We had the good fortune of connecting with Briana Casillas (BEC) and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Briana, why did you pursue a creative career?
I have been involved in art my entire life . Always expressing myself in some type of way. Whether it be from drawing on paper, to creating jewelry; art has always been my escape from reality. Being able to live a life where I am able to create art, freely and continue working collaboratively with others is my reason for continuing this creative career. The happiness I get from doing tattoos reaffirms daily just why I am in this career.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
It has definitely not be an easy road. From financial struggles to mental exhaustion from the beginning of the career (specifically through the years of apprenticeship) it has still been totally worth it. I have learned in this industry three things: 1. You will never be the best (at anything) because there will always be room for growth 2. Nothing comes easy to you in life. This career has always showed me I need to push myself for success and build myself to be better than the day before.
3. Be nice to yourself. Learning to value myself, my art, my time and mental well being has always been the hardest thing through my life not just career. I have learned in the past years just how important it is to always take care of ourselves.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I have lived in Colorado Springs for a little over a year now. I moved here from San Diego Ca, and everything is so different! My favorite thing to do out here is drive through the mountains with my fiancée and pups. I absolutely cannot get enough of the scenery out here.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have had so many great influences throughout my career. My family helped with so much encouragement and support through my apprenticeship and career. My family has always been my biggest motivators and critics.
In the industry I am in, I have always been influenced by every artist I have ever worked with or gotten to know/learn about. My godfather Junior “Listo” Tapia (owner of Needle Maniaks in Colorado Springs, CO) , was the first person who got me into this industry. He is one of the hardest workers I know, and one of the biggest father like roles in my life. He has always showed leadership by not only making sure he is doing great in life, but making sure everyone who is around him always has opportunities for improvement and success. My godfather has always pushed me to further my career and deserves all the recognition he could get.
Another great influence in my career has been one of my good friends Aaron “Bear” De La Paz (Owner of 2 shops: Hustle tattoo & Piercing , Hustle Brows & Piercings in San Diego CA) Aaron is one of the most dedicated, motivated and hard working men I know. He has been the biggest teacher through out my career from coming in on his days off so he can walk me through my beginning tattoos; to helping me be successful in my own career. I will always be thankful for his guidance and friendship.
Every person who has let me tattoo them, especially the friends who stuck with me through my beginning funky tattoos, I owe credit to my success.
Lastly, my fiancé Alfonso Magaña , has been part of my tattoo career since the beginning and has always helped me see the positive even through the hard days. He has always encouraged me and pushed me to be better than the day before. I am forever thankful for the endless support and love he has given me throughout these years.
Yelp: Needle Maniaks Colorado Springs
Other: Tik ToK: @brianacasillas0