Author Archives: Jose Lopez

  1. Multi Generational Journey

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    When trying to understand how important my Heritage is, I can’t help but to think of that of the Monarch Butterflies. Similarly like us, they too have and continue to endure the countless tides of time. For example The Monarch butterflies inherited instinct of survival allows them to time and time again undertake their treacherous journey expanding thousands of miles. A journey that requires multi generational contribution and dedication just to keep their legacy alive. This fills me with great pride and joy to go on living and just like the Magnificent Monarchs, I too shall contribute and dedicate my time to helping those I come in contact with so that our Legacy will last for ever.

    There is so much beauty lying underneath the surface of all things. If one just stopped to notice it, our hearts would be filled with so much more joy and in turn we would see our own beauty reflecting back to us.

    In conclusion, Now I would like to share this amazing passage, A passage of hope that has helped me endure and appreciate life in the worst of times. I hope it can also make an impact in one of you and wishing you pass it on to others in need.

    It may take a lifetime to understand that within that dark and ugly place there was a beauty and love there so strong that not even death could dishevel it ….that in fact, the beauty is that love continues even after and through death and the impact of that trauma brings us closer to the love that we shared for that person and all the ways love of that individual has affected our lives and the lives of others.

    The secondary beauty that has an everlasting ripple effect on other peoples lives and through eternity is what living is truly about. All about the quality and not so much the quantity. Life is a teacher and Love is the reward in all its forms. When we can see love where darkness used to reside we can finally turn our lives and those around us into something Glorious.

    Thank You, Jose Lopez


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    The best way to learn a craft is to go to the source, and for my boy mark from Canada was just the thing.  He comes once a year to the Lowrider Tattoo Studio just to be in the front to soak up as much knowledge as possible while enduring hours of agonizing pain gathering strength from deep within with the end goal in mind.  This is a perfect example of determination, Determination to learn.






    Seek your knowledge in observation.
    Know friendship to be the truest bond of all,
    Near perfect is Love platonic in essence.
    Within nature perceive the friendship of all,
    For all. Friendship can be Death in a lovers guise.
    Don’t let it come as a surprise to you when you
    Find your heart broken in parts, buried beneath
    The steeples you have erected in Honour of your Love.
    Bonds without friendship are as shackles.
    Seek a stranger of sympathetic intellect.

    We encourage all tattoo artist who are just starting out to do the same as our friend Mark to come in and get tattooed for it is the best way you can learn.  By being in the front seat not only watching but also by feeling the process and asking as many question is the beginning of your way to the top.

    When you know a thing, to hold that you know it, and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it: this is knowledge



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    “When I’d do something bad,
    my conscience would say,
    ‘What would Grandma think?’
    … She taught me the good side,
    to act right, be polite.”
    ~ Victor Thompson


    Her name is Panchita an elderly woman who still lives in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.   She still gets up every day to go to work, so that tomorrows supper can be guarantied.  Full of grace…. she gives me hope and reminds me of the strong woman who once cared for me when i was a child.  Her too got up every day with out minding the aches and pains just so that my brothers and I could have something to eat.  Other than the desperation and the lack of money I was her only friend,  She took me everywhere, I was a witness to the scorns and turn downs from people with out compassion when she tried to ask for work or borrow money so that we could eat.  With her head up high and a slightly cracking voice she would say to me come on son lets try some where else.  I was just a kid 7 years old to be exact.   She never gave up,  she always found a way, she always found a way.  Amparo that was her name, it means to be under the protection or guidance of something or someone.  Even after her death she still looks after me just the thought of her name automatically set in motion the wheels of heave so that I can find my way through this difficult world.  I was separated from my grandma when I was nine, and I never thought I would not see her ever again…….Its been an amazing but yet difficult journey but then again no one is immune to the storms that life brings us luckily  for me there will always be an AMPARO to look over me and guide me.


    Its funny I have a slight recollection of how she looked, but her voice and wise words are always very clear in my mind.  A better way to explain it is,  I see her face in every  kind, loving and hard working person.




    Jose Lopez


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    Don’t ever come back here.

    You get in there and  fight, Carl.

    Don’t take promises.

    Bust their old rules if you have to.

    And when it gets hard-

    and it will-

    don’t quit on me. Ever.

    Now, go on.

    Don’t come back here.

    Not for a long time.


    A lion, which is strongest among beasts,…. For what is stronger than a lion, or more courageous and undaunted? it walks with great majesty, very slowly, step by step, the left foot first; shaking its shoulders as it goes, and as here intended, and this without fear;

    and turneth not away for any; it does not go out of its way for any creature it meets with; nor does it hasten its pace when pursued, nor show the lest sign of fear; nor does it turn its back to any;   This creature is an emblem of Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, who is stronger than the strong man armed; who never turned his back to any of his enemies; nor turned aside from the way of his duty, or the work of his office, on account of any; not Herod the fox, who threatened to kill him; nor Satan, the roaring lion, when he knew he was on the march to meet him; nor any of those, who, though they had a band of soldiers, that came to take him;  and also it is an emblem of righteous men, who are as bold as a lion; and cannot be moved from their duty by anything they meet with, but remain steadfast and constant in it;


    Business just like Respect has to be earned … You must demonstrate your values and beliefs even if you have to  break the rules.  There is not only one way to do things and get results.   We are all unique, We are all capable of making the impossible Possible.   Once having earned some ones Business or Respect you must not expect it but rather welcome it with the same humility you started with, and those Men of Honor shall notice the Honor in you.  So make your self a promise, keep that promise and honor those who will honor you and in the process earn their business, earn their respect.


    So once you have endured the test of time, then you can sit back for a moment of peace with a nice cigar on one hand and a firm grip on your rifle on the other.

    Always ready for what comes next.



    Jose Lopez



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    Man has a poor understanding of Life.
    He mistakes knowledge for wisdom.
    He tries to unveil the holy secrets of our Father, the Great Spirit. He attempts to impose his laws on Mother Earth.
    Even though he himself is part of nature,
    he chooses to disregard and ignore it
    for the sake of his own immediate gain.

    But the laws of nature are far stronger than those of mankind. Man must awake at last and learn to understand
    how little time there remains.
    And he has so much to learn.
    To learn to see with the heart.

    He must learn to respect Mother Earth

    – she who has given life to everything,
    To our brothers and sisters, the animals and plants, To the rivers, the lakes, the oceans and the winds. He must realise that the planet does not belong to him, But that he has to care for and maintain
    the delicate balance of nature
    for the sake of the wellbeing of our children
    and of all future generations.

    It is the duty of man to preserve the Earth and the creation of the Great Spirit.

    – mankind being but a grain of sand in the Holy Circle which encloses all of life.



    Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride,
    Friendship without envy,
    Or beauty without vanity?
    Here, where grace is served with muscle
    And strength by gentleness confined
    He serves without servility; he has fought without enmity.
    There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent.
    There is nothing so quick, nothing more patient.
    ~Ronald Duncan, “The Horse,” 1954


    •  Neptune was the name that ancient Romans gave to the Greek god of the sea and earthquakes, Poseidon. He was the brother of Jupiter (Zeus) and of Pluto (Hades). After the defeat of their father Saturn (Cronos), the three brothers divided the world in three parts to be ruled by one of the three brothers. Jupiter took the sky, Neptune the sea and Pluto the underworld. Neptune had the reputation for having a violent temper. Tempests and earthquakes were a reflection of his furious rage. He was depicted as a bearded men holding a trident and seated in a seashell drawn by sea-horses. One day Neptune saw the water nymph Amphitrite dancing in the island of Naxos and fell in love with her. He promptly asked her to marry him but unfortunately she refused. However, not discouraged by Amphitrite refusal, Neptune sent one of his servant, a dolphin to look for her. The dolphin found her, and pleaded Neptune’s cause so persuasively that she changed her mind. As a reward for finding and returning Amphitrite to him, Neptune immortalized the dolphin by placing it in the heavens as the constellation Dolphinus. Neptune and Amphitrite had several children. Among them was Triton whose name was given in 1846 by William Lassell to the principal moon of the planet Neptune.

    In the normal course of events many men and women are born with remarkable talents; but occasionally, in a way that transcends nature, a single person is marvellously endowed by Heaven with beauty, grace and talent in such abundance that he leaves other men far behind, all his actions seem inspired and indeed everything he does clearly comes from God rather than from human skill. Everyone acknowledged that this was true of Leonardo da Vinci, an artist of outstanding physical beauty, who displayed infinite grace in everything that he did and who cultivated his genius so brilliantly that all problems he studied he solved.


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    The last few weeks were very memorable to me.  I got to hang out with my boy Michael Fellner for several sessions to complete his beautiful  tattoo idea.  We spent a lot of time together at first going back and forth trying to figure out what would be the best composition for his tattoo and after three hours we came out with the perfect lay out.  I have to say this has bee one of the most fun tattoos I have done lately.  We had really good conversations through out the whole tattoo process.  With different playlist playing and changing like the weather, from fast pace Salsa Music to very slow Romantic Chicano Oldies with out forgetting the Gangster Rap I kept chiseling trying to get through the outlining part of the tattoo.



    I keep referring to we, because it took the two of us to get through the tattoo, not only the two of us but also all the boys at the shop the help make every experience a pleasant one.  Chris, Krystal, David, Justin, Cesar and my brother Steven all helped out not only with this tattoo, but with all the people who walk through the doors of Lowrider Tattoo.


    I began with the Epic, Super Iconic Hollywood sign which sets the whole mood for the entire tattoo sleeve that follows.  Michael wanted a sort of passage through memory lane to revisit a part of him that has passed but will always remain in his mind.  Having lived in Las Vegas and Hollywood really helped when it came to finding good references for his tattoo idea.



    What followed was just as impressive as the Hollywood sign. The LA skyline next to the Capitol Records building gave the the tattoo the true west coast tattoo feel.  The 6th street bridge did just that, it served as a bridge when combining the Las vegas scenery.  I picked the Bellagio Casino with the dancing waters for its majestic feel and some dice flying through the air along with the Luxor Casino to complement the two.


    From the beginning I kept pushing forward a very special part of the tattoo.  A Lama,  a pet for the company Zappos for which Michael worked for several years of his life.  The Lama named Cusco always stayed with him even after he moved on.  I waited to the end to add the final touch and I got to say it was very rewarding seeing it all come to life.  If you are wondering about the rose it represents that special someone in our lives.


    Right before we did the Lama I put Michael through some more pain to complete the inside of his sleeve.  We choose a Beautiful Show Girl to complement the rest of his tattoo.  The Welcome to fabulous las vegas Nevada sign and Michaels vintage Mercedes Benz fit perfectly right next to the Royal Flush of cards.  Damn some things are just meant to be,  I want to thank Michael for sharing so much with me it was a true bonding experience working together and realizing some thing so special to him, The beginning of his life.  A few years ago Tattoos were not so favored and now they are changing peoples lives around the world.  “What an Irony’

    Jose Lopez

    Your friend and artist.