Andy Canino on sacrifice, honesty and confidence

Categories: Tattoo Talk

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Andy Canino prefers traditional tattoos with strong lines and bold colors.
Andy Canino started out with a basic tattooing kit and a natural talent for art. He figured out how to tattoo on his own, and has been tattooing professionally for almost a decade. He is now co-owner of Dedication Tattoo. Westword recently sat down with Canino, who talked about making sacrifices, being honest with himself and the importance of confidence.

See also: Lorenzo Baca on Albuquerque, graffiti and being a perfectionist

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Westword: How long have you been tattooing?

Andy Canino: I've been in a shop for about nine years now. I was tattooing prior to that out of my house, being one of those guys.

How did you get into tattooing? What drew you to the art form?

I started getting tattooed at sixteen up in Fort Collins. My godmother signed for me to get my first one. I just kept getting tattoos there and I kept asking a lot of questions. At one point, the guy I was getting tattooed by was like, "Hey, you're asking a lot of questions. Is this something you want to get into?" I'm like seventeen at the time, like, "Yeah, absolutely, man." He said to give him X amount of dollars and we would get me set up with everything I'd need. So I did, and he did, kind of. He got me the basics, though. I took it home, set it all up the best that I could, and realized I had no idea what I was doing. So I went back to talk to him and he was gone. He had essentially disappeared off the face of the planet. So I was stuck with all this tattoo gear and, being some dumb kid, I was like, "Well, I'll figure it out." Having roots in art my whole life -- my mom raised me to be an artist; she said, "Here's a crayon, figure out what to do with it" -- well, here's a tattoo machine, figure out what to do with it. So I did it to the best of my ability, a bunch of trial and error on myself and on my friends -- mostly error. I learned a lot of what not to do. Looking back on it, I'm surprised I made some of the tattoos that I did. But yeah, you know, here we are now. It worked out okay. It probably took longer that it should have, figuring out how to do everything, but I got the hang of it eventually.

What styles do you like to work in?

Preferentially, I like to do traditional stuff -- strong lines, black shading, dense color. But I like to do tattoos that look like tattoos. The first shop I worked at was more along the lines of a street shop, where people would come in and pick stuff off the walls. There was a lot on the walls to choose from in every style so, advantageously, that gave me the opportunity to expand my abilities as far as what kind of tattoos I can make. If someone comes in the door wanting a black-and-gray tattoo, I can do it. If someone wants Japanese style, I love doing Japanese stuff. It's a lot of fun. I would like to think I can accommodate most requests. But I try to stick with traditional as much as I can. A lot of my clients and return clients are typically getting traditional stuff from me. Mostly just tattoos that look like tattoos.

Continue reading for the rest of the Q&A with Canino.

Location Info

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Dedication Tattoo

1905 S. Broadway, Denver, CO

Category: General


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