As far back as Tony Ramirez’s memory can flash back, he remembers doing a sketch on an elementary yearbook of a kid leaving school. “That’s my memory of one of my first drawings,” says Tony. “I wasn’t too much of an artist growing up. It was just something that I tampered with.” Tony always took a liking to art and would collect various art magazines that included Lowrider Arte.

“Tattooing was more of an experiment”

When asked about how he found out about his art skill, Tony responded with “That’s a very interesting story. I was actually in prison and a couple of people in there kept asking me to do some birthday cards for their kids or wives. I started doing basic cartoon characters and from there it started developing into doing more realistic type artwork and eventually I started catching up to the arts.” Tony started coming up with strategies and began designing his own things. “I would get inspiration from other artists that were in there and it just started taking off for me. As far as I’m concerned I love the arts.”

“For some reason, to people my artwork looked okay to them and from there it went about.” Tony has been dedicated to the art for over five years now and painting for almost three years. “My inspiration to paint came thru a very dedicated and talented person by the name of Alan Padilla. He actually introduced me to various artists from the industry and I just got engulfed in the whole art scene and just went about it.” Tony met Alan thru an airbrush artist named Guido. “After I paroled I started going to school and Guido was making a presentation to the class and he presented his artwork. At the time I had a portfolio with me and I showed it to him, he took a liking to my work and he invited me to his studio.” It was there at Guido’s studio, that Tony met Alan and that opened up a whole new world to him.

Tony also got his first chance at tattooing in prison. “While I was incarcerated, the prison asked me to do a toe tag.” A lot of people kept trying to convince Tony to tattoo but he was reluctant to the idea. “Tattooing was more of an experiment, which I just fell in love with it and after that, I endeavored to make the best of what I started liking as a hobby. After I came out I got myself a real tattoo machine and just started practicing on friends of mine and it took off from there.”

“You have to touch the emotions that are involved with it”

“One thing you have to do is dedicate yourself to the art. If you’re really going to be into doing any type of art you really have to dedicate yourself to it, not just in your life, you have to dream about it, you have to smell it, you feel it, you have to touch the emotions that are involved with it.”