Romeo Lacoste, Art & Soul Tattoo
Our Artist Spotlight is with Romeo Lacoste of Art & Soul Tattoo in LA. You may remember Romeo from season 3 of Best Ink in which he was eliminated in episode 8 and sent home. Since being sent home Romeo has been tattooing with Alayna Magnan, also a season 3 artist in LA. We caught up with Romeo for a one on one interview.
AnoTat2: When did you start tattooing? How did you get started?
Romeo: I wanted to be a tattoo artist at 17. I didn’t get my first apprenticeship till 18, some drama fell thru at the shop and I had to get a different apprenticeship. My apprenticeship didn’t finish till I was about 21.
AnoTat2: Have you always been interested in tattooing?
Romeo: No, I’ve always been into art but not until I was 17 did the idea of being a tattoo artist come to me. The only social media was Myspace we didn’t have Tumblr and Instagram to get kids into tattoos at an early early age.
Romeo: My first tattoo I did on myself when I was 17. It’s a skull on my stomach; I’m getting it lasered off to make room for better tattoos.
AnoTat2: The apprenticeship(s) you talked about above; who were they with?
Romeo: The first was with the shop Kadillac Tattoo and the second was at this other shop Inkstainz. I want to say I learned about how to run a good business and shop more than tattooing but it was great none the less.
AnoTat2: How would you classify your style of tattooing?
Romeo: I do all styles of tattooing but I’m trying to develop a steady style. I like to do illustrative, neo traditional and some new school.
Romeo: I don’t let other artists influence me; as I like to develop my own style. If I had to say what artist I respect, then I would say Nikko Hurtado, Teresa Sharpe, James Tex, Guy Atchison and Jeff Gogue.
AnoTat2: If you could be tattooed by anyone who would it be?
Romeo: This is a hard one; I would say either Nikko Hurtado or Jeff Gogue.
AnoTat2: From your website you have a list of celebrities that you have tattooed; who was your favorite?
Romeo: Also a hard question as most of them were really cool. I would have to say We Came As Romans ; they aren’t the biggest name I’ve tattooed but definitely the funniest and nicest guys.
Romeo: Life is too short. There is not much time to second guess yourself or be too scared to make choices. I wasn’t sure if I would go home first or take the title home but I just dived in head first. Thats what I always do – fuck it take chances.
AnoTat2: You were one of the youngest tattooers on season 3; do you think you that experience was a factor in why the group put you up for elimination?
Romeo: The competition had a lot of factors to considerate. True I was one of the least experienced but I had the most potential. My work wasn’t consistent I had a few tattoos that were good but not great. I also did a few tattoos I thought were some of the best on the show. I do feel I got the bad end of the stick a lot; multiple times I got stuck with the skin and tattoo no one wanted. Am I making excuses? No, if I was more experienced I would have done better. I am just pointing out that factors into how it all played out.
AnoTat2: How was it tattooing with cameras and judges watching every line you were putting in the the tattoo?
Romeo: The cameras I can deal with, as I record videos on youtube of me tattooing bands and stuff. Being judged on my tattoos was definitely a first. I never had that and it was very interesting as well as stressful, but I learned a lot from it and it toughened my skin.
AnoTat2: To us it seemed very stressful adding in a time factor; do you think that the “time frames” they give is a fair amount to correctly complete the tattoo assignment?
Romeo: I think the time factor is fair. They give you more than enough time to complete the work – 5-6 hours. If you can’t finish a tattoo in that time you’re too slow and you need to practice. You shouldn’t be competing. What I did think was unfair as I’ve mentioned was the different levels of difficulty the tattoos were. A guy getting 5 hours on an easy tattoo compared to 5 hours on a dreadful tattoo no one wants – that was unfair.
AnoTat2: How has appearing on TV helped you career? If asked to do another show would you?
Romeo: I had a following before the show started, so it definitely didn’t kick start my career. It did however boost it and help my image a lot. As far for future shows; I won’t mention too much but I am working on something.
Romeo: The only one I’ve attended was the Philly Tattoo Convention of 2014. I will be doing all the major ones as I will be doing a lot more soon. I don’t have a favorite one yet for now I enjoy tattooing out of my shop. haha
AnoTat2: What’s the best way for someone to book a tattoo with you at of Art & Soul Tattoo?
Romeo: Email is the best [email protected] I also take appointments through my social media channels as well.
AnoTat2: What can we expect to see from you in the future
Romeo: I am hopefully working on another show! I won’t give up too much detail at this time. haha~ ☠ AnoTat2 ∴