Name? Mateo Sigwerth
Shop? Wolf’s Head Tattoo
Location? Albuquerque, NM—Knob Hill
Style? American Traditional
Years tattooing? 10 years
How did you get your start tattooing?
It kind of fell in my lap. I did my first tattoo when I was 13. My cousin, Oscar would get tattooed by one of his buddies and I would hangout and watch. I would sketch in my black book and the artist liked my stuff so one day he asked if I would like to tattoo him. Shit, I was all over that opportunity. The tattoo come out okay.
What was that first tattoo gun made from and how did you figure out how to make it?
The following summer, my cousin and I started making homemade tattoo machines out of a blow dryer and a guitar string. I can’t believe they actually worked.
In what ways has your experience with street art/graffiti informed your style and development as a tattoo artist?
Graffiti and street art have played a big role in my life and my art. I pull elements from graffiti in my color tattoos and color pallet.
Are there any specific graffiti artists who especially influenced your work?
I’ve always been influenced by Mike Giant 2face and Taste. My mentors were also graffiti writers Porky, Dabs(RIP) and Nore…Who are all now amazing tattoo artists.
Aside from human skin and urban walls, what are your other preferred media for your art?
Lately I’ve been doing a lot of liquid acrylic on wood. It’s been a good change from the norm. I usually paint tattoo flash with watercolor on arches paper. My biggest influences have been Sailor Jerry, Bert Grim, Ed Hardy, Porky, Dabs, Basquiat.
Rotary or coil and why?
I actually use both. I prefer coil for line work and rotary for shading. Both are great tools.
If you could pass along one piece of advice to aspiring tattoo artists, what would it be?
Don’t lose the art of drawing on paper.
Any parting words? The floor is yours.
Bold will hold.