One of these few goes by the name of Monte, and although his collection itself is recognized worldwide, most people still don’t know all too much about him because he is completely off the grid and incredibly mysterious.
In this article, I got the chance to talk to the legendary Robert Pho about his prized and utterly dedicated collector Monte who has one of the absolute greatest bodysuits in the entire game in my humble opinion.
Here we talked about a variety of subjects, including the bond between an artist and a dedicated client, difficulties when designing a full bodysuit, insightful advice for individuals wanting to obtain a top-notch collection, and other specifics about the mysterious Monte who has taken home a countless amount of awards for his body mural by Robert Pho.
I hope you guys enjoy the read.
How much of Monty’s bodysuit was free reign? Or did he decide on a lot of the imagery himself?
- Have a vision by planning it all out and spend a lot of time researching for the right references, ideas, etc…What are you going to do that’s different than other artists?
- Focus and Grind. Always give 100% of your focus and work on it until it is done. If one day you slack with design, size, placement, or technical, it will show. It’s easy to lose focus. Stay focused.
- Be Consistent. Equipment, ink, supplies changes all the time. The longer you wait to work on it, it may not look the same. So it’s very important to finish as soon as you can do it.
- Not tattooing at expos. Not to say it’s not the thing to do but for me, I can only be in my zone and focus best when I’m by myself in a less busy environment. I have a few mistakes when tattooing him at expos. You easily lose focus and the pressure is insane.
- Give yourself some room. A lot of times we had to stop too early or didn’t come to a great stopping point because he would have to leave at certain times every session to catch his flight on that same day. So a lot of times we had to rush the session. Give yourself time. Don’t fly out on the same day of your tattoo. Last thing we want to do is feel rushed.
- Get your old tattoos removed before getting tattooed. If you have old tattoos that will need to be covered up, make sure you laser remove it first to get it light enough before getting tattooed and give it enough time to heal. Monte would laser remove other parts of his old tattoos right after every session with me. And every laser session would take about an hour because he had so much to remove. That is just a lot of pain to deal with in one session. And remember this guy’s body never got to heal for two and a half years because he came in once a week.
For me as an artist it is very important to have the best possible relationship with my clients. It’s not just doing a tattoo. We naturally form some sort of bond. The bond that me and Monte established over the course of two and a half years working together is unbreakable. The respect and appreciation we have for one another is something special. Even though we both have our busy schedules we still keep in touch and when we see each other it’s always a blast talking stories and looking at his art that I created.
When I look at a collector’s bodysuit. It’s usually a collage of art. The tattoo world is used to that. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s your body and viewers have to respect it. But if I had to say what would make it even more top-notch is the design flow and blending of the artwork. But it’s almost impossible to do this because every artists work is different. What I would suggest for the next level collector to do, is to pick out all of your artists that you would like to collect from. Have them all be involved in the designing process of the bodysuit and then one at a time get your tattoo done by each of the artists. This way it will all be pre-planned, and you will have a body suit that is top notch as the end result with not only the technical aspects from the artists but the design and flow now have an appealing look and it will be more soothing for the viewers eyes.
Thank you to anyone who took the time to read/view this article, hope you enjoyed.
Also a huge thank you to Robert for his time. Be sure to follow him on Instagram @robert_pho and @skindesigntattoos.