advice do you give them?: First, it would be about names. Names are taboo unless its family. Something always happens when you put a name on your body. Relationships sometimes change and the last thing you want on your body is the name of someone you dislike or have turn away from. I would also recommend custom work, so no one else has it. Tattoos are your life on skin so I try to enforce that . Basically, think about what you want before you sit under my needle... because once you do, there's no turning back on my end.
How did you get into tattooing: My father owned a tattoo shop called Alley Cat Tattoos in San Antonio Texas. He told me that if I help him out with his shop, he would help me go to college. It sounded like a win win situation to me at the time. lol. I took his offer and I went to college for three years, but, realized during that time that tattooing was my niche', so I took a couple of art classes and decided to ask Steve if he minded taking me under his wing and show me the trade. Thank God that he did. I started with sterilizing equipment and drawing a lot. Slowly, I finally felt I was ready... and here I am now!
What inspires you to be an artist: My father inspired me for sure. I wanted to make him proud, still do. But, Steve is my mentor and has showed me the ropes. Both have been huge influences on my career choice .
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing: I love all art. I look forward to it all. But, the work I like the most, is the work that truly means something to my clients. Some of it can be heart wrenching at times but I believe it pulls out the best in me. Meaningful art.
Is there a tattoo that you haven't done yet that you are dying to do: I always wanted to do an Alice in Wonderland scene, but that dream came true about a year ago. So, now I would love to do anything related to Dali or Escher. Escher being my very favorite artist!