Tattoo collector Rudolph Bonilla, better known by his Instagram name "
My full name is Rudolph. I was named after my father and, keeping the tradition alive I also gave my son the name Rudy. So there's 1st 2nd and 3rd three generations of Rudy. The 209 is a reference to Merced Cali where I was born and raised.
I always knew I'd grow up to be tattooed. Art has surrounded me for as long as I can remember, my father, uncles and cousins are all heavily tattooed. They're adorned in fine-line, black and grey Chicano style West Coast imagery that creates a picture of the trials and tribulations of day to day life; good times and bad. I considered tattoos to be a rite of passage that you build upon gradually and upon completion, you've earned your stripes and respect from your peers.
I collect all genres of art from pop art to contemporary. Some of my prized collection pieces are original paintings and illustrations from world renowned tattooists like Dave Tevenal, Josh Payne, Josh Woods, Timmy Brb, Sarah Miller and many more. I also own some signed and numbered giclee prints from Gustavo Rimada, a multi-media artist with a very distinctive style.
It's a very special thing when an artist removes a work of art off of their own wall, signs it and gives it to you as a token of gratitude and to pay you for the respect you have for the arts. I've received many gifts and its always a honor.
My first tattoo was done in a street shop run by bikers at the age of 16, the artist's name was Tom Baker and he would go on to tattoo me multiple times including the old English rocker across my stomach that reads "Bonilla." I have no regrets and wear all my tattoos proudly, the way I see it if I wasn't involved in or exposed to certain things at a young age then I wouldn't be drawn to or involved in the current and future ventures I'm into now.
When I get tattooed, I usually pick an artist who specializes in their own style, something they are known for and have perfected like:Photo realism, portraits ,neo traditional, new school, straight Japanese, etc.
While many people feel comfortable with giving a artist free range, I like to have a idea of what I what and then let the artist do their thing. I have several tattoos that hold deep meaning and are so much more then good looking imagery, my family portraits are visible to me at all times and they serve as a reminder as to why I'm in this world and motivation to always do my best. I've always been attracted to water and being a Pisces it just felt right to have several water based tattoos. I have a giant koi fish swimming right towards death, a battle scene of a giant kracken squid taking down a hammerhead shark, various lotus blossoms and a rad giant female Angler Fish. I also have my children's Chinese zodiac birth animals: a huge Japanese dragon across my chest/torso (year of the dragon) and a little wheat rat tucked behind my knee ( year or the rat ).
Head by Josh Payne
Your head tattoo is sick, tell us about it.
My head tattoo is a Kapala from Josh Payne. The Kapala is a skull cup made from a human skull decorated and used in a ritual like fashion in both Buddhist and Hindu cultures, mounted with precious jewels and metals they are considered to be sacred and I've always found them to be very beautiful. When I made the decision to tattoo my head, I choose the Tibetan Skull or a Kapala as the reference, the idea of a skull decorated in armors on top of the actual scalp just felt right.
"Lizzy" from Timmy Brb
I don't have one particular favorite tattoo they all hold a special place be it from a huge artist or an unknown artist. One that comes to mind is a tattoo of my family's pet Leopard Gecko "Lizzy" who's sipping tea from a broken tea cup dressed in a fancy steam punk outfit. The tattoo placement is my hip so part of my ass is visible so when the tattoo went viral my ass cheek was allover blogs,websites social medias etc. Timmy Brb was the artist he has tattooed me several times and my tattoos from him have won some major awards including Best of Show at a few big name tattoo conventions.
I've been tattooed by Spike TV InkMaster Josh Woods, Oxygen Networks Tylor Schwarz, InkAddict sponsored artist Dave Tevenal, Dominic Holmes, Josh Payne and Steve Wimmer to name a few. All of them are industry known award winning artists who are considered to be the best at their styles.
I've flown across the country several times to be tattooed, attended all the major conventions and brought my wife and kids along several times. My family loves the art, plus staying in fancy hotels and sight seeing ain't no fun alone. My favorite convention is Hell City Killumbus if you can only attend one tattoo event ever it better be this one. Durb always puts on a killer event and takes great care of everybody. Conventions also allow me to recnonect with my Tattoo Collectors family, a group of unique individuals who have come together through the passion of tattoo art collecting.
"Yallzee" by Steve Wimmer
I've managed to make some great friends for life and even wear a portrait tattoo of my friend Mr Yallzee Quinones better known as Yallzee who is well known and respected in the tattoo industry. Steve Wimmer made the tattoo. Yallzee lives in Puerto Rico we had the world going crazy for that tattoo when I revealed a stencil peak before it was complete. It's become one of my favorite tattoos and he is a huge inspiration to me.
I'm comfortable in front of cameras and don't mind sharing my tattoos for the sake of the arts, I've done photo shoots and been featured in Tattoo Magazine, Tattoo Savage, Skin & Ink, TattooLife Magazine, Inked and also have multiple tattoos in various Out Of Step Books a company owned by my great friend Jinxi Caddel.
I consider tattoo modeling a win win situation for both model and tattoo artist or apparel company best of both worlds totally. I didn't really choose modeling, modeling chose me. I've done shoots with Ernie Bustamante, Ritchard Todd, Marry D D'Aloiso and Alissa Brunelli off the top of my head.
I was first introduced to InkAddict Apparel at Best In The Midwest 1, a convention run by Mr Joseph Pearl, owner of Big Brain Tattoo Omaha (better known as Smitty to his friends). That was around 4 years ago when all they had were those hoodies at first, from there I've watched them grow and build a brand from the ground up, working with artists I've been tattooed by and know personally.
Blood sweat and tears, I've seen the InkAddict van traipse across the country, state to state, booth to booth. When it's convention season Amber and Paige always work the hardest when it's repping time.
The fall line is rad I love seeing new artists and fresh designs,a personal favorite is "Deception" by Travis Brown, a wolf in sheep's clothing. I love wolves, my name Rudolph actually translates to Famous Wolf in German so who knows... I see a wolf tattoo in the near future maybe haha.
Future plans include finishing my torso tattooing, rib panels, plus my throat and back of neck. I'm really nowhere near complete as tattooed as I am I have ways to go always a work in progress. I'd love to do more modeling I believe if you surround you're self with great people you can only go up. The harder you work, the more opportunities come your way. I'm blessed to have befriended all these great people and if I failed to mention anyone, please know you all inspire me in someway shape or form. It's a real honor to be recognized for your hobbies and passions, this tattoo stuff is more then a fad its something special to me and I'm happy to share my story and a glimpse into my life as an InkAddict.
Originally Published: Sun, 14 Sep 2014 04:55:29
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