An artist and family man, Angell Dominguez was attracted to the tattoo industry with its more flexible work environment. But he also found that it suits a creative lifestyle, allowing him to pursue his passions and find new ones. We recently sat down with Dominguez, who now works at Fallen Owl Tattoo, to talk about constantly learning, finding inspiration and raising a family.
Westword: How long have you been tattooing?
Angell Dominguez: Four and half years.
How did you get interested in the industry?
I just got tired of working 9 to 5. I worked at the post office and they were killing me, those hours.
Have you always had an interest in art?
Always. Yeah. Tattooing, no.
When did you start getting tattoos?
I got my first tattoo a year into my apprenticeship.
How did your apprenticeship come about?
Like I said, I was working at the post office. I missed my daughter. She was like, “Daddy, go take your portfolio somewhere. Try to tattoo.” So I went into a shop and got an apprenticeship.
What was that experience like?
It was fun. It was long. Definitely a lot of hard work.
Do you feel like that paid off?
Yeah, it really paid off after my apprenticeship. I really started to get to know different artists who helped me build to where I’m at right now.
What do you like about tattoo art?
Everything from the actual drawing to the skin to the finished product. I love painting, so that helped a lot in tattooing, the techniques of painting. Nowadays I got home after work and paint and paint until about two or three in the morning.
Are the two mediums very different?
Definitely. You’re dealing with human skin.
Was that a little scary at first?
Yes, definitely. Oh, man, I wouldn’t want to see my first tattoo. Well, actually, I would like see it now so I could fix it.
What inspires you to paint?
Anything I see. I like to go to the museum with the kids. If I see something cool, I keep that in my head.
Do your kids like art as well?
My daughter does. She doesn’t draw as much as she wants to. But she does her own thing. She’s in a dance team.
Do you encourage her to pursue her art?
Oh, yeah. All the time.
What did you aspire to be when you were younger?
I always wanted to animate. But I never put my foot forward toward that. I might, nowadays. Maybe when the kids grow up a little bit more.
How old are your kids?
My oldest is sixteen. My other daughter is ten months and I’ve got another one on the way.
That’s exciting. Congratulations.
Thanks. Yeah, I’m a busy guy.
Is it hard balance your family life, working in the tattoo industry?
Yes and no. My wife knows what I love, so she supports me to the fullest and she always encourages me. If I need to draw, she gives me my space to draw and paint. The kids will be right there, banging under the counter or something while I’m drawing for a client the next day.
Is there a style that you lean towards?
How do you define new school?
Graffiti-ish, bright, bold, pow.
What’s ahead for you?
I’m still learning. I’m always going to be learning. I want to start doing more realism. As far as my future, try to expand my career. Try animation, try more art galleries and push my art out more with anything I can.
For more information on Angell Dominguez, check out the Fallen Owl website and follow him on Instagram @angelldominguez.