Interview with Talented Realism Artist Alonzo Gonzales


Alonzo Gonzales is a tattooer working out of The Black Rose Studio in Mansfield, Texas who has really began to hone in on his craft lately in the realism genre of tattooing.

He has a smoothness to his style that is pretty coveted nowadays and that shows how much time and patience he’s put into his job.

I got the chance to do a written interview with him below that I hope you guys enjoy.

Be sure to follow his work on Instagram @alonzogonzales_tat2.


What’s been helping you most as you’ve began to really start mastering your craft as a tattooist and take things to the next level?  What concepts have been most beneficial to keep in mind?

Staying open minded, adapting to all these new styles and artists.  The evolution of the industry itself where limitations are rapidly lifted with how far some of these artists are pushing tattooing and I’d like to think that is what keeps me going and trying to do more and keep up with the times.

When did you really start getting deep into the tattoo industry?  What shifts and changes have you been happy to start seeing since tattooing has gotten a little more mainstream?

I would say I’ve been fascinated by it since i was a kid but until 2011 i wasn’t involved at all.  The advancement in the industry as far as products, equipment, and access to different supplies is amazing and honestly allows artists to produce a better more efficient tattoo.  As far as styles and trends you tend to love and hate them as they come in lol.  Some are badass and some are basic gimmicks but it is what it is and tattooing being mainstream allows us to make a living and be legit so i take the good with the bad.

Was there any particular moment when things really seemed to just click for you and start coming together?

Yup, when i figured out that just doin your own thing instead of trying to imitate somebody else’s style is when you will start to seperate yourself and potentially become better than average.  I totally appreciate all styles and the artists who do them but at the end of the day the one holding the machine is me and i need to do it my way, my style.  I would never get anywhere trying to be like Carlos Torres or a Nikko because we are all unique and that’s what makes us artists.

Most valuable lesson you’ve learned as an artist while working towards your dreams?

Work your ass off, success isn’t given or falls in your lap, you gotta go get that shit yourself.

Three pieces of advice you might have for tattoo collectors?

1-Be open minded when inquiring about a tattoo.  Never settle but also realize just because you like the artists work doesn’t mean they are right for your idea or concept because they might not be feeling or into what you are wanting.

2-just pay what they ask, tattooing is a luxury not a necessity.  For most hardcore collectors they know this but for beginning collectors never haggle or inquire unless you are financially stable.

3-research as much as you can and do not rush to get it done asap, anything of quality generally takes time and care and treat your tattoo as the same if you want it to be a true piece of quality art

Three things you wish all your clients knew without having to explain to them?

That I’m not a robot and i have a personal life n my world doesn’t revolve around them and tattooing lol.

I wish they knew how much work, time, and effort goes into what we do and that it’s not like going to a fast food place and getting what you want right then and there.  It takes so much time and planning to put together a good tattoo.

I wish they knew how much i appreciate their support and choosing me as their artist because it allows me to live the way i want every day and enjoy what i do.

Weirdest, funniest, or most bizarre experience with any client so far?

Not sure, nothing ever really strikes me odd anymore lol.  For example, a guy once came in and asked one of the artists if he could tattoo a crack rock on him lmao.  Was a good laugh but shit like that happens all the time.  Back in 2013 I remember the worst was a girl i tattooed 2 days in a row that unfortunately when she took off her pants so i could tattoo her leg did not smell so fresh and i was dying for 2 days straight.  It was pretty rough and i had to take several breaks to gather myself together.  I always wonder why i went through with it and then i remember i was broke as fuck and was new to the industry and had just started at this shop and it was the most money i had been offered at the time.  Didn’t realize it came with such a heavy price lmao.  Me and my coworkers were suffering but hey shit happens.

Any major influences or inspirations in the industry?

I would like to say so but not really, I’ve always admired artwork in general but there isn’t one particular thing in the industry that makes me go “yah that’s what makes me do what i do”.  Best explanation i can give is i like doing whatever i want to do when i want to and the industry allows me to do that.

Favorite part of being a tattooist? Most challenging part?

Favorite part is i wake up after 12 p.m. lol. Challenging part is getting to understand the client and turn their vision into a tattoo without totally screwing myself into doing something im completely uncomfortable with and regret saying yes to.  These days i pick and choose what i do but even then i still have my days where it a challenge to meet a clients expectations and ideas.

Any artists you’re dying to collect work from yourself?

Hmmmm……. Man there is a lot but i’d be pretty stoked to get tattooed by Ryan Evans, Veto, or Nikko maybe David Vega too.

As a tattoo collector I have mixed feelings on mimicking custom and original pieces…What’s your stance on the subject?

At this point everybody has tattooed damn near almost every concept you can think of and everybody trying to be the first to do something new now days.  I do feel there is a difference in maybe doing a similar concept which is ok but straight plagiarism is frowned upon and i do not condone that but it is something that happens a lot.  As an artist i get a ton of clients wanting me to replicate somebody else’s tattoo or even one of my own pieces which i find odd but i just simply say no i do not copy or do the same tattoo twice.  Imitation is a form of flattery but it’s also not necessary so i’d say i don’t approve of it but i also realize the originality of a tattoo is getting harder and harder to come by.

Any overall goals or milestones as an artists you’re striving to reach?

I just wanna leave my mark on tattooing and to be remembered in good standing for what put out there and the clients i made happy.

Thanks for your time Alonzo!  Be sure to give him a follow @alonzogonzales_tat2 and check out more of his bad ass work.


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