Art can be defined & expressed through many avenues. Owner & Creative Director of BEIGE, Ashley Peeples, has always acknowledged the merit of art. She has curated a creative showroom of pieces from designers with unique & distinctive tastes. With that in mind, she also appreciates tattoo artistry, specifically minimal & fine line designs. Ashley discovered Miguel & valued his artistic style, so she reached out to him knowing that an artist that specializes in fine lines can be difficult to find. Out of her 14 tattoos, Miguel has done 10 of them and she cherishes each one. We had the honor of getting to ask Miguel a few questions about his journey of becoming an artist.
Have you always wanted to be an artist?
No, the tattoo thing happened at a very random time for me. I started getting professionally tattooed as soon as I turned 18. I always thought I would go to culinary school since I worked for a few restaurants before I started tattooing. I made some tattoo friends by getting tattooed and they saw I enjoyed drawing and painting graffiti. I asked if I could try doing a tattoo, they said yes and as soon as I did one, I knew that was it - It was something I wanted to pursue.I was sure about cooking, but art has always been something I was into since I was a kid. I’m so glad I met all those people back then as without them, I wouldn't be where I am now.
Was it your interest in art that led you to be a tattoo artist? Do you have any family members that are artists that inspired you? What kind of art did you do previous to being a tattoo artist?
Yes. I remember drawing cartoons I was into as a kid. The main inspiration came from all the murals and graffiti I saw being raised in Los Angeles that I would see on the freeways or next to the convenience store. Mainly religious imagery really got my attention thinking "how did they paint that so detailed?” I was mind blown as a kid seeing all that art. As I got older, I started messing around with som. e canvases & spray paint. Later on, I made a local friend that is currently well known for painting murals around the city that goes by XEMEX. I became friends with him and we painted together quite a bit to the point that it got us in trouble with the city. Total of 6 charges, $10,000 bail fines, and 3 year probation. After getting caught, I said “Well there’s gotta be another way to keep me occupied!” That’s when I discovered tattooing.
What was the first tattoo that you ever did?
First tattoo I ever did was in art class when I was 16 & I did it on myself. I did it on the palm of my hand with India ink and a sewing needle of the Los Angeles Dodgers logo. It's not there anymore, but that was my first one. After that, I started getting them professionally done at 18.
How many tattoos do you personally have?
The last tattoo I counted was tattoo number 13 and after that I lost count. Now I'm just focused on being completely covered before I turn 40. I got a good while and not much space left, but I'm getting closer to my goal. The only reason for that goal is that I’ve always heard the older you get, the more they hurt. So l'm just trying to be covered before that happens. I will say, 10 years ago it was way easier to get tattooed than now, so it’s very true.
You travel for work a lot. Where is your favorite place to visit and why?
I would have to say my favorite was Barcelona. It was a very memorable trip for me that helped me grow as an artist and as a person. I booked a ticket to Barcelona with no plans, no hotels booked, no research about the city or anything. I wanted it to be an adventure - I showed up and winged it the entire time. I made some friends, and I ended up working at LTW Tattoo. It was a shop that inspired me so much in my tattoo career since they liked to paint graffiti and I even got to paint with some of them right before I left. The food, the culture, the way of living, everything about that trip did something to me. I still talk about that trip till this day.
Where do you find your creative inspiration? What motivates you to create? Who are your biggest artistic influences?
I usually find my creative inspiration by traveling and meeting other tattoo artists. There's inspiration with people I work with as well but there's something about going to a different shop and being a guest artist. I like to see how they do things and see what inspires them to tattoo in their own style.
My biggest influences are some that don't even tattoo - I'd say Anthony Bourdain, Chad Koeplinger and Action Bronson. The one thing they all have in common is that they are all world travelers and are very passionate in what they do. Not to mention their passion for food. Chad is a well known worldwide tattooer - I aspire to be that one day.
How has your practice changed over time? What style of tattoos are your favorite to do/create?
I feel like it hasn't changed much. I like to do colorful tattoos mainly since it kind of reminds me of graffiti. Styles I like to do are traditional, black and grey, fine line, and lettering.
How would you define / describe your work?
Bold, minimal, with lots of color, or even fine lines. Tattoos you can tell what it is from across the street. Less is more.
What lessons have you learned that led you to become confident in your work?
I learned that being your authentic self gives you confidence because you're comfortable with who you are. Traveling helped me find my true self. It made me realize it's okay to be different.
Follow Miguel on instagram @miguelarrue and/or book a future appointment with him at Seventh Street Tattoo.
Galentines Event featuring Miguel Arrue
We are excited for our upcoming Galentine's event with Miguel on February 16th from 6:00-8:00pm.
Miguel has designed an exclusive menu of micro tattoos for the event. You can book your session between 1:00p-8:00p with our events coordinator - email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve.
We will have complimentary drinks & every purchase will receive a special edition BEIGE tote that was designed by Miguel. We look foward to seeing everyone there!
Choose from any of the tattoos on the flash sheet below for your session. Book by emailing email@example.com