Rodrigo Canteras of Wooster Street Social Club, NY
Our Artist Spotlight is on Rodrigo Canteras of Wooster Street Social Club, located in the SOHO section of New York City. You might recognize Rodrigo from the hit TV series, NY INK on TLC.
We caught up with Rodrigo after the Cape Fear Tattoo & Art Expo last month to talk about tattoos and life in the city.
AnoTat2: I know you have been tattooing for a few years, how did you start? Who did you do your apprenticeship with?
Rodrigo: I started my apprenticeship under Luis Segatto in 1999, while I was living in Miami Beach. My second apprenticeship was with Emerson Forth.
AnoTat2: Do you think apprenticeship in the industry has changed from when you first started? If so how?
Rodrigo: I think proper apprenticeships have since then changed. When I started I had to do line drawings of every single piece of flash in the shop, scrub tubes, sell tattoos, make needles, and all the “bitch work” that a real apprenticeship came with. Nowadays it seems that people don’t give a damn about those values anymore and just “buy” an apprenticeship or think they know it all because they got tattoos or because they see it on TV and YouTube.
AnoTat2: At what age did you first get tattooed? What was it? Was there a story with it? If so what?
Rodrigo: My first tattoo I got the day I turned 18, A good friend of mine was beginning to tattoo at Tattoos by Lou in Florida. I went to visit him and ended up getting a random stick figure guy on my wrist, Hahaha, I just drew it right there for him.
AnoTat2: Do you have any tattoos you regret getting over the years?
Rodrigo: I don’t really regret any of my tattoos. Looking back, I may not have gotten a few or done them differently but you learn from it and they just become part of you.
AnoTat2: When we met at the Cape Fear Tattoo & Art Expo you had said you were originally from Brazil, what brought you to the states?
Rodrigo: I came to the States first in 1994 to finish High School
AnoTat2: I see from your online portfolio and at the show you like doing traditional tattoos, I love that style with the bold line work and simple colors. There are so many different styles of tattoos from old school, new school, portraits – which style is your favorite to do? The least to do?
Rodrigo: I love doing the Traditional “Old School” style tattoos, American Traditional. I also love the Japanese style of tattooing. My least favorite style would be Tribal tattoos.
AnoTat2: What artist(s) have influenced you and your work over the years?
Rodrigo: I have always been influenced by Sailor Jerry, Don Ed Hardy, Bob Roberts and most of the people I have worked with throughout the years.
AnoTat2: Do you do any other type of artwork besides tattooing?
Rodrigo: I paint mostly with Acrylics and Watercolor. However, I try to work with different mediums all the time, even wood burning.
AnoTat2: How did you end up working at Wooster Street Social Club (WSSC)? Did you know the other artists before working in NYC?
Rodrigo: I grew up in Miami and have been friends with Ami since I was 17. Most of the artists at Wooster have known each other for over 10 years. I was planning to move to NYC at the same time Ami was opening the shop, so he offered me a job and here I am.
AnoTat2: How hard is it to work with all the cameras on you when they are filming NY INK?
Rodrigo: The beginning stages of filming Season 3 of NY Ink were pretty stressful for me. Working with cameras on you all day is no easy feat because there is absolutely no room for error, but after the first week I was used to it.
AnoTat2: I am originally from NY and NYC is a place like no other, how did you adjust to the hustle and bustle of the city?
Rodrigo: I am from Sao Paulo, Brasil. Sao Paulo is a huge city, so moving to NYC was like going back home after 15 years of living in a beach town.
AnoTat2: How has your career changed after working at WSSC?
Rodrigo: I get to work closely to all of my friends and people I admire. I have also gotten the chance to meet and work alongside some of the most amazing and inspiring artists in the industry.
AnoTat2: What is the meaning behind “Rodrigo must be destroyed” saying on your site and stickers?
Rodrigo: Rodrigo must be destroyed came after a song of one of my favorite bands “Turbonegro”- Turbonegro must be destroyed.
If you are in New York City or planning a trip to the “Big Apple” you need to check out Rodrigo and his work. Wooster Street Social Club is located at 43 Wooster ST (between Grand ST. & Broome ST.) for more information you can email the shop here. We look forward to seeing more of him in the next season of NY Ink on TLC.
Make sure you follow Rodrigo on Twitter @RodrigoCanteras, on Instagram.
~ ☠ AnoTat2 ∴