Erik Siuda: I grew up in Brooklyn looking at people with tattoos since I was a little kid. I became a graffiti artist at around 13 or 14, and, when I turned 18, I got my first tattoo by [famed tattoo artist] Sean Vasquez. He saw my portfolio and my black book of all my graffiti I did and offered me an apprenticeship. Then I helped build Triple X Shop in Manhattan, and that is history. That was [in] 1997.
ES: I have always had a huge love of Japanese tattoos, and the shop that I started at was famous for [it]. I always had this very strong draw to tons of traditional and neo-traditional Japanese tattoos. Over the years I have created my own style, and now I really just like to do everything.
But my loves are Japanese and neo-traditional Americana tattoos. Everything has my own spin on it. But bold lines, solid color, and just tattoos that are going to stand the test of time.
Tattoo photos by Erik Siuda
ES: There’s so many. I put my heart and soul into every tattoo I do, and I treat every tattoo with respect and love. So, I would say every single tattoo that somebody gives me the opportunity to do for them is memorable in that way.
ES: The joke is that I have one big one. I lost count, probably would say that I am 50 to 60 percent covered.
ES: I own a tattoo shop in Brewster, and the name of the shop is 8 Golden Falcons Tattoo Company. I’ve had the shop for three and a half years now.
ES: Basically, to have a general idea of what they are looking to do and [come with] inspirations and ideas. Then, when they are coming to me getting a tattoo, they know who I am and trust what I do.
Micromanaging is my pet peeve. I believe there has to be a lot of mutual trust with the artist and the client. The client [can] definitely speak and give opinions and what they like, but [they should] have a lot of faith in the person they are choosing to create a permanent mark on their body.
ES: I am looking forward to seeing my friends who I haven’t seen in a long time from all over the place. It is kind of like a family reunion in a way but also fun at the same time. [I’m] looking forward to having a blast at the tattoo convention and looking forward to doing some badass tattoos.
ES: Maybe finally slowing down a bit. I am a workaholic. If I am not tattooing, painting, building a car, or working on a motorcycle, [I’m] always home with my family with my wife and kids. Hopefully I can learn to put the breaks down a bit and enjoy life a bit more.