-Hi Dani! – Hi friend! – How are you?
– Fine! – Very well! Here we are at Lo Cubanos, right?
Cubano. – A Lo Cubano
– A Lo Cubano Varadero, in Cuba, right? Why you chose Dani? it’s a strange choice, Dani…
I was thinking something like Miguel, Fernando…… Dani. – My mother..!
– Is it English, Dani? – No, my grandma – your grandma Your grandma have chosen, good! yes, with a little difference Ok! We are in Varadero, a tourist area in Cuba Tattoo Art develops mostly in L’Avana and here, in Varadero,
tourists come here for tattoos You told me that in all other areas of Cuba
is less common if you want a tattoo in Cuba, you come here. – Well, it’s better here.. ..better for the job.. ..there are many tourists here, many people. It’s easier to work here.. to work here and in L’Avana. – instead of elsewhere in Cuba, I see. – Let me compliment you because since I’m in Cuba I see it’s very difficult to get what you need I mean, even armchairs, needles…. it’s very difficult, I didn’t think it was still that difficult! Yes, it is, very difficult. So you have to get everything from Canada, right? Yes,from Canada, Mexico, I got some friends You ask for something today, you wait a month? My mother help me too It’s very troublesome! You have to make sacrifices I have seen that a lot of stuff is lacking: internet… ..wi-fi is not everywhere.. Yes, it’s not easy, you have to work constantly to get what you need, work hard. Tell me… ..where does your desire to ink come from? but you told me you don’t say “ink” You told me in Cuba you say “tattoo” ..in Cuba you don’t say “ink”, right?
– Right. where does your desire come from? In Cuba.. everybody look at tattoos as something new making tattoos, so we have thought we wanted to do something different, something new from what others did I’m Cubano that’s why “A Lo Cubano” It’s a commercial choice to start… and for people at the beginning it’s difficult to understand “ink” What do you like to do? what do you prefer to tattoo? I like traditional, american traditional american traditional good.. ..and you told me you have many customers from Canada yes, a 60% is from Canada many Canadians visit Cuba and after that, the rest of the world.. Europe.. And Cubans? I’ve been making tattoos to Africans, Asians people from all the world. Russians! Yes all the continents and Cubans? Not many? No… A bit! But you also told me that in Cuba, if a Cuban has a tattoo might find more difficulties to find a job, to socialze, been acepted yes, that’s because.. it’s quite new, it’s quite difficult because it’s begun only 10 years ago, takes time people still don’t understand don’t accept think it’s not good. There is still some people who does not accept… …that Cuba is opening herself. For instance, when people see that musicians, famous artists get a tattoo, people start to change. Yes, when people see famous stars with a tattoo slowly people start to change their mind you know in Europe has just happened quite the same only 5 years ago it was different, if you had a tattooed arm.. (OMG!) a whole arm!! Now a whole arm is.. ..not that much! yes, it’s normal! yes, now tattoos in the face.. it’s the new trend. How many are you working here? How many are you? 3? 8 people Making tattoos? Artists? ah, 3, yes, me and 2 others ok! very good!
– yes but there’s 8 people in total… working here.
– well it’s good, 3 artists.. ..and a team of 8. well yes the work is increasing. We want to improve the services we provide. What do you use? Reel? Rotary engine? The second one. As a reel I like Compass, Danny Robinson.. As a rotary engine… I like Bishop… …Pen… what’s the other one?
– Cheyenne So with the reel you prefer… .. standard needles, classic needles, yes, normal needles.. And with rotary engine you use the cartridge Yes, rotary engine is quite new here… ..here in Cuba it’s still difficult to get it in here What do customers ask you to tattoo? You told me yesterday they ask for palms, cars… Yes, everybody, tourists.. like something that remind them of Cuba, of what is Cuba dancers, palms, sea, cars… something that tastes or recall Cuba I’m always working upon Cuban drawings. I see! And yesterday you showed me that sometimes you make sketches on the skin, right? with…yes, a marker you draw with the marker directly on the skin… …with no stencil. The other artist working with me do that. he’s a very good artist he finds very easy.. working this way.. and this is the best way to work on a scar it’s much more difficult with a stencil but this way he can draw a palm or… Yes, let me explain.. he showed me a video where he’s doing a free-hand drawing on a person with a scar and he explained it’s much easier this way rather than with a stencil that’s right?
– that’s right! Good!
– Am I fired? What do you like better of this job? and what do you dislike the most? In the world of tattoos. in the world of tattoos? well yes, we’re not talking… … about girls… all right, in the world of tattoos.. I like.. That I’m happy with my job, that my friends are happy with it… that we got this job.. that friends, people like my tattoos.. And what you don’t like? What I don’t like? You can’t say that, eh? He doesn’t like when people don’t listen to him! They don’t understand! He explains his ideas and sometimes they don’t want to listen.
That’s a true artist destiny.. as long as you’re alive they don’t understand you they’ll understand later…
Yesterday you told me in our chat.. that there’s always good relatioships in Cuba due to low competition but it’s different between tattoo artists a tattoo studio does not communicate nor share anything with another. I can’t understand why Tattoo Art in Cuba is… something new, something beautiful.. We are many… may the best artist win! It could be nice, to grow together… but they don’t want to. It’s still very difficult. I don’t understand why. Still difficult. What made you think.. ..the first time.. ..I want to make tattoos? when did you have the first idea? I got my first tattoo.. when I was 12 on yourself or others? on myself, for me.
– at 12?! yes, my first tattoo I was 12, yes I looked at that and then… WOW!
– Wow! And when did you start to make tattoo to others? The opportunity to start arose 5 years ago.. 5 years ago. And how..? It’s was hard because I had to get the machines, I had to study, I got no internet.
No education, of course. You learn by experience. You try… even to get armchairs and tables is hard and I’ve seen how you look after every detail in the studio.
Yesterday you were wrapping so many packets and small bags not even in Italy… we’re doing like that! that’s my school… He’s created a very good organisation Very clean, very organized.. In Italy there’s no so many bags and packeges.. not everybody use them, they do not wrap anything you are organized, clen, precise… it’s an excellent tattoo studio.
– thank you! What other hobbies do you have, outside tattoos? What do you do when you are not here? I love football! and Judo! Soccer! Do you practice them? When I was a child a used to play Judo In Cuba, in Varadero Is there something you long for… but you already know it’s impossible to reach? THE dream. The biggest dream.. I don’t know… buying Mars? Think big! It’s hard to answer.. because.. the dream is all the family united, together it’s still something not so easy my family is small but it’s still difficult to keep it together And your mother lives in.. Austria, if I remember well? And my brother also. To work. But still I have my friends, I’d like to be together always with the people I love all together! Well, thank you Dani!
see you next time! see you! my home is your home! great! so next time I’ll bring all my team
we creat a big studio together a couple of month than I leave, eh! Then I’ll come to Italy! very good! ok I’m in!