"My name is Julius Arriola. To most of the world, I’m known as Julius Cvesar, and @juliuscaesar on Instagram. I was born in Oakland, California and raised in the San Francisco Bay area. I come from a middle-class household, with my mom being the daughter of Filipino immigrants—my grandfather, Gerry Arriola, gained citizenship after fighting in the US Army during the Korean War."

caesar

Photo by @shootmepeter

Family Ties

I was born in the 1980s and spent much of my youth staying with my grandparents while my mom was at work. I idolized my grandfather and can vividly remember him walking around the house shirtless with all his gold chains and tattoos showing. My favorite was his Tropic Lightning Infantry hand tattoo he got during the war. From those moments, I knew that when I grew up I wanted to have a ton of tattoos, just like him.

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"Thug Life"

Fast forward to the age 17. The moment I graduated high school, I decided to move out and one of the first things I did was get my first tattoo. My thought process was the first had to be the worst so I went straight to getting my stomach blasted with my last name “ARRIOLA” arched out with the script “loyalty” right below. Growing up, West Coast rap played a big role in my life, and Tupac Shakur with his “THUG LIFE” tattoo, of course influenced my decision.

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Cut Shop

After that, the momentum built as my friends and I frequented the local tattoo shop. However, throughout this entire time, I had also worked to develop my craft as a barber. I began cutting hair as a household chore back when I was 13, and by the time I was 22, I was cutting hair professionally side by side with my childhood friend Junior Argente.

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Developing the Craft

After that, the momentum built as my friends and I frequented the local tattoo shop. However, throughout this entire time, I had also worked to develop my craft as a barber. I began cutting hair as a household chore back when I was 13, and by the time I was 22, I was cutting hair professionally side by side with my childhood friend Junior Argente.

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Coming Home

I returned home but soon decided I wanted to bring my talents to Los Angeles. That was definitely one of the best decisions of my life. I’ve now been in LA for five years, and I’ve been able to use my platform in barbering to meet some of the dopest people and travel the world. I’ve definitely added to my tattoo collection along the way.

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Freedom Calls

The most pivotal tattoos would have to be my head tattoos, all done by Placaso, with over 40+ hours in sessions. Each one represents power symbols — from the Bernini lion sculpture to the Heart of Seven Sorrows. I believe barbering and tattooing have a very similar mindset. They are an expression of freedom, an homage to major moments in one’s life and a very personal form of self-expression.