Igor Puente


How long have you been tattooing and how did you start your tattooing journey?

I’ve always been really bad with dates but I would say I started around the summer of 2012, but tattooing professionally in September of 2014. I couldn’t find an apprenticeship so I decided to go to art school. While I was in school I started to practice on some of my friends and after some seminars with some of my favorite tattooers, I used what I learned in art school to create a portfolio.


Do you remember what was the first tattoo you did? If so, tell us what it was and for who.

Yes of course! It was on me. I did a little letter “I” on my ankle. I was so nervous while I was doing it. I didn’t have any clue what I was doing. I was just testing the machine while also listening to the footsteps of my mother to hide what I was doing. I couldn’t stop shaking! but it didn’t come out bad, just a little bit soft. I still have it on me!


Please, tell us about your current tattoo style and how it has changed over the years.

To be honest I do not know how to describe it! We can say that it has a huge neotraditional influence since that was the first one that really hooked me into tattooing. But I can’t say it’s normal neotraditional. Depending on the moment different styles have big influences on my other artwork. I’m always doing seminars and studying different forms of art so we could say that my style is in continuous evolution. I love to play with color and push the limits of color theory trying to do something special and unique.


Does anyone or anything inspire you?

I have multiple inspirations. In the past, my biggest one was Eckel who I consider one of the fathers of neotraditional. But at the moment I try to not get any inspiration from the tattoo world. There are too many people copying each other doing the same thing, especially in neotraditional. At the moment I’m getting my biggest inspirations from painters like Rubens, Rivera, Velazquez, or Sorolla.


Are there any tattoo artists who are extremely admirable to you? If so who?

Yes of course! Eckel for sure was my fav of favs when I was starting and I’m really honored to have met him a few years ago and have my frontispiece by him.

Steve Moore is a beast in color and form. But at the moment I would say I admire more people that not only are awesome artists but also I meet in person and consider them my friends as Emmanuel Mendoza aka skull master, Mike Moses with his crazy colors and compositions, Lonner with one of the most originals traditional tattoos you can see right now or Yao with his exquisite freehand blackwork.


Do you have any memorable tattoo story or a customer that has stuck with you through all the time you have been tattooing?

I will never be able to forget the tiger I did at the first Cognac tattoo convention. I went with my Tattoo Addicts which is a shop with people I consider family in bilbao. That by itself is also a really fun memory. But the special part of this tattoo was that it was done on the anniversary of the death of my grandfather who was like a second father to me. I have a tattoo on one of my hands, a tiger, which represents him and his last moments. So the tiger tattoo I did, plus the date, felt like he was present all that day. We went to the tattoo contest and I thought I wasn’t winning anything so I was ready to cover my tattoo and leave for the day. When I heard my name in the speakers I couldn’t believe it. I won best of the day, best of color, and best of the convention with that tattoo and I know that without my grandfather watching over me that day I would not have been able to accomplish that.


Is there any art form that fascinates you also except tattooing? Maybe do you have any other passion or something that you really enjoy doing? 

Yes! I consider myself just as much a painter as I am a tattooer. So I could say I’m as passionate about painting as I am of tattooing. I love watercolor so if I’m not tattooing I’m probably with a brush in my hand painting something.


Do you like visiting or exhibiting at tattoo conventions? Would you recommend any of them?

Yes! I think it’s a pretty fun way to show your work to other people in the industry and make some contacts. Cognac was super fun and the Austin invitational was really fun too. I highly recommend both of them. 


Any artist you planning to get tattooed by? Who has tattooed you already?

I’m running out of space if I have to be honest but I have another session of my back piece coming up. I’m getting a collaboration between Mike Moses and Emmanuel Mendoza.


What are your plans and dreams? If you think about yourself in 10 years, what do you see?

If I can dream I will say I would love to see myself owning my own tattoo shop. But not just a normal tattoo shop. I would love to be able to have my own workshops and art gallery inside, and have a team that includes some of my best friends and new friends I probably don’t even know yet. And of course, having my wife as the piercer and co captain of that ship.



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