- Eight Thirty Eight Gallery
- Port Hueneme, California
I was born in Sandiego CA back in June of 1978. My family was a military family (USN) so we lived in a few places growing up. Moved to Orlando FL from the age of 1-3 years of age. Afterwards we moved to Rota, Spain for 6 years. I lived in a town called el Puerto de Santa Maria. I lived outside of the Naval base, growing up in the Spanish community and attended school on the Naval base with the American kids. Having two sets of friends was awkward to me but I guess that's just how things went. I learned English and Spanish simultaneously. I never thought much about knowing the two languages at the time but as I grew older I had realized that I was different than most of the American kids. We moved back to the states in 1988 to Port Hueneme CA. I have been here ever since. I felt a little behind the curve, perhaps a little lame in comparison to the American kids. I would soon enough adapt to my new environment. When I reached the States I began to enjoy new hobbies instead of all the soccer/fuzbol that I played in Spain. Skateboarding and Surfing became my new passion while outside of school, and art was a way for me to prevent boredom while in school. I really enjoyed surfing skateboarding as a teenager and art was just mainly a boredom mechanism never really took it seriously. However, once I had reached my junior year in high school I had discovered the world of graffiti art. I had a few Can Control magazines that gave me a start in the wrong/right direction, lol. I immediately realized that I had potential to be a great artist and I started to pursue art. Upon graduating high school, I enlisted in the USN and served in the Seabee community. I was fortunate to get stationed back at home in Port Hueneme. Having attended a lot of classes in the Navy and receiving military instruction, which was really dry material, I began to draw more as a defense mechanism to fight the boredom. It would also save my ass and keep me awake during class which was crucial if I didn't want to be punished for falling asleep like many others. Aside of learning about art I also would collect tattoos where ever I deployed to once in the Navy. My first tattoo was here in Port Hueneme from Jimi's Tattoo. I have been tattooed while in Whitchita Falls TX, during my schooling. While on deployment in Guam and also in Rota, Spain which is the town next to el Puerto de Santa Maria where I grew up between the age of 3 and 10. I always enjoyed looking at tattoos and often wondered how one would get started in the trade. I didn't really know anybody who did them so I never pursued trying to learn it. When I was about 23 my good friend Warren was dating a chick who would hangout at one of the local tattoo shops and we actually got invited to hang out at one of the artists house to have some fun. That is when I met Luis Ruiz, he was a local badass tattoo artist and was quite young at the time, probably about 19 or so. Amazed at how young he was and how good his tattooing was I was influenced to try and finally get started in tattooing. I ordered my first set of machines back in April 2001 off the back of Tattoo Magazine from Kaplin. I was nervous to do it because it cost so much and I didn't know if I'd be good enough. I had also been hanging out at the local tattoo shop for a while getting a half-ass apprenticeship from Angelo Miles. I thank him quite a bit for all his knowledge as it has helped me quite a bit. After weeks of watching him and the others tattoo I couldn't wait to get started but I had no machines yet. The day my machines arrived i was so damn happy! I sat down and gave myself a horrible tattoo which is now covered up. But it was good enough at the time to convince my friends to get one and that's all it took. I had officially become a Scratcher, hahaha. Since I was in the military I had quite a few people to practice on and it only took 2 months to get accepted into a local tattoo shop. The Ink House in Ventura CA was my first tattoo shop and boy was it an experience I'll never forget. My first shop I worked at was The Ink House in Ventura Ca where I worked for a few months before I had to deploy to Spain back in 2001 After returning from deployment I went to work at Airport Tattoo in Oxnard Ca. I worked there for about a year before I went on another deployment to Iraq in 2003. My deployment to Iraq was a war time situation and was quite scary and depressing. After returning from the war in Iraq I had a slightly deranged head on my shoulders and PTSD was now an issue. With a new psychological outlook, I began to encompass my life with art and I went full throttle with drawing and tattooing. I have not stopped trying since then because I feel that art is my salvation and keeps my mind idle. Before deploying to war in 2003 I met my love of my life, Angela who I'm currently and forever married to. We met Aug 5th 2002 for a consult on a tattoo when I was working at Airport Tattoo and I tattooed her 2 days later on the 7th. She tried to pay me for the tattoo but I insisted that we go out for a dinner date instead. We dated for a few months before I got the news that I was going to Iraq. January 16th 2003 I was put on a bus and was to fly out to Iraq via March Air Force Base. It was then, when I stepped on the bus and turned to look at my beautiful girlfriend who was in tears that I now understood that I was in Love. War was shitty and we all struggled to keep our heads on our shoulders physically and mentally. I missed Angela so damn much and I wondered if I'd ever see her again. The time went by so slow and it hurt so bad to be in that situation. Many of us often stopped caring about the dangers of our hostile environment because we were in a deep depression. But held on to her picture and my pen, and if I wasn't writing her a letter then I was drawing to help pass the time. I knew then that I was to be an artist because I never wanted to deal with that shit again! After returning from Iraq I went to work at the Pain Parlor Tattoo in Oxnard Ca where I worked for about 5 years. During that time I gained many clients and practiced my art daily. I left the Pain Parlor in 2007 and I worked out of a private studio for a couple of years. I got married in 2004 on January 16th to my lovely girlfriend/fiancé at the time. It was a year from the date that I was shipped off to Iraq. One exact year from the day that I fell in love with her. We've been happily married since and we now have 3 awesome, beautiful, and lovely children. Their names are SunnyCash Rooster, Rocco Benjamin, and Lola Havana Garcia. My family keeps me happier than ever and motivated to stay busy in the game of art. While working out of my private studio on 2008, I was offered a job at MD Tattoo Studio by Mike Devries. I was happy as hell to work alongside of Mike and Cecil Porter as well. I learned quite a bit while tattooing there and I feel blessed that Mike gave me the chance. I worked there part time for about 4 months before leaving the shop. I was offered a full time position but I declined because traveling to the shop was hard on my family and financially didn't work for me. I sometimes regret leaving but I've managed to deal with it. After saving up and honing down my skills, I decided to open up my own tattoo shop and so I did. I opened the doors to Inkphiller Studio in 2009 and I've been busy tattooing and painting since. If I'm not working there then I'm traveling around the US working the tattoo conventions. I'm happy to be working these shows but I do miss my family while I'm out of town. The convention scene is fun and has been generous to me and I've collected many tattoo awards. During that time I've met many great artist who are just like me and it's great to be a part of the family. When I'm not tattooing or painting, I'm off surfing or golfing. When not at the beach or on the golf course I'm busy with my family enjoying their comforting smiles and warm hearts.