“The Rock star syndrome! LOL It's funny how people in the industry can come across, very cocky, full of BS"
So tell us who is Angel? Where did you grow up and what is your background?
My name is Angel Araujo (Grace ) I’m originally from Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, in a city called Cabo Frio, with an amazing beach and where I grew up. I always loved to draw, and my mum said that I was able to draw cartoon characters, in small size and up to A4, all before I could write. When I was teenager I liked to listen to Rage Against the Machine, Pearl Jam, System of Down, all whilst riding my skateboard. One summer I particularly remember. I was working as a waitress in a restaurant by the sea with my auntie, and one day she decided to get an eyebrow piercing, so we went to a henna tattoo and piercing store in a market near the beach and it was the first time I saw someone get a piercing and I thought it was fascinating. I also saw people doing henna tattoos and permanent tattoos in the back of a van, which was crazy. They had this car setup for tattoos and piercings, I had no doubt that's what I wanted to do for life. So I started working with henna tattoos at the age of 15 until I made enough money to get my first motorbike, which was a second hand 600 Yamaha Tenere. I was ridding around 15 or 16 years old with no license! I thought I was the coolest girl in town LOL and thats how everything started.
You're a Tattoo and Graffiti artist what came first and which do you prefer?
Tattooing came first far before graffitti, but I used to make tags as a teenager in Brazil, which we call "pixacao", which is a big part of cultural and political expression. I really enjoy both. They're very different, yet they complement each other in so many ways, so it's not a question I can really answer, haha, sorry!
How would you describe your artistic style?
I've always enjoyed doing lettering, before I could tattoo, back in the day, when a printer was not available, having calligraphy was an important thing, and I always enjoyed the process of writing, so when it came to tattoos that played alot in my favour. Instead of using books, before printers, I worked my way around by developing my own letters. As a teenager I did a lot of tags in the street, whilst also designing the front cover page of assignments due in school.
with great influences from chicano style and street art, gothic letters, sign writing with a massive twist of dark lettering but I'm still evolving my own style.
In your opinion what makes a great artist and what advice do you have for beginners trying to get a foothold in such an over saturated, fast paced industry?
I believe in the tattoo industry right now, to be a great artist is a mix of a number of factors that all bind together, to get you at the top of the game. Now with social media available as a tool, it's much easier to expose your ideas for people so they can reach out to you, it takes a lot of time. Apart from the technical aspect of tattooing, the whole composition process, which can take years to learn, but you still keep learning for the rest of your life. For those starting now, enjoy this new generation of artists, as much as it is oversaturated, we never had so much easy access to everything, information, media, materials, in such an easy and fast way. You need to pursue, be persistent in order to succeed, It does take time, but it's worth it!
Many artists have a philosophy or motivation behind their work...what would you say is yours?
My philosophy is God .With my faith I pursue to do better each day of my life and also in my work. Jesus saved me and gave me a new life, so I grabbed it with both hands and I'm trying to make my best of it.
Are there any dislikes you have with the scene that you are involved in?
The Rock star syndrome! LOL It's funny how people in the industry can come across, very cocky, full of BS, because they've accomplished a title or have recognition, or even self nominated, greater and better than you. So therefore I will look down to whatever is beneath me. It's sad but it also makes me laugh. But I do also know a lot of very top artists, very humble, and pleasant to be around, so that kind of balances things out. Lol.
Are there any artists past or present that you take inspirations from and why?
Oh yes! On a personal level, I'm very inspired by my two friends Rodriguo Solto and Cesar Mesquita, in the way they conduct themselves, that really pushed me forwards and everytime that I struggled. On an artistic level, I can't deny the huge influence of many lettering artists, such as Edgy Letters from South Korea, my bro Nerok from Manchester. weeeman32, Angel Bustos and of course the big Gromov, from Russia.
Here at The Hobo Journal we love to travel hence the name, where is the best place you have visited and why?
Lucerne, in Switzerland, it's great because I've had some of the best times on my own. It's very picturesque, and I had the best mornings running around the lake before work, and had some quiet and quality time before I went to work. I worked with great friends at Los Hermanos, one of my favourite places.
More images below from Danny Woodstock Photographer