Gabriel Cece is a tattoo artist presently serving at Blue Horseshoe Tattoo, 515 London Bridge Road, Virginia Beach. He has been into this business since twelve years. Apart from being a tattoo artist, he is a good painter who loves to click photographs and now thinking to do something like sculpting and carving. Read more about him in this e-mail interview.
Disha: When did your journey of body art started and how? Was it natural?
Gabriel: My path as a tattooer probably started when I was twelve or thirteen years old, as I was forever drawing pieces that I wanted on myself. I can’t say that it was all that natural, but as I have always been a self taught artist as a youngster, learning to tattoo when I turned eighteen years old it wasn’t too difficult of a transition.
Disha: Who are your main inspirations?
Gabriel: Even though my tattooing doesn’t look anything like theirs, my biggest inspirations are guy aitchison, jon clue, marcus pacheco, fillip leu, and nick baxter, as they are the artists that always seems to be pushing the art form to new levels.
Disha: Please throw some light on your life and career.
Gabriel: My life and career are basically one and the same, as I’d like to believe that I was put on this earth to do good tattoos. My world revolves around tattooing. I have a wife and a daughter, and they know that they are the reason I go to work everyday, but I wake up to do tattoos, and usually go to sleep thinking about the same.
Disha: While inking what are the ‘limits of skin’, which you have faced?
Gabriel: I tend to push limits as to how much a clients’ skin can handle. I work the tissue until I know it can’t be hit again, to achieve the blends and values that I’m looking for in a piece.
Disha: Can you give reason why most of the artist avoids doing cover-ups, where as you like to do that? And how much do you charge per hour.
Gabriel: I have no idea why some tattooers don’t like doing cover-up work, I personally enjoy the challenge and it’s most rewarding when one can take something that a client isn’t happy with, and turn it into something they are proud of.
I currently charge $125 an hour for most custom work, and I am usually booked 6 to 8 weeks ahead if time.
Disha: Please tell our reader something about your Blue Horseshoe Tattoo Studio and share how you approach towards a piece of art.
Gabriel: Blue horseshoe tattoo is not my studio, as I just work there, Wednesdays through Sundays. I usually approach a tattoo with a consultation, and ask that clients bring references. I spend enough time with someone to figure them out a bit, and get a good idea of what it is that they are looking for in the piece… making suggestions along the way as to what ideas I might have, and then I take the project home and doing my drawings the week of the appointment on one of my days off.
Disha: How far would you like to take your tattooing?
Gabriel: I would like to take my tattooing as far as it will take me, tattooers don’t retire, we just eventually die.
Disha: What fuels the fire within you to keep going on and on? What sense of fulfillment do you get after inking a design?
Gabriel: I can’t really say what fuels my desire to keep going, it’s just that tattooing is my passion in life, and I put a lot of myself into every single piece that I do. When a piece is done, I get a great sense of satisfaction and fulfillment when I see the client’s smile on their face as they look at the tattoo in the mirror…then I take another look, and bandage it up before I move onto the next project.
Disha: Who is Gabriel Cece in person apart from being a tattoo artist?
Gabriel: Gabriel Cece is a husband and a father, a brother and a friend…a painter and a photographer…maybe even just an artist…but really, I am just a behavior that could have been your own.
Disha: What do you have to say to aspiring tattoo artists?
Gabriel: Aspiring tattoo artist need to take in as much as they can from their peers, use it wisely, and give back as much as we can…never give up the pursuit of perfection in the skin, and always remember that no matter what is going on in your life, the tattoo in front of you means more to that client than we could ever know, so always do your best.