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Interview with World Class Tattoo Collector Shad Bolasan

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I got the chance to interview another very serious fellow collector named Shad Bolosan who has collected world class work from many artists including Carlos Torres, Ivano Natale, Robert Pho, Daniel Rocha, Chuey Quintanar, Bob Tyrell, Fernie Andrade, and more.

I hope you guys enjoy reading the write up below.

 

I know you’ve been in the tattoo game for quite some time now… What are three of the biggest positive and negative changes you’ve seen since you first entered the tattoo world?

 

One positive I think is that tattoos are definitely a lot more accepted now.  When I was younger, I didn’t get tattooed where you could see it.  I kind of kept it like a “t-shirt”, nothing below the sleeves.  But about maybe 6 years ago I started coming down my forearms, and now my hands and neck too.  You still see some people that look at you funny because of your tattoos, but very rare.  For the most part people that you wouldn’t think would be, are really interested in your work… . I’ve even gotten compliments by elderly people and all, lol.

Another positive thing I think is that the number of amazing artists out there now is just incredible.  It seems like almost everyday I’ll see some work that I really like, that’s done by an artist that I haven’t heard of before.
The third positive change I think is that there are a lot more serious collectors now.  I always love to see other peoples amazing collections, love meeting other people that are just as passionate about their collections as I am. There are definitely quite a few more people out there that have amazing collections that I truly admire…  one of those definitely being yours brother.

As for the negative… I think that while there are so many amazing artists out there, there also are some artists that just come in and think they’re on that level, but just aren’t.  Another negative is that while there are a lot more serious collectors out there now, there is also quite a bit of people with not so great work on them, calling themselves “collectors” lol.

 

Is social media helping or hurting the industry right now? Give a few examples of each if both.

I think that social media helps a lot by getting artists work out there for everybody to see.  They can also use it to help them fill an appointment when they have a no-show.  And for the fans and lovers of amazing artwork like myself, we get to see a lot more Incredible work on social media, than we could if only by magazines, or at shows.

As for hurting the industry…. probably the biggest thing is that it makes it easy for artists’ work to get copied, or just plain ripped off. We’ve already seen the candle piece that you have on your hand copied at least ten times… that we know of, lol.

You have a crazy respectable collection… Who has worked on you and can you include some photos of your collection if convenient?

 

Thank you so much bro, I really appreciate that!  Over the years I’ve collected work from Carlos Torres, Chuey Quintanar, Fernie Andrade, Ivano Natale, Robert Pho, Daniel Rocha, Freddy Negrete, Bob Tyrrell, Sergio Sanchez, Alan Padilla,
Alec Rodriguez, Dustin Yip, Norm, Ryan Lau, and most recently Richie Lucero.

How many years ago did you collect your first tattoo? When did your first QUALITY one land on you?

 

My very first tattoo was when I was about 12, some 33 years ago…. YIKES!  I’m old, lol. It was a “hand poked” tattoo that I did myself, using a sewing needle with thread wrapped around near the tip.  It was an “S” for my name, Shad.  After getting screamed at about it by my mom, I eventually made the “had” also to spell it out, lol.

First shop tattoo was when I was 19.  A tiger that I chose from a flash on the wall, not one of my wisest decisions, lol.  I started to really get covered about 15 years ago by my really good friend, local artist Ryan Lau. He’s definitely a brother to me.

My first tattoo by a really big name artist was about 7 years ago.  My daughters portrait, done by The Man himself… Carlos Torres!

 

If there were two things you wish you knew before you ever started getting tattooed, what would they be?

 

1) Quality over Quantity…. when I was younger I just wanted to get tattooed, I’d put things just to put something there.

2) I also wish I’d have known from the start that I was going to do a bodysuit . It
was when I first saw Chuco Caballero, and David Oropeza in tattoo magazines that made me want to do my own black and grey bodysuit.  I was just totally blown away by their collections!

 

 

 Best experience with an artist?

 

Best experience …  I’d probably have to say the best things to me are the things that happened when I wasn’t actually getting tattooed. I’ve become very good friends with quite a few of the artists that have worked on me. A few of them I consider my brothers.  The best experiences that come to mind are things like taking my bruddah Fernie Andrade and his beautiful family sightseeing around the Island, along with Daniel Rocha and his beautiful family as well.  Having a BBQ later that
day at my house for Fernie’s Birthday.  Or hanging out with my other brother Robert Pho and his beautiful girls. And of course there’s last year in beautiful Italy with my Family, and having my brotha Ivano Natale and beautiful family taking us around his

hometown of Naples.  Something that I’ll never forget.
As for the best experience while actually getting tattooed, I’d have to say it was the very first time I got tattooed by Carlos Torres, at the first year of The Pacific Ink and Art Expo, here in Hawaii.  It was two days back to back, Friday & Saturday.  Like I said earlier in the interview, this was the very first time for me being tattooed by a big name artist.  And when it comes to big name artists, it doesn’t get any bigger than Carlos Torres!  It was so amazing just to meet him in person, let alone get tattooed by him!  He is a rock star of the tattoo world, and to get tattooed by him at a show….
It was like getting a little taste of that rock star treatment as well, lol.  It’s like you’re one of the entourage.  You’re getting attention because you’re the lucky fucker that’s getting tattooed by him….. out of all of the people that tried to land one of the three appointments with him, I was the lucky winner!  Lol.  It was such an awesome experience.  And since then Carlos and I have become very good friends, he’s my brother.

 How do you usually decide and select what it is that you’re going to get done by an artist?  Do you give much free reign or are you very specific what you want to receive?

 

First I’ll always make sure that I ask the artist to do something that he is really good at, and it’s something that he enjoys doing.  Then I might give him an idea of the subject I had in mind, but then I’ll totally let him come up with what he wants, what he think’s will work best.  I always trust the artist.

For example, one of my legs is being done by Ivano Natale .  I just told him I wanted a Mexican themed sleeve, with beautiful black and grey Chicano art and let him have free reign.

My other leg is being done by Fernie Andrade.  It’s all portraits of my favorite things……… musicians, characters from my favorite movies, athletes, etc.  I just tell him the person whose portrait I want, and let him choose the reference that would work best.  He’ll come back to me with a few options for me to choose from.

 

Which artists are at the top of your bucket list these days? Name ten or so.

There are soooo many!!!  Too many artists, and too little space, lol.
Off the top of my head I’d probably say……..
Vetoe, Eric Marcinizyn, Brian Gonzales, Steve Soto, Wilson Pan, Matt Jordan, Tony Hu, Bobby Serna, Johnny Quintana, Abey Alvarez, Fred Flores, Miguel Camarillo. I could just go on, and on, and on, lol.

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