Charting your own course.

It’s not really an option for most professional tattoo artists. Those who rise to fame often come from a legacy of tattoo shops with traditional apprenticeships, rigorous training and a guiding mentor along the way. But for Hart & Huntington artist Blanco, that wasn’t quite the case.

It was his grandma who had encouraged him to first pick up a pencil. One of his earliest memories is watching her do oil paintings at the local park by her home. He would sketch Pac Man comic strips when he was 10. Then during the 80s, when hip hop first made it onto the scene, he started to get more serious about it all.

I had friends who would dance, and I’d draw logos for their clubs. Then I picked up a spray can and started doing graffiti. It was just part of the hip hop culture.

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