Suluape Steve

Being of mixed heritage half Samoan, Sicilian and Irish, is probably why I took an interest in art and tattooing. It's in the blood.....I have been tattooing since 1991, had an early start at home when I was 15 in Southern California tattooing my friends and other kids from high school with a homemade machine. Although I never had a formal apprenticeship, I learned I alot of this on my own. I am blessed to have good friends and family that have helped me out along the way.

My life and work as a tattoo artist has been influenced by a great many. All the great tattoo artist now, my friends, and peers. People I have met over the years and those that came before me of course. My family, heritage, and what I see and experience being my motivation and inspiration in my art.

Meeting Su'a Suluape Petelo here in Hawaii through a good friend of mine Suluape Aisea, has been the biggest influence of mine, and as my mentor and friend. Accepting me into his family, allowing me carry the Sulu'ape title, and teaching me about the art of traditional Samoan tattooing. For all his teachings and advice I am grateful. Learning this has given me a different perspective to my approach with my tattoos. This also applies to my work with machines and doing custom freehand neo-polynesian tattoos. With this I give to my clients through my art, and put my heart and soul into my work. Everyday and every piece I do serves as a stepping stone into learning more about my work and how I can appraoch it and make the necessary changes to make it asthetically pleasing to the clients eye.