Saturday, April 2, 2016

Businesses in Rocinha: Diego Rossi Tattoo Studio

Yesterday I first met Diego Rossi when Andrew had his tattoo work being done. I was really impressed by Diego. As someone who is a tattoo addict, I am very critical of people who call themselves tattoo artists. So, I went back today to get more information from Diego at his studio called "Diego Rossi Tattoo Studio"

As from the photo above, many would be shocked as they would think from the outside that this tattoo shop would be a dump. Life in favelas can be deceiving. Many houses and businesses from the outside look in very poor conditions, but when you enter, its a different world.

When I enter any tattoo studio, the first thing I do is look around at the environment. What is the set up, where are the materials the artist uses. Are the needles in sterilized packaging? Is the place organized? And most important, Is the place clean? Are hygeine standards being followed?

As soon as I walked in I was impressed. I told Andrew yesterday that while he was getting his work done that, the place is very clean. The floor, no dirt, the desk immaculate. The white foldable table was covered in plastic and clean disposable towels were being used. There is a small sink and toilet area off behind a wall. The front sliding door entrance has tinted windows to help block out the sun and reduce heat. The studio has a fully functioning quiet air conditioning system and WiFi for those who need to surf the internet. I mentioned these things because the place is not very big but Diego has enough space to move around his clients to do his work.  Some photos of his studio.

Diego Rossi in his new Tattoo studio with his certifications above on the wall.

I decided to get more information from Diego a 29 year old transplant from Espirito Santo and resident of Rocinha for only 4 years.

How did you find out about Rocinha?
- When I first came to Rio I lived in a favela that was run by militias, then moved to Bonsucesso. I had a friend who lived in Arpoador who worked as a moto taxi driver in Rocinha. He took me through Rocinha showing me the place. When I got to the top of Rocinha in Laboriaux, I was amazed at the view and how beautiful it was. So I came to move here.

Why did you move to Rocinha?
- This place, we have everything. I never seen a favela have so much. We have 3 banks here, any type of restaurant, good transportation with buses that go through here. So many things that other favelas don't have.

How did you get into Tattooing?
- I started off doing tattoos as a hobby in my house about 5 years ago. Many people liked my work and my reputation grew. I then got the opportunity to work in a tattoo studio called Pipoca Tattoo on Rua 4.

How did you come to be in this new location?
- It was time for me to start something on my own. I have only been here at this place since January.

What do you see for your future?
- I enjoy living in Rocinha. I want to develop my business and buy a house here. I have no plans to leave Rocinha.

What are your prices?
- Tattoos start at 50 reais and increase in price determined by time, details and size of the piece. I can do custom work as well. People are free to walk in for a consultation.

What are your hours?
- Monday through Friday 11:00am until 10:00pm
Saturday from 11:00am until 6:00pm

How can people contact you?
- They can send me a message through my facebook page, come to my studio for a consultation or they can call me.

If you are coming from the Gavea side of the hill, his studio is directly across the street from where some artists sell their works to tourists.

Photo by Diego Rossi with Andrew Ritchie of Birmingham, England.