Sullen TV and Stencil Stuff present “Tattoo Timelapse with Roman Abrego” of Artistic Element Tattoo in Yucaipa and Hollywood CA. He is tattooing an Indian on John Bayles of SullenTV, an addition to a sleeve they’ve been working on together.
My name is Roman. I am currently living in a small town called Yucaipa California. I came from two big Mexican Families, The Abrego’s and the Escamilla’s. Ever since I was young I was interested in art. My maternal grandfather Art Escamilla was a painter. He would have all of his grandchildren paint at a very young age. I was really into art when I was young, but as I got older I started to get into trouble, eventually ending up in jail. I consider jail one of the major elements that got me back into art. I had a lot of free time to work on my artistic ability and that experience made me want to shape up my life and do something right.
When I was released from jail, I began working with my step-dad Larry Keepers. He really took care of me and kept me out of trouble by teaching me a strong work ethic, but I knew I wanted to do something else other than road construction. My uncle Jerry gave me my first tattoo machine and that’s when I knew what I wanted to do. I began tattooing out of my house not knowing what the hell I was doing, but eventually I made my way to a shop. I learned a lot while being surrounded by other artists. I worked with Mike Cole, Carson Hill and my old boss John Graefe. Mike Cole was a very inspirational person to me. His life was art and I liked that.
I got back into painting soon after. Also, one of my dreams was to open my own shop and five years ago that’s exactly what I did. It was hard not knowing if it would be a success opening a tattoo shop in a small town, but I liked it that way. I feel it makes an artist push themselves harder to get themselves out there, and really establish their names as artists.
Some of the artists at my shop are: My best friend Cholo, he is a body modification artist. There is also Kali, a tradition Japanese, fine line hand writing artist. The other artist include Geno, Sam and Jeff, who all are up and coming artist, as for my style I love to do color portraits and bio mechanical or whatever else pops into my head. My shop is called Artistic Element because before we were tattoo artists we were all artists and we bring that element into our tattoos.
I would first like to thank all of the people that helped me through the 10 years I have been tattooing. My girlfriend Brenda and my cute daughters Shylee and Jaylee. My grandfather Art Escamilla. My mother and father Larry and Aida Keepers, without them it would of never happened.
I just want to be the best tattoo artist I can be and grow new with the new comers and the old-timers.
Artistic Element Tattoo is located at 34185 Yucaipa Blvd, Yucaipa, CA 92399. Come check us out, or visit us at ArtisticElementInk.com or Facebook.com/RomanTattoos or call the shop @ (909) 797-8280
Music by International Sullen Musik Artist The CATS.