Kevin Jesus Ortiz-Rubio | Keeping Tattoos Alive

Meet the Los Angeles-based tattoo artist with a deep love for the old-school form

Written by

Aitor Saumell

Photographed by

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Meet Kevin Jesus Ortiz-Rubio, a 29-year-old tattoo artist known as KEVINKS777. Originally from Pico Rivera, a small city in southern California, Kevin spent much of his formative years in the Echo Park neighborhood of LA. Now living in Chinatown, the heart of downtown Los Angeles, Kevin has established himself as a artist putting his own unique spin on tattoos. With over a decade of experience honing his craft, his creativity and style is inspired by the individuals path of life.The Kevin’s passion for his art form shines through in each and every masterful tattoo he creates. Get to know Kevin - the artist, the storyteller, the visionary keeping the spirit of old school tattooing alive with a modern twist - in this exclusive profile. According to Kevin, “Tattooing is my life. It’s allowed me to connect with so many amazing people and share my gift. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”

What inspired you to become a tattoo artist?

El Rancho High School Art teacher, Ms. Leal had suggested for me to try Tattooing. She planted the seed in my head. Tried it right before graduating, and never stopped.

How did you learn tattooing? Did you go to school or apprentice under a mentor?

I’m self taught. I taught myself how to Tattoo without any mentor, apprenticeship, or School. I simply forced myself to watch YouTube videos, IG Tattoo Artists, studied the game to the point I was learning everything hands on through trial and error. With Consistent practice I developed a skill.

How long have you been tattooing professionally?

I’ve been Tattooing professionally for over 5 years.

What is your favorite style of tattoo to do? Traditional? Realism? Blackwork? etc.

I’ve been focused on being a diverse artist, so I’m able to cater to all styles. What I seem to enjoy a little more are the details in Realism. All the intricacies.

Do you have any tattoos yourself? If so, what are they of?

I Tattooed my left arm when I was 18, & had no Tattoo knowledge or experience whatsoever. It was a mark to express myself through what I was going through at the time. A lot of Trauma I was fighting through. Tattooing has always been an Escape for me. So I began tattooing inspirational quotes to look up to myself. Either I look up to me or fail. So I tattooed ‘high power’ ‘777’ ‘value yourself’ & a lot more! 777 Tattoo I’ve done twice on my left hand. Since it means so much to me. It symbolizes a ‘Jackpot feeling’. To feel WORTHY every day as if “I WON THE JACKPOT!!” I had to Psych myself into being brutally positive in a negative environment.

What are some tips for a first time tattoo client?

Anything they should know or do to prepare? Come mentally prepared. Drink plenty of water the day before your appointment. Eat a big meal before Arriving. Get some extra rest. So pain tolerance is much higher. Come prepared with an concrete idea, or come prepared with references ready to present that way the stencil/design can be prepared beforehand, if at all possible, to save time. Some cases designs are prepared in person so no worries l. Preparing as much as possible before appointment is key.

What part of the body tends to be the most painful for tattooing?

Basically any body parts that doesn’t hit the sun hurts the most; biceps, armpits, under the foot, palms, fingertips, inner thighs, head, neck, face.

Do you have a portfolio I could look at to see examples of your work?

My Insta page is my Digital Portfolio.

What size tattoos do you feel you do best?

Small, medium or large pieces? All sizes.

What is your sterilization and sanitization process like to ensure a safe and clean tattoo environment for clients?

Every piece of equipment used during procedure needs to be sanitized beforehand. Everything that will be touched is wrapped with a disposable. Everything wrapped must be disposed after every session is complete. Small or big tattoos, everything must be treated with high respect and care. 

Do you have an estimate for how much a small, medium and large tattoo might cost?

My minimum for a small little script or something is $200.  For something medium like a portrait is $500. For bigger works, like a half sleeve is $1200. I price my tattoos based off of the size and detail. I don’t charge by the hour. I randomly have free giveaways, random Hot Deals, random Raffles, stay tuned!

Photographed by Ilargi Creative Studio

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Aitor Saumell, Kevin Jesus Ortiz-Rubio, Tattoos, Tattoo Artist, Art