NAL is an LA based tattoo artist focusing on detailed fine line black and grey tattoos. Having grown up in LA and armed with his mother's background as an animator, NAL got his start in tattooing at the age of 16. His work has attracted a global audience from celebrities to LA locals alike and he continues to hone his craft at his private studio in the Art District of DTLA.

What inspired you to start tattooing and how long have you been tattooing?

I think what set off a chain of events was getting my first tattoo at 15. It sparked a curiosity to learn more so I bought a tattoo gun and started tattoo doodling on friends who were just as excited to get inked. My mother was also an animator so I've always loved illustration and had a short stint at art school during college before realizing I wanted to put all of my efforts into truly learning the craft. Between apprenticing with well known Chicano artist Nene and opening my studio in the Arts District last year, I've been tattooing professionally for 7 years.

Tattooing is competitive. How have you been able to maintain your great exposure in a city like LA?

Really focusing on my craft and being in tune with my clients. I'm also from LA and having experienced many different parts of the city has afforded me to build relationships with clients of different backgrounds.


What is your favorite style of tattooing and why?

I was always heavily influenced by Chicano black and grey tattoos, especially because of the area of LA that I grew up in, but my true passion is small scale fine line black and grey. I love the challenge of small intricate detailed work whether it's capturing a mini version of a client's childhood home, delicate lettering, or classical sculptures. I see my work as creating jewelry like pieces that are intricately detailed yet very subtle.

Is there a ritual or routine you do before giving someone a tattoo?

Being in a good head space is extremely important for me prior to an appointment. An hour before the tattoo, I like to enjoy a cup of coffee and relax.

What attracted you to partner with Lacoste?

Lacoste has always been an iconic brand that to me represents sporty elegance. I love that they are spotlighting tattooing as a craft and the juxtaposition of the 2 worlds colliding is exciting.