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Interview with RJ Valencerina

I discovered RJ a year ago for my greatest happiness because his talent is exceptional. His work is precise and well saturated. Here is why I wanted to know a little more about his career and have his talent discovered by  all those who have never seen his art. Remember his name because you will often see him on the podiums of tattoo contests with a trophy in hand!
Here are some questions I asked RJ to know a little more about him.

BF: How long have you been working in this field?
RJ: I've been tattooing for 7 years, since 2012.

At what age did you start tattooing?  
I was 27 when I started tattooing.

Did you start with someone or on your own?
I started learning how to tattoo on my own. Relying on friends tips and researching on the internet, I practiced on my family and close friends.

What style did you focus on and why?
Like most tattoo artists, I started working with all types of tattoo just to keep the dice rolling. It was only 3 years ago that I started to concentrate more on black and gray realism. With my experience on charcoal and pencil sketching this was the perfect style to progress with.

What would your goals be to reach or those already reached?

As a black and gray realism tattoo artist, my goal is to push more on the quality of my realism game. Learning more on color realism is also one of my biggest challenge for the upcoming years.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?
-I think I have come a long way from being a self-taught tattoo artist and my biggest strength that I can point out is that I am very goal oriented. I always set goals and do my best to achieve them and part or it is continuously developing my craft as a tattoo artist.

- My biggest weakness for sure is my lack of ability to speak in french. HAHAHA !!! You read that right... Being an anglophone in this city limit you from a lot of things including career opportunities and important acquaintances. Shoutout to everyone who tries their best to talk to me in english even if it's hard for them lol... you guys are the best !!!

Who is your favorite tattoo artist?
I follow tons of realism tattoo artists, both colors and black and gray. I study their compositions, learn their techniques on their videos and try to execute them in my work.

Did you do any seminar or training ?

I did one tattoo tutorial seminar last summer under Steve Butcher. Other than that. I try to learn more by meeting other tattoo artists watching them work and asking them a tip or two.

Have you had one or more important meetings in your career?
Not a meeting, but the biggest breakthrough in my career is when I was being able to start participating in different tattoo conventions and showcase everyone what this new guy is capable of. Also being at this tattoo expo opens the door for meeting amazing tattoo artists not only locally but worldwide.

If you had any advice for beginners, what would it be?
Never stop learning and keep tattooing !!! Continuous learning and constant practice is the key to a successful tattooing career.

Rj has been participating in the conventions for a short time, but he has been on the podium more than once!
Here are his victories:

Montreal Ink Tattoo 2017
-1st Place Best of Day (Day2)

Ink n Road 2017
-1st Place in Graphique Tribal

Ottawa Gatineau Tattoo Xpo 2017
-1st Place in Small Black and Gray

Bike and Tattoo Show 2018
-1st place Best of Day (Day1)
1st Place in Medium Black and Gray
3rd Place in pointillism.

Tattoo Rendez-vous Trois-Rivières
-Artist of the Weekend
-1st Place Best of Day (Day2)
-1st Place in Trash Polka
-1st Place in Pointillism
-1st Place in Realism
-1st Place in Portrait
-2nd Place Best of Day (Day1)
-2nd Place in Portrait

Ottawa Gatineau Tattoo Xpo 2018
-Artist of the Weekend
-1st Place in Realism
-2nd Place in Realism
-2nd Place Best of Day (Day1)
-2nd Place in Medium Black and Gray
-2nd Place Chest Piece
-2nd Place in Large Black and Gray
-3rd Place in Large Black and Gray

I asked RJ what thanks he would like to do and with great kindness he replied: I would like to thank Xtrem tattoo for taking the time to know me and want to share my talent with others, I appreciate so much that they chose me as an artist for an interview on their blog.

RJ owns the UpTown Tattoo shop in Montreal. 
5889 Victoria Avenue, Montréal

Open Monday to Friday from 13h to 20h. Closed Saturday and Sunday






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