Manuel Valenzuela’s artistic skill should be no surprise to anyone, given the fact that his father, Tomas, was an oil painter. As he began exploring other mediums of art, Manuel’s obsession emerged. It seemed that no matter what book he picked up to learn about art theory and techniques, all he wanted to do was explore the world of tattooing. “Back then, there were no books on tattooing,” says the veteran artist. “Nowadays you can go to YouTube and see hundreds of instructional videos on how to setup your machine and learn different tattooing techniques.” These were resources that were not available during Manuel’s teenage years. “When I was going through high school, I started to dabble with homemade tattoo machines. Back then, you had to be self-taught or if you were lucky, you would be an apprentice for someone.” Manuel ended up learning how to tattoo on the streets. On Christmas Day of 1997, Manuel’s family pitched in and bought him a professional tattoo machine and some equipment. It would be the key to unlocking the artist’s destiny. “When I got the pro stuff, I didn’t have a clue on how to work with it, but I sat there and messed with it until I got it,” says a determined Manuel. Within two years of working with a professional tattoo machine, an opportunity to work at a tattoo shop came to him. “I jumped on the opportunity,” says Manuel.
Currently, Manuel owns two tattoo shops; one located in Bakersfield, CA., and his Inkfatuation Tattoo shop in Port Hueneme. If you would like to see more of Manuel’s artwork or would like to set up an appointment with him, you can call him at: 805-488-9446 or stop by his Inkfatuation Tattoo Shop at: 536 E. Pleasant Valley Rd, Port Hueneme, CA 93041. Also, make sure to search for him on: Facebook.com.