‘Daniel Dobleu’ is an artist from Bogotá, specialising in graphic design and branding, mural painting and writing fantastic book titles. He is now a skilled handpoke tattoo artist, going by the alias sebra.handpoke. BristoLatino‘s Rebecca Wilson spoke to Daniel about his new work in handpoked tattoos.
BL: Tell us a bit about your artistic journey up until your adventures as a tattoo artist.
D: I’ve been drawing since age 4, studied graphic design, worked in branding and advertising for a couple of years, and I’ve been painting for the last 3 years, among other things.
BL: What tattoos (if any) do you have?
D: I have around 25, half of which I made by myself. They’re all pretty random, little reminders of different places, moments and things I love.
BL: Why make handpoked tattoos?
D: I read somewhere that tattoos are something you can’t lose, can’t trade or sell and they’re with you for “as long as you run”. I totally stand by this. Handpokes happened to be more in-sync with my style I guess… Not so elaborate and a bit rubbish.
BL: I love the way you describe your style. How did you refine your technique?
D: I started tattooing myself in different parts of my body, but it wasn’t until I got my first handpoke done by an artist that I started to understand what the deal was. Shout out to @diegobefruit, he is fantastic.
BL: What is it like to etch someone’s skin?
D: It’s a bit strange at the beginning when you clearly have no idea what you are doing yet still can sense that the person is trusting you, I think those have been some of the scariest experiences of my life, but with practice you start feeling more comfortable poking the person’s skin and everything is lollypops.
BL: Have you had unique meetings and moments with your clients?
D: Yes, definitely! I had no idea what a trip sharing that experience with someone was gonna be like, I think tattooing whilst enjoying the silence (only having that bzzzzz between you) opens a giant door to sharing and sometimes it feels completely therapeutic. I tend to listen actively the person who I’m tattooing and plenty of times people feel extremely comfortable sharing deep corners of their personality and their lives with you, it’s beautiful.
BL: And I guess through painting their skin you share a part of yourself with them.
We see a lot of deconstructed female figures and faces in your designs, who are they and why are you drawn to depicting them?
D: They are a part of me that wishes to be seen.
BL: Awesome. Your tattoos and your merch also feature international references (movie references; pop culture; technology). Tell us a bit about your influences and inspiration.
D: I’ve been hungry for movies and pop culture forever, don’t know why but it shaped a big part of myself, even taught me how to speak most of my English and other languages. I owe them a lot and I enjoy creating stuff around that.
BL: Which other tattoo artists in Colombia should we look out for? Whose designs (worldwide) do you admire?
I would love to get a machine piece by leonardo_tattoos, I recently discovered his work and it’s insanely good.
Worldwide I really admire zzizziboy from Korea, I also love _hand_job_tattoo, Andrey Nativsky and themagicrosa (Berlin), bisous.romeo (Paris), and maison_hefner. I adore how he mixes poetry and conversation in his work. I recommend his ongoing project #mywordsyourbody.