Legendary Nikko Hurtado

05 / 06 / 2018 Oleg Zarvsky
Tattoo artist Nikko Hurtado / Photo: @nikkohurtado

The son of a Mexican welder and a Hispanic housemaker - Nikko Hurtado - is a living legend of the modern tattoo art.

He was born in the San Fernando Valley in 1981. His love of art was transformed when at the age of 16 his old friend, Mike DeMasi, received a car. Then Nikko and Mike had the means and opportunity to take classes at the Center for the Arts in Pasadena.

In 2002, Nikko stopped at the Art Junkies Tattoo Studio in Hesperia to see how Mike works. Mike tattooed for a while and offered Nikko an apprenticeship. The only experience that Nikko had with tattoos was the tattoos he had seen on friends and family. He did not even have a tattoo himself. Despite this, the next day, Nikko took the car and began tattooing soon.

“I had always wanted to art for a living and was soo happy that it happened so organically,” says Nikko. “It was like tattooing chose me.”

Just a year after Nikko began tattooing, he made a tattoo that forever changed his career - the color portrait of Batman. This was his first color portrait he ever did, and when it was complete, his customer went to tattoo covention and get "First Place" in the "Portrait Tattoo" nomination. This would be just one of the many awards that Nikko has been collecting around the world for many years, but it was this portrait that transformed his life forever. The image became viral in the tattoo community, even before Facebook, Instagram and other social networks appeared. Now he became known as a tattoo artist, specializing in color portraits.

Nikko began performing on numerous TV shows, such as LA Ink, Tattoo Wars, Tori & Dean and Tattoo Master on Spike TV. His television performances attracted the attention of celebrities and allowed him to tattoo musicians, athletes, actors and other celebrities.

Now, Nikko Hurtado is a real living legend, one of the most popular and recognized tattooists in the world, who has become the idol of millions of people from all over the world, and his name has become the real association to word "tattoo".

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Text Oleg Zarvsky