My Intro To Art: Emily Elegado

Steve: How early did your art life begin? I’m talking little kid years.

Emily: There’s pics of me painting with oil paints in diapers, so like 2? My father has his bachelor degree in oil portraiture, and my mother is a jack-of-all-trades, specializing in floral designs, gourmet wedding cakes, and a million other art oriented mediums.

Steve: Overall, what were your pre-teen and teen years like?

Emily: Ugh, my teen years were tumultuous at best. I used to skip math class to hide in the back of the art room. I did a lot of art outside of school, private classes and the ilk, but also drew all through school. My French teacher would take all my pens at the beginning of class because I would rather draw on my fellow students than write notes.

Steve: What made you want to be a tattoo artist?

Emily: There’s a family story my mom likes to tell about an Easter when I was five or six, where all the plastic eggs were filled with coins and fake tattoos. I traded all my coins for the stick on tattoos, and had myself practically covered by the end of the day. From that point on, I was drawing on my siblings, the dog, my toys, and anything else that would hold still long enough for me.

Fast-forward to about ten years ago, I just really needed a job. So I called every shop in the yellow pages in my area, got a job as a front girl, did that for a year, did a three-year apprenticeship and the rest is history.

Steve: What style or styles of tattooing are you known for?

Emily: I’m known most for my lady faces. They’re sort of an illustrative/American comic book style. But I also do a lot of realism, and other fun stuff. Got into a big calligraphy kick lately that’s been a lot of fun.

Steve: What do you hope to accomplish in your career?

Emily: When I was little all I wanted to be was Vanna White. I’ve gotten to tattoo on television, to be judged by viewers across the globe, in a negative and positive light. If absolutely nothing else, I’m (was) a conversation starter. I think I accomplished my first life goal, and then some. Sky’s the limit from here.

Steve: How do you hope to inspire others?

Emily: Inspire? That’s a big word to live up to. If you can take anything from my journey and what I’ve learned, just keep pushing. Push yourself, push obstacles out of your way, push out all the negative. Fight for what’s best for you, personally and professionally. Just keep pushing.