Tony Mancia Interview
by Tattoo Masters Magazine UK
Describe yourself in 140 characters twitter style.
My name is Tony Mancia. I live for art and tattooing; it has consumed my life and I have no regrets about that. I do my best to keep progressing and find ways to push my art to the next level. I like visual things and love to travel. I find people watching to be one of the best ways to realize who you are, and where you stand in this world. That's about it.
How long have you been tattooing?
I've been tattooing for about 4 1/2 years now.
How long have you been with ALL OR NOTHING?
I've been working at All or Nothing since March of 2009.
Where DID you live before coming to Atlanta?
I used to live in Kingston, Pa!
How did you come to ALL OR NOTHING, tell us the story!?!
It is actually a great story, at least for me. When I first started tattooing, I didn't know where or how to further my art. As a beginner, I would look at every tattoo magazine and always see All or Nothing. About 2 years into tattooing, I wanted to make an appointment with Brandon, to get my left sleeve done. When I called the studio, they told me his waiting time, and as an uneducated tattooer at the time, I decided I did not want to wait. The thought was always in my head of how the artists there were so good.
As I started getting better, I tattooed a friend from a local shop. She was always on the All or Nothing Forums, and I think she posted something about me, or a picture of the tattoo I did on her. A few weeks later, I got a comment, on that picture, on MySpace, from Brandon, saying that I should come and do a guest spot! So, the next day, I called Dave Tedder and set up the dates! After my guest spot, Dave and I were talking outside the studio, and he said if I wanted a job there it was mine. So, of course, I said yes! That's my story.
What brought you to move to Atlanta to work at ALL OR NOTHING?
The main reason I moved was to be around other artists that had the same drive that I do. I had never been in a studio where everyone works together and supports each other. And that's what All or Nothing is... a Family.
What is your favorite type of tattooing to do?
I really enjoy anything that morphs and has motion. I am fascinated with architecture and renaissance art, so it is a strong influence in my work.
What machines do you use? How many do you set up for a substantial session?
I currently use Swash Drive machines; I love them and they work perfect for how I tattoo. I usually set up 3 machines for every tattoo. A liner with a 5 mag, and two shaders, a 15 and 9 mag.
What type of needles & groupings do you prefer? How did you come to
start using them?
I like Mythra and eternal needles. And, I like long taper needles. I use a 15 mag for about 95% of the tattoo, and then tighten up with a 9 mag and liner.
Is Brandon really a psychopath to work for?
Brandon is a very good and generous person to work for. He honestly does everything he can to help us and see us grow.
What has changed about your tattooing since you first walked in the
front door of ALL OR NOTHING?
The main thing that changed was my mindset. I wanted to create, and honestly had a lot to prove. And that was a great push for me.
Everyone that comes arrives at different times, so the list of artists
is always in flux. Who have YOU worked with, gotten tattooed by, met
or gotten to watch work since coming to ALL OR NOTHING? And how did
any of that affect you and your art.
I have been tattooed by some great artists and friends, inside and outside of All or Nothing. Every artist I get tattooed by has helped me and my career in many ways. I have only been tattooed by Short and Bird at All or Nothing. The main thing that has helped me from getting tattooed by them is that our styles are so different. So, it is a great way for me to learn and pick their brains.
What other type of art do you produce? Paintings, video, flash, graphics etc?
I am an art nerd! I love painting, though it is difficult to find the time. But, any chance I get, I paint.
Are you tired of people talking to you about dogs?
Luckily, not that many people talk to me about dogs, but, if it was as much as they talk to Brandon about dogs, yes, I would hate dogs!
How has your LIFE been changed since coming?
Well, it has changed in many ways. I live by myself and don't know many people. So, it is much easier for me to focus on work. I have also been traveling a lot since I moved. I do many overseas conventions and guest spots. Ha, one of these days I will take a vacation, but I can't seem to do anything that does not involve work.
Was there ever a time when you realized you had figured this out or
had an "art epiphany" about your own growth as a tattooer?
Yes, there was a time when I realized that I was going in the right direction. But, it was disappointing when I realized it, because it only made me want to do better. And, I realized that I will never get to where I want to, but that's a good thing.
What kind of inks do you use?
I use a mix of Dynamic and Alla Prima for my black. And, mainly use eternal for my color.
What is it like to work with so many artists from all over every day?
It is the most rewarding thing ever. Every day is a constant inspiration for me!
What types of tattoos would you LIKE to do, like if you could start
doing any specific style a lot, what would it be?
Well, I mainly only work in a specific style. I don't really know what to call it, but I would say a mix of realism and conceptual art. Ha, it's great to say that I can normally do what I want and my clients love it!
Tell me about your kids (if you've got any?)
No kids! I just turned 23, and I can barely deal with a girlfriend. So, if I had a kid, I wouldn't know what to do. And, if I had a kid, it would probably be an ass, like I was when I was young, so I don't want to have to deal with that.
What do you love about tattooing the most?
The fact that I can create my art and put it on someone is the best feeling. It is, and always will be, incredible to me that you can share such a personal interaction with another person, and you both can be proud of the outcome.