In the bustling streets of Makati, a renowned tattoo artist, business owner, and father of two girls has made his mark.
Boots Brandon, a seasoned tattoo artist with over 16 years of experience, has transitioned from a humble beginning in Cebu to owning and operating the famous Redeemed Tattoo shop.
His journey is one of passion, perseverance, and the pursuit of artistic excellence.
Boots’ fascination for art emerged at a young age. He was drawn to painting and drawing, considering art a source of freedom and happiness.
“Art is my thing. Art gave me freedom and happiness,” he said.
Little did he know that his artistic side would lead him down a path of tattooing.
His introduction to the world of tattoos came through making henna tattoos during the Sinulog festival a couple of years back.
Fueled by his passion, Brandon spent time at a tattoo shop, initially observing and later dedicating himself to learning the craft.
” [ I was] working in that tattoo shop and then large along tumatambay doon and was curious and save money to buy a machine,” he added.
With his first tattoo machine, he started making his friends as his canvas to fill his curiosity with the art of tattoos.
As his confidence grew, he ventured into competitions, participating primarily to enhance his skills and boost his self-assurance.
First big win
Years went by, and Boots was awarded his first big win in a tattoo competition in 2015, which gave him more drive to do better in his craft, and he recalled how his friend helped him as a starting tattoo artist.
“That was wild. There was a friend; she believed in me,” he said.
With his newly gained confidence in winning more tattoo competitions, he decided to open his own shop in a small cramped space in Escario, Cebu. He recalled he started it with just him and two more tattoo artists who made entertaining clients even with a small space possible.
“I wanna have a quality shop, kahit maliit siya; I want it to be cozy,” he added.
He envisioned creating a tattoo shop known for its quality and coziness. This desire aligned with his journey into both an artist and a businessman.
From a small space, he expanded his shop several times in Cebu before landing in one of the best places for a tattoo shop to be stationed in Cebu, inside Crossroads in Barangay Banilad.
“Being a tattoo artist, you also have to be a businessman because how you handle yourself and your clients, I think, is part of being a businessman because it involves money too. I’ve been a really down kid way back, like unang P10,000 kong kita, wala akong kinita, I just live like a king. But if you wanna pursue this tattoo career, I think you need to know how to handle money and your artists under your wing.”
Recognizing the connection between artistic talent and business, Brandon expanded his shop in Makati and now employs eight artists combined from his Cebu shop.
Despite his love for Cebu’s artistic scene, he recognized Manila’s expansive art and tattoo culture. Motivated to amplify the voices of Cebuano artists, Brandon aimed to bring their talents to the forefront of Manila’s art scene.
“I love Cebu. I grew up there, born and raised. Cebu is for me, ang daming magagaling na artist. I would say kahit hindi sa tattooing, I would say sa music industry, art industry, Cebuanos have the blood of striving for greatness,” said Boots.
Brandon’s artistic journey shifted towards fine-line black and gray tattoos from his roots in large black and gray designs. His aspirations extended beyond his craft.
Boots Brandon’s journey is a testament to the fusion of passion and entrepreneurship. From his early years of fascination with art to becoming a respected tattoo artist and successful business owner, his story underscores the importance of stepping outside one’s comfort zone and embracing change.
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