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Life & Work with Andrés Makishi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrés Makishi. 

Andrés, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I was born on March 17th, 1996 in Lima, Peru to a family of multi-media artists. Having been immersed in art at a young age, I felt it natural to embark on my own personal pursuit of visual media in graphic design at the ISIL Institute in Lima. Within two years of study, my passion led me into tattooing which offered a more organic canvas in contrast to my previous work on computers. As the tendrils of tattoo artistry continued to grow within me, I continued to elevate my skills by finding a home with Zhimpa Moreno, at Zhimpa Tattoo Studio. While still working with Zhimpa at the studio, I continued my studies in Graphic Design & in 2015 I finished my academic career as top of my class. Never content to stay within the constraints of one medium, I continued to follow my family’s legacy of multi-media artistry by picking up and excelling in painting. I’ve always felt that multi-disciplinary studies in art have helped me gain a deeper understanding and respect for the way skin absorbs and reflects our shading and coloring. 

In 2021 Darwin Enriquez and Zhimpa Moreno invited me to be a resident Artist at Inknation Tattoo Studio in NYC. I feel that the hard work, passion, and the love that I put in my work has helped me a lot in my career and my life. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My family have been an excellent resource and strength for me and I am eternally thankful for them. My father has even advocated for me by assisting in making my first home tattoo machine. Their love, encouragement, and support have been a bedrock in my journey. Beginning a tattoo career in Lima specifically has been a trial in regards to securing professional equipment. 8 years ago, during the most fledgling portion of my career, the equipment was incredibly expensive and the options were limited. The learning process involved how I adapted to my machinery and learning to properly blend and work with colors to reach the tones to look for on the pieces, while really refining my eye for detail and hyper-focusing my attention on the work that I was doing. 

Coupling the task of mastering my craft had also lent itself to finding and retaining consistent clientele. These people trust my work and love the art I make. Having to start this process from scratch by moving to a new country means losing my clients and casting myself into the unknown can be a daunting task. 

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I currently specialize in tattooing in black & gray, color, realism, and micro-realism tattoos. My micro realism tattoos have gained quite a lot of public interest, and I find them gratifying to do. I’ve done roughly 200 niche micro pet portraits that are about the size of a ring. This specific style has led to fresh clientele looking for similarly styled tattoos in anime, comics, cartoons, and movies so it’s become quite diversified. I’ve also immensely enjoyed stained glass tattoo styles and I’ve combined this with micro realism that has been greatly favored with the public as well. 

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
I’d say it’s to let being humble lead me to new learning opportunities, strive to understand new techniques and try different products and machinery. My personal philosophy is to not limit myself into thinking my body of work is stagnant when art and the practice of tattooing is always evolving. 

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