A long hard road where he kept his eyes peeled for every possible influence to feed his talent. Subsequently, still learning, he became an excellent tattoo artist specialised in Realism and in his portfolio there’s a bit of everything: Italian actresses, horror movie characters, historical photos and even a fabulous rhinocerous. You’ll find him working at ‘Full Circle Tattoos’ in San Diego and this is his story. The story of Angel…

Angel Reynosa, Full Circle Tattoo, San Diego, USA
Angel Reynosa, Full Circle Tattoo, San Diego, USA

Can you tell me more about how you got to where you are today? Was tattoo a natural gift you had or is it something you acquired through hard graft?
I believe it’s a little bit of both. It started when I was a young kid. I had always been around tattooing and I grew up watching my mom get tattooed in our kitchen or living room by her boyfriend at the time so I was always intrigued by it. From what I could remember he would show me little things here and there about tattooing, he even let me tattoo him when I was about 10 or 11 years old! (laughs)

Tell me about your mother…
My mom was a huge part of my career. She is the main reason why I am where I am right now. She bought me a tattoo kit from the local pawn shop. We both didn’t know any better and the rest is history.

Angel Reynosa, Full Circle Tattoo, San Diego, USA
Angel Reynosa, Full Circle Tattoo, San Diego, USA

Other important details in your history?
Growing up I would see my uncles/aunts and cousins’ tattoos and my uncle was a tattoo artist as well. When he passed away I kind of took it as a legacy that I had to take over, and made a commitment to move forward with it and be as serious as I could about it. Through the years though I’ve definitely learned a lot!

Did you do an apprenticeship?
I never had an apprenticeship so I had to learn a lot of things and break a lot of bad habits. I’m still learning and growing as an artist but these last two years at Bill Canales’ Full Circle Tattoos I’ve matured a lot more and really defined who I am. Now I’m focused more than ever.

You’re definitely an expert in realistic tattoos, but in your portfolio I’ve also noticed you have quite a lot of Lettering. Is there something else we need to find out about Angel Reynosa?
Although I’m still finding my style and changing a lot as I go through the years, I am always eager to learn, make progress and take an illustrative approach to some of my realism pieces. Working at a Japanese/Traditional inspired and all illustrative shop kind of inspired me to grow and learn more on that part and also be more creative with black and grey Realism.

There is a lot of the same things being tattooed right now and I always try to separate myself from a lot of that and do my best to find something that is more creative and original.

I came across a lovely portrait of Sofia Loren on your Instagram page. How did that come about?
What realistic artist doesn’t like to do portraits! (laughs) When I got the request for that Sofia Loren portrait I just had to do it. She is such a beautiful women and that was such a great photo I couldn’t decline. And then the client that I tattooed the portrait on has some cool connections with Sofia…

Angel Reynosa, Full Circle Tattoo, San Diego, USA
Angel Reynosa, Full Circle Tattoo, San Diego, USA

What would that be precisely?
Her father is from the same area as Sofia’s family is originally from. Also Sofia plays a character with the same name as my client, Mara, in the movie ‘Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’. Small coincidences and connections like that inspired my client to get a portrait of the beautiful Italian icon.

Read an extract of the interview with Angel Reynosa published on Tattoo Energy (April/May 2018 issue) and enjoy some of his amazing tattoos in our gallery here!

Follow Angel Reynosa on Instagram: @angel.reynosa