Skin in the Game -The Tattoo Art of Frank Luca

An art career can be a long journey with many different reinventions along the way. Meet Frank Luca, fine artist/tattoo artist.  Traditionally trained, he ended up making a career choice which uses his skills in a new way.

Connecticut native Frank Luca has been fascinated by tattoo art since he was a teenager. He originally made a decision to apprentice at the age of 18 with a tattoo shop, but instead left for college, to study architecture. Through several years and a couple of schools, he switched to graphic arts and illustration and never looked back.

Like many new grads, Frank took a couple of jobs outside of his chosen field, including a stint as a correction officer, which was a little less than thrilling. Moving to Florida and connecting back into the art field, he spent several years working as a graphic designer and scenic artist, creating faux finishes and large murals.

On a Florida beach, he was approached by a staff member of Miami Ink, who admired his tattoos, and asked if he would like to appear on the show, being tattooed by a member of the cast. This led to filming an episode where he received a tattoo of a customized bottle of Crown Royal on his shin dedicated to the memory of his uncle.

Coming full circle, Frank Luca finally did that apprenticeship, learned the art of tattooing, and now works full-time in the field. He credits his art studies, especially color theory and composition, with helping him develop his skills. When a client asks for a custom tattoo, he works with them extensively, discussing design ideas and approving sketches until the final choice is made.

Because his “canvas” is human skin, which is an uneven surface, special care has to be taken on each design. The original drawing is copied, then applied onto the client’s skin using a type of carbon paper to transfer the outline, which is completed first. The peacock tattoo outline shown took about five hours to complete. Subsequent sessions, usually running about four hours each, are needed to complete the color work. A large tattoo may take 20 hours or more in total.

Outside of the tattoo trade, Frank Luca spends time painting on real canvas.  He works primarily with an airbrush, and has worked on a number of private commissions. A large portrait he has for sale is currently hanging in a local nightclub, which is using their walls as an alternative gallery space.

Frank Luca has created a full-time career using his outstanding skills as an artist and loves to go to work every day. Check out his My Space page for more information on Frank and his career. You can also visit his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter.

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  1. This is awesome Franky 😉 , proud of u.

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