Recently in an interview for Inked Magazine’s video segment called Heavily Inked a native from New York named Gunny, who was born and raised up in NYC. He lived in East Harlem and grew up in the Bronx and lived in Queens Brooklyn as an adult. In the interview, he opened up about his tattoos, new look, and some more facts about his tattoo.
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Gunny Talked About His Childhood
He faced a rough childhood. His parents were born and brought up in Honduras. His father was African and mother was native Honduran. They moved to NYC in 1977. His parents were hard workers, not at all fond of tattoos. Tattoos were the furthest thing in their mind.
“My mom said you can do two things,” said Gunny
Gunny says he went to see his mom, with his swollen all black neck. During their conversation, she was looking at his neck. Gunny told his mom, “Hey mom, I know you don’t like this stuff but it’s going to be a body suit.” His mom has a positive response to this. To this Gunny says, “My mom said you do two things, you are able to support yourself with whatever decision you want to make and decide to do and secondly be a good person I raised you to be”. Rest she did not bother about anything else.
Gunny’s Introduction to Tattoos
He saw tattoos in his neighborhood including street guys, jail guys, some military people, old school people with tattoos on farms. All this art always intrigued him. When he was 14 years old, he saw a movie and the villain of the movie had a mickey mouse tattoo on his arm. It was a steamboat willie but had an angry face, with lips out and eyebrows down. He paused the movie to keenly watch the tattoo. He was amazed by such a tattoo and thought it was the coolest tattoo he had ever seen.
He immediately switched off the TV and drew it free Handley on a piece of paper. He went to school the next day with that paper, after school took a train and went down Manhattan village. He went in search of tattoos from shop to shop and everybody kicked him out. But lastly one man agreed to do it in return for 80 bucks. And finally, Gunny agreed and got a Steamboat Willie tattoo on his arm. And the next day when he went to school, everyone was surprised and asked him if it was real. This was his first ever tattoo and then he continued at the age of 15,16 and so on.
Reaction on Tattoos
His mom’s response to those tattoos was unhappy. She asked Gunny, “What’s that? What’s wrong with you?” Gunny told her that he feels tattoos are cool. They spoke only Spanish and were not allowed to talk in English. He told his parents that he liked tattoos and he will get more tattoos in the future as he found them cool stuff. When he got his first tattoo inked, he knew in his heart that he loved tattoos and this is what he is going to continue in the future and nothing could change it.
Gunny Became a Tattoo Artist
He had done hard labour jobs throughout his life. When he turned 27, he realised his back and body wasn’t going to take this beating for long. Then he decided he could be a tattoo artist. Then he got his first tattoo machine from a guy who was tattooing in his apartment. He got that machine, went home and tattooed his legs. He met his mentor Megan Hublin at the NYC convention in 2006. She asked to draw a picture of a bouquet of flowers but 70% smaller than the actual size, not to photocopy and memorise the picture. This impressed his mentor. They met at these conventions for six to seven years until he worked at the tattoo convention himself. Later he removed his tattoos through laser treatment for two years, all that he collected throughout his youth.
“I just wanted that black stuff on my body”- Gunny
After the removal of all tattoos from his body, he needs to decide what he is going to do next. “I just wanted that black stuff on my body,” Gunny made up his mind. He plans to get a black suit on his body. It’s just a few years back that he started to tattoo his face. He made up his mind to tattoo his eyes in 2015 when this culture was not so popular. It took him 5 years to get his eyes tattooed. He got his tattoo done by Luna Cobra, the man who had an eyeball tattoo.
The only concern that he had was when the needle in his eyes vision goes out completely, things get dark and close up. He says, ” I remember that was scary.” But after that, he had no major concerns. Talking about this, he recalls an incident. He says, ” One time when I woke up in the morning, after the second night of getting an eyeball tattoo done. I opened my eyes and saw the room pitch black and my heart just jumped out of the socket.” Just a few minutes later he realized that the room was dark. So as of now 50 percent of his body is covered with tattoos.
But as of now, he has a few modifications, which are going to continue. Talking about any drastic change, he cropped his ears. He has corduroy branding on the side of his face. He had also started to ink the black color on his gums, and skin peel on his chest and he is going to continue his. Talking about his passion for tattoos he says,” I feel like I am becoming myself more and more every time I do something”. All these decisions are carefully thought out and taken as this is exactly what Gunny wants to do. Tattoos helped him in becoming himself more.
This is how Gunny’s black earth journey started and continues till now.