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Interview with Acqua Santa Brazilian Tattoo Artist: João Paulo Rodrigues - JP

I had the pleasure to interview the incredible JP this weekend in New York City and can't stop loving his work more and more!

This unique and amazing Brazilian Tattoo Artist is enjoying his life doing what he loves the most: inking people! Below, some curiosities about JP and his work!

What was your first tattoo? Any meaning behind it? 

A Japanese Symbol! No meaning behind, a symbol that represent what I do.

Where are you originally from?

I’m from Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.

Why New York? 

I came to NYC heading to California, you know, I came from the beach and thought that would adapt in California better, after arriving in NYC my connection to all the tattooing that was happening here grabbed me and never let me leave this town.

What got you started tattooing? Did that happen in Brazil? Where?

I started tattooing, I guess, because of my Dad. I had always been fascinated with the tattoo he had on his chest, and after playing in bands and studying music in my childhood, I started getting tattoos and started working in a tattoo shop back home where my whole initialization of tattooing started. Less than a year later I was tattooing in NYC and it has been almost 13 years.

Have you noticed any difference between the way Brazilians and Americans deal/think about tattoos Any dramatically cultural differences? 

I was pretty lucky having my family and friends support. They were always very encouraging to what I decided to do and were next to me at all times. I expected to see a lot more differences between the tattoo culture in Brasil and in the USA but there’s not that much at all! Tattooing has become a worldwide thing and has received a lot of exposure in all kind of medias. The only difference I see is that especially in NYC people get a lot more tattoos than any other place, they go for full body pieces and see tattoos as an adornment and as a exchange of time and memories between me and themselves. Brasil is a step forward in tattooing and will be one of the most powerful places for it. There are so many talented artists. 

How long have you been tattooing? Please define your tattoo style: 

I’ve been tattooing for almost 13 years now and I really enjoying doing Japanese and Asian art as complete the body in a perfect shape. Traditional is another style that I enjoy a lot as well as Black and Grey work, where I mix a lot of geometric shapes and   dots with tribal influences from the islands. 

 Have you ever had a tattoo removed? Why?

Haven’t had a tattooed removed, and I won’t remove them either. I always think very carefully about what I want to get, and I advice the same, but if people want get rid of an old tattoo I advice to cover up with another one or erase them with laser and after cover them too.

Do you believe that tattoos change people's lives? 

Tattoos can, for sure, change people’s lives. It changed mine. It’s more like a state of mind than anything else. It’s a self-discovering and life exchanging process for growing better and stronger

Any areas that are missing 'tattoos' in your body?

We never stop getting tattooed. If there’s anything missing won’t be for too long.

Acqua Santa Tattoo João Paulo Rodrigues
235 West 18th Street,
New York, NY.
10011 USA +16466843160 

by Mirella Afonso
Creative Director

BlaBlaBlaNYC PRgirls

Follow us: @blablablanyc on Twitter | BlaBlaBlaNYC on Facebook


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