Nikko Hurtado

American born tattoo artist, Nikko Hurtado, began tattooing in 2002. Not long after, he started his own tattoo studio in Hesperia, California. Nikko is the sole owner of Black Anchor Collective and also one of the best tattoo artists working there. There is much more to Nikko than only tattooing though. He is also, like most other tattoo artists, involved in other forms of art and is also a minor television personality on the TLC network.

Not only has he been featured on several instructional tattoo and art DVDs but became renowned as a tattoo artist when he was featured on TLC’s ‘LA Ink’, along with popular tattoo artist and television personality, Kat Von D. He also appeared on the television show, Ink Master. Along with his other appearances, Nikko was a jury member for the Chaudesaigues Awards that recognize the artistic and career choices of a tattoo artist. Although he is not as popular on television as most other tattoo artists in his league, he is an inspiration to many well known tattooists while being a mentor to those who are new in the industry.

Hurtado specializes specifically in coloured portraiture and realism art. Apart from his few
television appearances, he is one of the most underrated tattoo artists to the outside world.

But he is an icon to tattoo artists and people in and interested in the field. Nikko is not only an legendary tattooist in his skill level but an equally iconic painter. His paintings have appeared in galleries all over Los Angeles. On one occasion where his art was exhibited in a gallery in Los Angeles, he managed to sell most of his pieces in one night! Nikko has a deep passion for detailed and realistic oil painting and this very clearly shines through in his work.

In his art, both of tattooing and painting, Nikko draws direct inspiration and influence from
artists like Rembrandt and Micheal Husser. Having worked with Micheal Husser personally, he used it as a learning experience to better his skill at art in general, whatever field he
might use it in. Being a tattoo artist before he was a painter, Hurtado started doing portrait
tattoos on his clients more than any other design, using it as a stepping stone into oil portrait painting. Nikko has always enjoyed and admired the skill of realistic art in any form.

Many tattooists go through stages of considering retiring from the industry due to many reasons, whether it be because of family or even just a shift in interest. When asked if Nikko is content, happy and comfortable in his career and lifestyle, he said, “I get to make art and I am happy with that.

So either it’s tattooing or painting, and I am grateful, so thanks”. He believes in doing what you love as your “job”, because no-on could ever be unhappy when they are content in life. There you can excel to the best of your abilities in what you love to do.

A rule of thumb most people strive for, but sadly never attain.


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