We had the good fortune of connecting with Dolce Guevara and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dolce, how do you define success?
Success to me is: setting goals, working towards achieving them and then feeling fulfilled about having achieved them. I think the feeling has to be there otherwise you’re just getting tasks done. There is no universal definition across cultures of what success really is, I also think that’s something which has to be defined individually by one’s own self, what success can mean to you can mean something totally different to someone else, or just the opposite. Success is a long, lasting, deep breath that fills both your lungs and heart. The thing about success, or being successful, is that it’s not just about having the vision, but going through with it and being able to adapt, adjust, and, sometimes, reroute yourself in order to see that vision come to life.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
When it comes to work, designing an image, I really go into deep research mode and the why’s of why things are and will be when I’m presenting them to my clients. I’m a tattoo artist and I currently work exclusively in the black and grey style of tattooing, I focus on large scale surrealistic tattoos so in my work life there’s a lot of designing images and scenes that my clients will wear on their legs, arms, backs, etc. I try to convey feelings, ideas or emotions, based on my clients’ desires as expressed to me, all the while still keeping my style and make each piece as custom as posible so it looks good on my client’s body type and shape as they age, not something that would just look good for the picture I’ll take in that moment in time. I think that what sets my work apart is both the combination of techniques I’ve learned through the years and people that have influenced me in the industry and/or that I had worked with, and, my own personal style of drawing, which comes way before tattooing, and because of the life I’ve had and the choices I’ve made so far, because that’s what is mine. I think because of those two, the life I had before being a tattoo artist and what I’ve learned as one up to now, combined the way they did is that I have a style that’s only mine. And I think we all have our unique “style” because of this as well. I got to be where I am professionally now by taking risks and making a lot of mistakes. To me it’s really important to be at peace with all your mistakes, because it allows you to move forward, as long as you learned a lesson from it. When I started, the world of tattooing was a little bit different, it was out there but more mysterious, it was all coil machines and walk-in clients and the tattoo magazines, which where all printed, were pretty much the only way to know who and what was at the top around the world in the industry. For me being both so young and being a female artist, wasn’t so easy back then. I always thought that I was one of the guys but had to find out I was actually that girl at the shop that nobody wants to be friends with or hang out with, which wasn’t so bad because eventually it became an asset: that allowed me to concentrate more on the quality of my work and on each individual client. And in a big way that influenced the way I like to do my sessions now a day, in a more private setting that allows me to complete large, detailed pieces in one sitting for the most part, and that really comes in handy when people travel to you or when you travel to tattoo.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m more of a stay home person since my sessions can go on for hours. I personally enjoy home as much as I can when I’m not working and could go without leaving home for days at a time and just ordering corn and snacks from El Munchies, on Colorado Blvd in Glendale. But if I’m showing someone a good time in town I would personally take them to eat ramen in Little Tokyo’s Weller Court and walk around the Japanese Village. Definitely eat some Korean BBQ at my favorite spot, Moo Dae Po II on 7th St in Koreatown. Walk around Atwater Village and eat some Pho. There’s going to the beach as well, either Venice or Santa Monica for the artwork, the promenade and the pier. But I really enjoy hiking up in La Crescenta and in the San Gabriel valley, so definitely doing that along with a stop for kebab in Glendale or a slice of Big Mama’s pepperoni pizza. The museums, all of them, or as many of them as they’d like to go. I really like going to the Getty Villa, so that’d be my preference. You could spend an entire day there, just walking around, it has beautiful architecture. And the last two things would be to catch an LA Galaxy home game, sitting behind the goal below the grass. The other is going to the Aquarium of the Pacific, my favorite place in town. Every time I go there I have a great day and leave feeling like it’s my first visit.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are quite a few books that have definitely had an impact in the way I think and go about doing things, and those are the type of books that I most look forward to reading. Any books in the subject of business, success stories, and how to achieve and maintain stronger, longer lasting, better habits. But all the credit really goes to my business partner/assistant/husband. When you go through those dark times in life, of which right now many of us are living, when giving up seems easier than any other option before you, when all the books or tutorials or podcasts won’t help you get there, my husband has always been there to pick me up and help me get going and moving forward.