Are you curious about the history of tattooing? Do you have a reverence for the ancient tradition of body art? Want to learn more about where it all started, and where it’s all going? Class is in session.
Huck Navarro is a lifelong student of the craftsmanship, superstition, and folklore behind tattooing. He knows as much about the origins of tattoo art as he does about the latest styles and technologies, merging old school artistry with new school techniques to create custom, one-of-a-kind body artwork that can last a lifetime.
Huck specializes in the Neo-traditional style, but he understands and appreciates all kinds of tattoos. A well-rounded artist in every sense, Huck mixes traditional techniques with different line weights, an unlimited color palette, and unlimited possibilities. From dime-sized totems to full sleeves and bodysuits, Huck believes every tattoo is special.
Reach out anytime through email or social media to set up a consultation with Huck and talk about your tattoo idea. Together, Huck will work up something that you’ll love forever! Submit a request for consult online, call the shop to schedule an appointment or reach out to Huck on Facebook or Instagram.
Talk about Your Tattoo Ideas with Huck
Get to Know Huck:
What made you want to be a tattoo artist?
The art of tattooing has always sparked an interest. As a kid, I was obsessed with those lick-and-stick temporary tattoos and constantly doodling on myself. After learning that it stemmed from an ancient practice of craftsmanship, superstition, and folklore, I became completely intrigued in the practice of tattooing, its origins, the meanings behind these intricate design and how ancient civilizations wore tattoos with pride and respect. I think the history, the possibilities in meaning, the evolution of the practice of tattooing, and what has become today is what made me want to practice this ancient art full-time. I think subconsciously I decided to become a tattoo artist long before I actually made the decision, like it had always been a part of me, and it was always what I was supposed to do. Now my life is completely immersed in the tattoo world, and it will capture my attention and interest for a lifetime.
What’s your background?
As long as I can remember, art has always been a part of my life. When I got older, I decided that I wanted to continue my art education, so I began a studio art degree at Humboldt State University right out of high school. I realized that I enjoyed making art in all sorts of mediums but hadn’t yet found the medium that really spoke to me. Meanwhile, I was getting tattooed and seeing all these amazing tattoos adorned on living canvases. I was noticing techniques that I was applying to my work in all these impressive pieces of walking art. With some minimal (but proper) guidance I decided to try tattooing and learn how to apply the techniques that I’d learned in art school to the art of tattooing. After my first attempt on myself, I was hooked. I spent the next few years practicing on myself and close trusted friends, but I wanted to learn the right way. The only way to do that in this craft was to complete a professional apprenticeship with hands-on education. So, I moved back to San Diego to pursue a tattoo apprenticeship. I found a position in a shop that I respected, with tattooers I greatly admired, but they already had an apprentice. So, I waited—for two years. When I finally got the call, I wasted no time learning the craft. I was so driven that I completed my apprenticeship in eight months (it normally takes two years to complete). Haven’t looked back since. I feel lucky enough to have found my ultimate passion.
What styles do you specialize in or prefer to work on?
I specialize and prefer to work in the Neo-traditional style of tattooing. I like to mix traditional techniques with different line weights and an unlimited color palette. However, I understand and know how to apply all kinds of tattoo styles. I consider myself a well-rounded artist in a wide array of tattoo styles. But mostly, I love working on any piece that my client is 150% satisfied with. Sometimes it’s not about the design itself, but the meaning behind it. If my client is loving it, then I’m loving it. I would love to do more Neo-traditional style tattoos and focus on my specialty, but ultimately I believe every tattoo is important and special regardless of the style. I just simply love the craft of tattooing!
What are your tattoo goals?
My goals as a tattoo artist are ever-evolving, growing and changing. I’m always learning and pushing myself to do better. Without self-motivation and confidence, there’s little room to grow as an artist. I’ve learned that there is no end to the knowledge that tattooing holds. It’s impossible for any artist to claim that they know everything in the tattoo industry. Things change every day, and the possibilities of new knowledge and developing technologies are endless! My goal is to keep learning and growing. Even the smallest tattoos can enable growth.
Are there any requests that you turn down?
I do have some ethical rules that I abide by when it comes to tattoo requests. I choose to represent myself in a safe and respectable manner. After all, it’s not just my art that walks out the door, but my name and what I stand for as well. I refuse any tattoos that are discriminating or unethical. For instance, if the content matter is associated with negative racial symbols/organizations or knowingly gang related, I won’t do the tattoo. It’s a rare request, but nevertheless, I choose not to associate myself, my name, or my art with hateful subject matter. Equality is the best quality.
How do you work with your clients?
My clients make my career what it is! They are my main focus, and conveying their art exactly as they imagine and intend is my mission. Permanently adorning their bodies for life is a huge deal. Whether the piece be dime-sized or a full body suit, they are all equally important and special. The goal is to listen, comprehend and work together to apply my client’s ideas to the best of my abilities as an artist. I like to take a “21 questions” kind of approach when consulting with my clients to make sure everything is out on the table and able to be conveyed in tattoo form. Communication is key to creating the perfect piece.
Who is your ideal client?
My ideal client is consistent, confident and sure of their idea and the direction they would like to go with it. I enjoy clients who are willing to throw around ideas and develop custom, one-of-a-kind artwork that can last a lifetime.
Do you have advice for first timers?
My best advice for first timers is to make sure your thoughts are fully organized and you know the direction you want to take with the piece before you think about getting tattooed. Visit a reputable shop, ask questions and get an artist’s opinion on your idea. Professional tattoo artists know what they’re talking about, so take their suggestions to heart if you want an amazing piece of body art that will look good for many years to come. I try to point first timers to a design or idea in their life that will never change. For example, your birthday never changes, so your zodiac or your birth flower is a good first tattoo if you want to see what the experience is like. Then, when you’re hooked, we can move on to bigger and better pieces!
What makes Diego Tattoo Studio the best tattoo shop in San Diego?
So many different aspects make Diego Tattoo the premier tattoo studio in San Diego. From the friendly faces that greet you at the door to the impressively clean and comfortable atmosphere that we’ve created—not to mention the mass amounts of talent and ability that each and every uniquely individual artist brings to the table—we only provide the very best for our clients.
How do we find you on social media?
IG – @huck41_tattoos
Facebook – Huck Navarro