Custom Tattoo Company Albuquerque NM
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Hey, this is me. I’m not going to sit here and give you a typical biography about how long I’ve been tattooing or my history. To me it’s all about what tattooing means - it’s my love, my passion, my life. I live the tattoo artist lifestyle, I live at my studio, and without it, I am not me.

I can appreciate any well done tattoo, but I really love that feeling when you look at a tattoo and you get the same feeling you get when you look at a famous painting. There’s so much more that clicks in your brain about the tattoo though, because it’s on a living canvas. It flows with the muscle structure, the curves of the body, where as your typical canvas is just flat.

  Manuel Vega, tattoo artist
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I think, as a true tattoo artist, one of the things that pushes me is the desire to not be forgotten - any artist can paint a painting, and it will hang in a gallery or museum for years to come but it’s another thing to be remembered on someone else’s body, under their skin.  Your name will still be brought up, and where, in a way, you’re still living vicariously through someone else long after they’ve left the chair. It’s a fear and it’s a passion. It’s a double edge sword. That’s my name on someone else’s body. Someone sat down in my chair, someone that I’ve never met before or I’ve only talked to for a few minutes in consultations. They sat down and trusted me, not only as an artist but as a human being, and you have to respect and honor that. You can’t let them down.

From a little tattoo that you’re getting for fun and giggles to a serious painting, nowadays I just see a lot of tattoos being done, and there’s such a lack of passion. Tattoo artists talk about all the technical stuff; how straight their lines are, how smooth their shading is, but when you look at the artwork it’s missing that love and passion. I like to know that when people look at my work they see that I care and that I took pride in what I did.


I don’t think I have a style, unlike most artists who try to define themselves with a style. What I’m about is always studying artists that inspire me. I want to look at things from outside the box. So, the way I tattoo, the way I perceive things, is constantly changing. I like that I’m always morphing and evolving. I want people to look at my work and say,“Wow! Manny did that!” but at the same time, every time they see something of mine, I want them to see my progression.

I don’t believe that there is such a thing as a master tattoo artist. Defining yourself that way is how you become stagnant. I’ve been tattooing for many, many years and every day I learn something new. A wise tattoo artist, who I respect, told me one time, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot,” and I don’t ever want to be ripe.

When I do consultations with people I try to crawl into their brain. They come to me at point A trying to get to point B, and I want to get them to point B. I like to take their images and ideas and take them outside of their box. Why did they choose this? Why this specific image?  Is there a way to mold and change it? It’s like a painting - what is the title of this painting? I have to paint the painting, and I give them my interpretation of the painting from the title they gave me.

My studio is my home, and I’ve always believed in a simple code - tradition, honor and respect. I love spending time with people that take pride in themselves and respect their bodies, and that want to do a serious painting when they sit in my chair. It’s an amazing journey doing the painting from beginning to end. The stories, the laughs, and even the tears are all important steps throughout the journey. The people that make it all the way to my chair, are pretty damn amazing.

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Hours of operation

Tues-Sat 12-10
Closed Sun & Mon


payment types we accept

CASH (with three forms of id) or

visa and mastercard

  address 4519 Central Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM 87108
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