Today we’d like to introduce you to Alessio Ricci.
Alessio, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
When I was 16, I went to watch a friend of mine get his first tattoo. The process was so interesting to me. I went to art school in Florence, and I wasn’t planning on becoming a tattoo artist at the time, but the idea was always in the back of my mind. I graduated when I was around 20 years old and had a few different jobs to pay the bills, but when I was 23 I decided to pursue tattooing. I knew I had to learn more, so I started by going around from shop to shop trying to find someone who was willing to teach me.
I didn’t have any luck until I met Maurizio Fiorini, who became my mentor. I worked with him for 3 1/2 years until I decided to move to New York, and tattooed at a shop in Brooklyn for around 2 years. I moved back to Italy briefly but decided that I had more opportunities working in the States. I got into contact with a tattoo shop in San Diego about 13 years ago, and I’ve lived out here ever since.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Starting my career as a tattooer hasn’t been a smooth road at all. Things were a lot more difficult for tattooers 20 years ago than they are today. When I started, I used to make my own needles, stencils were always made by hand, the quality of our equipment wasn’t as good as it is today, and information was difficult to find. Tattooing wasn’t as popular back then, especially in Italy where I first started my career, and we were lucky to have 4 or 5 customers come into the shop a week. I couldn’t make a living off of that so I had to work night shifts at a factory to support myself.
Moving to the States provided me with more opportunities, but it was a challenge for me because I didn’t know any English at the time, which made it difficult to communicate with customers. There are so many more advantages today. The equipment is much more advanced and accessible, and tattoos have become more popular. The internet makes it easy to find and share information and resources, and you can promote your work on social media. I think that these conveniences make it easier to get started as a tattooer, but the new challenge is that there’s much more competition, so you really have to push yourself to survive in this industry.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Remington Tattoo Shop – what should we know?
Since I started tattooing, I was always impressed with large-scale work– sleeves, back pieces, etc– and today I’m glad that the majority of my clients come to me with ideas for big custom projects. Most of my designs are based on Japanese style tattooing, but I also love working on American traditional style tattoos.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
The first person to introduce me to art was my father. When I was a little kid, I used to watch him draw at the dining room table. He always inspired me to feel passionate about my work. At 76, he’s still working as a tailor, and I’ve always seen a lot of parallels between his job and mine; we both work with needles, we both strive for precision work, and people leave wearing our custom creations.
Without a doubt, one of the most influential people in my career was my mentor, Maurizio Fiorini. If it wasn’t for him, I might not have had the opportunity to start tattooing in the first place. Working for Fip Buchanan at his shop, Avalon Tattoo 2, for 8 years definitely was a turning point in my career, During that time I was able to work with many great tattoo artists who worked on large-scale tattoos and helped influence me as I developed my own style as an artist.
One of those artists, Terry Ribera, owns Remington Tattoo Parlor in north park, which is where I currently work. Seeing the way that he constantly pushes himself has given me motivation over the years to do the same.
- Address: 3009 Myrtle Ave. Sand Diego, CA 92104
- Website: AlessioRicci.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: alessioricci
- Facebook: Alessio Ricci