We had the good fortune of connecting with Jose Lopez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jose, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
At first the thought of owning my own business was something I never dreamt possible due to my disability condition and the conditioning from my surroundings. Where I grew up taking about success and betting oneself wasn’t a comment conversation. But on the flip side those very same circumstances made find something which could get me out that ugly and painful state. I found art and that led me to where I am now. I never though Art could impact my life the way it did. Little by little things began to change and also the way I perceived the world. Opportunity’s followed right after and I took every single one them. I first opened my studio in early 2000. I didnt think about failure instead I simplified the though of how hard it would be to be able to run my business. At the same time tattooing began getting more and more popular. I never did tattoos for famous people and still today I don’t see the need to do that in order to grow my popularity. I first got a chance to attend a tattoo convention in London in 2008 that launch my career to another level. All those years of working on my self Prior to that came in handy wining the first black and grey awards at that show. I often think back and still can believe this happen for during that same year I was loosing my home due to the Realstate crash. Things were very hard and stress at home became stronger. It was this pivotal moments that made me find a way to push forward. Now that I look back I realize that it was those difficult moments that made me become stronger and every single time things get difficult I now understand that I’m about to make a breakthrough once again. I have become a problem solver of some sort…. Lol I have no other option being in a wheelchair is difficult but it also grounds me and it makes me think and find ways to keep moving forward.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m very passionate about story telling. When In high school I was very quite and very self conscious. English was my second language. That made me very afraid and embarrassed to express my feelings due to my accent. Art became a kind of bridge which I learned to use to express what I could not speak. Art has played a huge part in my life. The verse, a picture speaks a million words could not be any more clearer in my life as an artist. This keeps me wanting to continue doing art and at the same time it makes me more confident about talking and expressing my self about what I love, feel and wish to accomplish in the year’s to come in my life. I believe we are all unique individuals and if we don’t say what we want or wish others to understand it makes it very difficult for people to understand us. That can become a problem which can lead to people never getting to know the good that lies within us. Most of the times we don’t understand our selfs. It is very critical that we express what we feel hoping that it is some thing positive and if is not positive we have to be open to ideas that can help us shape the way we think. if don’t speak and express our self then other will not know what to think of us. That often leads to assumptions and assumptions never lead to anything positive. We have to get to know our self so that we can have a clear picture of what we wish to accomplish in life. I want to become an artist one that inspires and motivate others. The same kind of kids that remind me of my self growing up.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Ever since a was a kid I loved to eat good food and during my travels I have experience so many beautiful moments. I love to cook my self and have a tendency to still dish recipes of some of the restaurants I visit. So depending on the time restrictions or the type of friend this could vary. I love to host and cook for my fiends and work colleges. So spending a whole day at home preparing countless dishes is not unusual for me. I’m a very private person so staying at home and doing this for a friend is something I do often. If time does not allow for this then going out to one of so many place here in Orange County or the Los angels area is always an option. I’m not a big fan of clubs or bars so going to a place that serves good food and cocktails is always an option. It is hard to mention a particular place for there are so many amazing restaurants now days that are creating so many wonderful fusion dishes and have very enjoying atmospheres. The LA Arts district is the place where I go often for it is surrounded by the thing I love the most, Art. Bestia is frequent destination where I would take a friend for the vibe, food and drinks are always exceptional.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
When I first became wheelchair bound at the age of 15 my physical and mental state was very disrupted. I though the world was evil and did not believed I would ever become something I could be proud of. Not until I meet a beautiful lady by the name of Robin Vann who saw in me something I could not imagine for my self. POTENTIAL, she saw in me a whole life of potential ahead of me. Back in those day my family was in very difficult financial situation and could afford to buy a wheelchair to move around freely. This beautiful person, my guarding Angel I call her did something for me which change my whole perception of the world, she made me believe once again that there are kind people in this world. After meeting her at a welfare office she came to My home and offer to buy me a wheelchair so that I could have more freedom to move around and follow my dreams. Robin Vann you made me believe once again. There are so many kind people that still today help me in so many ways. A good friend Chad Gardner is another beautiful person who is always motivating me and helping in so may ways to keep moving forward and rather than just being successful he has ingrained. The thought of working on building a legacy one that can inspire others to do the same. Not to mention my lil brother Steven Lopez who is always by my side. He is the pair of legs I don’t have and so much more we are living a dream, and making that dream a reality. A big shout out to all of them for believing in me and to everyone else who has crossed my path and has made an impact in my life. The immense support I get from all my fans,, followers, and work colleagues in the tattoo industry does not go unnoticed. I’m very great full to them before anything else. I thank every one for everything specially my parents and wife carina who have never stop believing in me.

Website: Linkt.ree/joselopezart/

Instagram: Joselopez_lowridertattoo

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.