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The Joker by Louis

Realism portrait of my favourite villain of all time. The Joker, the movie was just amazing, as we all know. That movie blew everyone away. I think Batman and The Joker is the best combination you can get between a super-hero and a villain. I had loads of fun doing it, for me, going from being a kid at home, drawing super-heroes, to be tattooing them forever on someone’s skin as an adult, is like a dream come true.

Why do i draw?

Why do i draw?

I had the idea of writing this blog in order to explain why I do draw. One of my clients asked me the other day, why do you draw? So that made me think, and it inspired me to explain why.

First of all, I draw because I love it. A lot of tattooists say they don’t draw because they don’t have time. I completely understand as tattooing is really tiring, and sometimes there’s no energy left.

However I believe if you are really passionate about something, you will find time to it. If I don’t draw I feel empty inside, I feel purposeless. It’s like a drug for me, so I find time to draw.

Another reason why I draw, it’s to be able to express my ideas. My mind is always racing with ideas, so if I don’t put it down on paper I feel frustrated.

Another reason why I draw, is because I don’t want to be a copy and paste tattooist. What I mean by copy and paste, is getting an image from internet and place an the clients body. Sometimes tattoo artists are very good at copy and paste, and their tattoo looks good, however it will have no flow, and the tattooist will be limited by the reference, so it’s the reference that’s making most of the work, not the tattooist. I’ve got nothing against tattooists who copy and paste. If you enjoy it, do it. However If I did that, I would feel purposeless.

However when you draw, it’s possible to go further than the reference and think outside the box. Creating a different and original tattoo. Instead of being stuck inside the box with a reference, and be limited with copying and pasting.

I’m not saying this because I want to get more clients, I have enough clients, and I’m glad there are another tattoo artists out there to compliment what people want. Also, I can’t tattoo everybody and not everybody is gonna understand what I do. And I understand some people need copy and paste tattooists.

Resuming everything. How can someone be considered an “artist” if they don’t have a drawing or painting portfolio? Is copy and pasting art? I don’t believe it is. I believe if someone is passionate about art, they will find time to draw and paint,  regardless how busy their life style is.

A lot of people are copying and pasting nowadays, and they are considere tattoo “artists”? 

I understand in realism you have to make the tattoo from a realistic image. However artists like Nikko Hurtado, Carlos Torres and Victor Portugal, are doing realism and they still paint and draw, because they love art.

I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, but that’s the way I see tattooing.

Geisha Japanese tattoo by Louis Santos

I did this Geisha and hanya mask Japanese tattoo in Ibiza. I visit Matthew, who is from Leeds, we have a good time relaxing and tattooing.

Are video games good for artists?

Vídeo Games and being an artist.

Hello everyone, in this blog I would like to talk about video games as an artist. And discuss a bit if video games are good being an artist.

I started playing video games when i was a kid, purely for entertainment. Being a kid is amazing for playing games as you have all this free time and no responsibilities whatsoever. So a 4 hour game play, would happen with no worries at all.

Then we grow up and have responsibilities, which it makes it harder to spend hours playing video games. But then growing up, we have the money to buy the consoles and purchase any game we want.

Nowadays games are unbelievable , the graphics are out of this world. And I truly believe games are an art form. And if not one of my favourite type of art forms, games and movies are probably my favourite ways to get inspired by art.

So I do believe games are a great way to get inspired by art, in the same way I have fun playing a game, I study art while playing games. 

A great way to study art when playing a game is with observation. I observe the drawings in the game, how the characters move in the game. Atmosphere is also a good subject to learn in gaming, composition, and how they place colours to give a certain kind of mood in the world of the gameplay.

One game I recommend for artistic inspiration is “God of War” what a game. I played it first time for ps3. Now on PS4, it’s even better. That game is so good, that it took, maybe 4 years to make it. It shows you, when things are done properly it does takes time.

Im inspired by a Brazilian artist who is the Sony art director in the game “god of war” his name is “Rafael Grazetti” should check his Instagram, he’s amazing,

The only down side about playing games in my opinion , is the amount of time it takes out of our lives. So I try not to play for more than 2 hours, sometimes I only play for one hour. Time has to be restricted, as I have to look after myself physically, and focus on my art.

Above all, I think it’s important and inspiring playing games as an artist, as it’s probably the hardest art form out there, so why not being inspired by these amazing artists.

Thank you for reading 

Art book work in progress by Louis

My book work in progress 

This is a new sketch I have been working on. It’s a mermaid coming out of the water. She will be accompanied by a Egyptian lady, who will be surrounded by an Egyptian army.

Eventually the mermaid will be surrounded by under water creatures. I was inspired by the movie “Aquaman” to draw this mermaid.

Today is Sunday, Sunday is a very chilled day, so I will make the most to do a bit of work on my book. Sometimes I find it hard in between having a life, and working on my book. However sometimes I sacrifice having a life to get my book finished. 

I understand I have to get a balance in life. However sometimes, when i need to get something done, I must stop doing other things, in order to achieve those goals.

I was thinking the other day, I must have a reason for doing my book. I believe everything in life you must have a reason for doing it, if not I feel like, it wouldn’t be heart felt. 

Wherever you go, go with all your heart. I love this quote.

The reason why I’m doing my book, is to maybe give the tattoo world a new idea, where art can be taken, I feel like a lot of tattoo artists nowadays are working on photoshop. And duplicating images, which I’m cool about that. However I wish to think outside the box.

 I believe the tattoo world has given me so much over the years, so I think now it’s time to give back. 

So I’m not doing my book for money, as I know once my book is done, it’s gonna get copied and copied. And I don’t mind that, I’m doing this to give, not to receive.

I believe giving is a powerful thing to do. We must learn to do that, more and more. The feeling of giving is one of the best feelings you can have, to be able to help someone and have an impact in their lives.

Thanks for reading our blog, until next time.

The mind set

The mindset of a tattoo artist 

Our mind is the cause of everything that happens around us, so being in a clear and healthy state of mind will dictate the outcome of your tattoo work, or work in life in general.

I had a seminar by an artist called “Alex de Pase” he is an amazing tattoo artist from Italy. Watching his seminar, what most stood out to me, out of all the valuable lessons he was giving away in his speech, was “the better life you have, the better work you are going to do”

The way I translated that to my life was, first of all, look after myself physically. I believe once I take care of my body, doing a sport, or going to the gym, we already put our minds in a better place.

Another way I like to keep well mentally, is to read. Not only about art but about life as well. Reading has a valuable outcome which is inspiration and knowledge. New ideas becomes more natural after being inspired by a book.

At last I like to worry as less as possible, and focus on what I want. Instead of worrying what other people been saying about me, or what other people mite think about me. All that’s non sense, and if I learn how to erase all that, it’s a lot easier to stay on your path as an artist.

Thanks for reading our blog.

Until next time.

Louis Santos

An investment on education and inspiration

An investment in education and inspiration 

Thanks for reading our blog. It’s a good to way to get to know what’s going on in our Leeds Tattoo studio.

We are currently building our art gallery, however I will keep a separate blog for that subject.

In this blog I would like to talk about the importance of inspiration and education as a tattoo artist.

We are human beings with emotions, and our emotions can go up and down from one day to another. However with education and inspiration is easier to keep on focused on our journey as an artist.

Nowadays with the access to internet that we have, it’s a lot easier to find online classes and access information which will inspire and guide us as artists.

Watching videos, buying DVDs reading books and magazines about art, it’s a way I find useful to progress, inspire and open my mind about art.

Reading and studying keeps our mind strong, to keep on going on our journey as artists. And not matter what comes in our way, we are going to not deviate from our path, and not let anyone who comes in our way, take away our inspiration and motivation.

That’s one of the biggest lessons I have taken as an artist. 

Keep on track


L. Santos

A balance in life as a tattoo artist

The balance in life

First thanks for reading our blog. It’s a good way to keep updated with what’s been going on behind the scenes in our new tattoo studio in Leeds city centre.

In this blog, I would like to talk about the importance of having a balance in life.

We have just opened our new studio, so we are very busy trying to build our art gallery. The walls in our new studio are quiet high, and white. So we have space to fill the walls with a lot of art work, and the art work will pop out a lot due to the walls being white.

As busy as we are in the studio, I managed to have a week off and go to Ibiza, for a relaxing holiday. 

While I was in Ibiza, I tried to get a good balance in life. So I relaxed, read some books, did some drawing, exercised, and at last I had a night out.

As an artist having a good balance in everything you do is very important. Over doing certain aspects of your life, only creates an unbalanced unhealthy life. 

Having a balance in my life, was a tough lesson for me to learn. As I always put my work before myself. Where now, I look after myself before I focus on my work. We need to have a self respect for ourselves, for our mind and body. In order to benefit from our bodies and mind, we must not abuse it and give it a rest.

Now I have recharged my batteries, I feel ready to go back to work and give my best to my customers.

We are taking step by step in our new studio, leaving it it to flow as a natural process. Slowly building our art gallery.

Tank you for reading

Full back Fantasy dragon by Louis

We are on our last stages on Dave’s full back fantasy dragon. It has taken us years to complete it.

Having faith in the process, is a big part of going for a big scale of work. Dave have no worries with the process. Such a nice and chilled guy, I couldn’t ask for more from him really.

I love doing Fantasy tattoos, as I’m a big fan of games and movies with CGI. When Dave asked me for a full back tattoo fantasy dragon, I was over the moon.

We are very exited about our new studio. As we are trying to make an art gallery too. So in the process of doing a lot of big prints at the moment.

Hopefully when the art gallery is ready, we  going to do an opening party to open the studio officially.

Thanks for reading our blog, is an online journal, where you can see what’s going on behind the scenes with Familia Tattoo.

Zombie Sleeve Consultation

Zombie sleeve consultation 

Thanks for reading our blog. Familia Tattoo Leeds blog, is a online jornal, where we can update what’s been going on in the studio. 

In this blog I would like to mention how exited I’m to start on this crazy zombie sleeve.

The customer wants a pretty off the wall sleeve, really twisted, scary, and the best of all, he’s giving me a lot of freedom to do whatever I like to it. 

I don’t expect every client to let me do anything I want to their tattoo, I respect every request I get, and try to work with the customers idea.

However with this zombie sleeve, as It’s so dark and crazy, in order to make it crazy, a bit of freedom really helps.

I’m a fan of dark and pretty art. I like to tattoo really pretty flowers, angels and really nice subtle subjects. And some days, I like to go to scary, dark and moody skulls, zombies and horror stuff.

With this large contrast, everyday becomes exited to me. And I love having a different day everyday. 

If I tattooed scary art everyday, it would become boring, same to pretty tattoos and art everyday, it wouldn’t be as exiting as having a diverse choice of styles.

Everybody sees styles in a different way, and what’s scary for some people, mite be beautiful to others.

Thanks for reading, and until our next blog.


Louis Santos