We had the good fortune of connecting with Edgar Rodriguez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Edgar, why did you pursue a creative career?
Ever since I was 12 years old I really enjoyed playing music and drawing. I went back and forth between playing guitar and skateboarding in my teen years, but drawing was always something I would do without even thinking about it. I started college immediately after high school to earn my associates in arts, but I didn’t have any drive or end-goal so I dropped out because I felt it was a waste of time and money. Through high school and college I was working as a server and bartender for 8 years. One day I was at work talking to the restaurant’s chef, Stefano Secchi, who had worked nearly 30 days straight without a single day off. I asked him how he did it because I was exhausted after working 7 days straight. He then said something I had heard a million times. He said “When you do what you love, you never work a day in your life.’ It was different coming from somebody who actually did what he loved for a living. He has since opened up a very successful restaurant in New York, NY called, Rezdôra. I purchased a sketch book the next day, and made it a mission to make a living doing something I enjoy.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
When I first started tattooing, all I wanted to do was American traditional tattoos. I loved the simplicity and precision it takes to execute a traditional tattoo. After getting the fundamentals down I started drawing my own designs which leaned a little more to the illustrative side. I’ve since been able to separate my illustrative work a bit more. These days I do a lot of illustrative dot-work tattoos. They allow me to be very free in when drawing the designs, and I feel comfortable making adjustments when actually tattooing. I think it’s the most raw form of tattooing I do. My favorite style to tattoo has to be black and grey Neo Traditional. It’s very technical and there is rules to follow which can make it challenging. These are the designs I spend hours and hours working on before I even start tattooing. Thanks to the great mentors I had at Dallas Tattoo, I’ve gotten very comfortable doing black and grey realism tattoos. I live heavy contrast when I do black and grey to make sure the tattoos stand the test of time.

I am now “working” double the hours I used to when I was a bartender, but it is absolutely worth it. Learning how to run my own business has been the most difficult part of it all for me. As tattoo artists we are independent contractors so we are responsible for buying all of our supplies, finding clientele, and everything else that goes along with owning a small business. I’m getting a little more organized, but I always forget a few things here and there. While being creative is most of my job, there is still a lot of replying to emails, scheduling clients, and doing paperwork. Ive always been a procrastinator, but doing this has definitely taught me to be proactive and get things done as efficiently as possible. Which sometimes means staying up late and working on things at home.

If there’s anything I’d want the world to know about me is that I love what I do every day, and I constantly strive to do better than I did yesterday. It can get a little overwhelming at times, but I love all of my clients who support my business and wear my artwork in their skin.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My fiancé and I just moved to Colorado Springs in July of 2021. We both grew up in the Dallas, Texas area and were ready for something new. We’ve mainly been hiking since we moved here so I would highly recommend Lost Man Lake near Aspen. Mount Muscoco Trail in Colorado Springs is one of my favorite hikes near by. It can be a little tough towards the top, but the views are worth it! Roll Up food truck would 100% be one of the first stops though. Their breakfast burritos are un-matched and their Jalapeño Spring Rolls are to die for. Another stop would be Pike’s Peak Brewery in downtown Colorado Springs. They have great beer and an awesome atmosphere. I’ve always been a fan of Vietnamese cuisine so my number one recommendation for Pho would be Pho #1 in Colorado Springs. They have super authentic food and some great iced coffee! I’m sure there’s tons I am missing, but these are a few of my favorites in these past couple months living here.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many influential people in my life who have helped me get to where I am today. First and foremost I’d like to thank my fiancé Bri for being so supportive throughout my apprenticeship, and my first year tattooing full time. I had plenty of mentors along the way who helped in different ways. Rene Mandujano was such an inspiration when I was doing my apprenticeship. He had developed his own style of black and grey and was always pushing his art. After working full time I still had a lot to learn. Travis Chic and Kayden DiGiovanni gave me the opportunity to work and learn at their tattoo studio, Dallas Tattoo. Travis helped me tremendously improve every aspect of my tattooing. It’s amazing what working with people who love what they do can do for you.

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