Joey Zazueta is a very talented tattooer working out of the prestigious shop The Raven and the Wolves in Long Beach, California. He hasn’t been tattooing all too long, but his work has been making massive progress since working alongside all the talented tattooers at his shop. He is clearly passionate about tattooing and art in general, and it was an honor to get the chance to ask him some questions below which I hope you all enjoy reading.
So just looking through your work I am absolutely amazed at how talented you are man! Definitely a totally underrated artist tattooing at an extremely high level. Can you tell me a little about how working at The Raven and the Wolves has impacted your growth as a tattooer, and talk about anything else that has really helped you along your journey to reaching this level?
Appreciate the kind words brotha. Working at TR&TW has been nothing but inspiring and nonstop learning. To be able to ask the guys for feedback and their thoughts and being in a solid environment has allowed me to continue growing. I learned that everything I endured along the way taught me skills that prepared me for today.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve encountered along the way?
The balancing of work, family and creating art.
Was there ever a particular tattoo where things started to make sense or has it always just been slow and steady consistent growth?
It wasn’t a particular tattoo but I still remember the moment I was working on a drawing and everything clicked for me. There is always room for improvement and I try to learn more everyday.
Where do you draw most of your inspiration from? People places books etc?
Life, and all the above. The people I’m surrounded by, past and present artists.
Ideal client? Three things you wish they all understood?
A client that can convey their message and also take the right critique to what is achievable. Three things would be the proper sizing of the piece, the amount of time required to create, and that there is no rush. Too many people want insta-sleeves.
Funniest or most bizarre experience with a client so far?
He came in for his appointment and I placed the stencil on his arm. He looks at himself in the mirror and says he wants to sit on the idea for a bit hands me $200 and leaves. Came back a month later to get it tattooed. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Favorite/most rewarding part of being a tattooer?
Creating art that lives through the people, being my own boss and the ability to have time to spend with my daughter couldn’t imagine missing certain moments.
Most valuable lesson you’ve learned along the way?
Take your time and do it right the first time.
How many days do you prefer to tattoo per week? I know you make great money already, but how many would you tattoo per week if you made $50,000 per full day session?
4/5 depending on the projects. It’s not about the money, only the art.
Biggest changes you’ve seen happen in the industry so far?
I’m still really new to the industry but the biggest change I’ve seen is reality tv and social media. Everyone wants to be a star but no one wants to put in the work.
Changes you hope/predict to see?
I think a good change thats happening now is people are becoming more educated on good work. But something I hope changes is the unrealistic tattoos people see that are just photoshopped. Whether its some tiny tattoo or a big piece. But that only appears to be getting worse.
Thank you so much for your time Joey. Be sure to follow/check out his stuff on Instagram @joeyzazueta.