I’m Roman Abrego, owner of Artistic Element Tattoo in Yucaipa, California.I have been tattooing for nearly 20 years now and I’m best known for my bio-mechanical and realistic color portraits. I was really into art as a child but as I got older,I started getting into trouble, eventually ending up in jail. While in jail, I got back into art and started working on my artistic abilities. After being released, I started working with road construction and soon realized that I wanted to something else with my life. That's when I knew I wanted to pursue tattooing. Starting off out of my house not knowing what the hell I was doing, I eventually made my way into a shop, where I started to grow as a tattoo artist, with other artistslike Mike Cole, Carson Hill and John Graafesurrounding. After tattooing for nearly five years, I opened up my own shop, Artistic Element, with my best friend Cholo. Artistic Element has been open for over 13 years now and has become to be known as one of the top shops, even with it being located in the small town of Yucaipa. I focus now on being a father to my three amazing children and still pushing myself as a top artist in the industry.
I developed my bio-mechanical work because the artists I started working with were all doing amazing mechanical and geometric work like Mike Cole and Carson Hill and that really pushed me and I've always loved realism and wanted to push myself in doing that. My influences are H.R. Giger, Boris Vallejo, Cory Cudney, Mike Cole, Mike DeVries and Nikko Hurtado and all the new amazing artists that I find myself looking up to now.
I used to consistently go to conventions all over the world but slowed down to spend more time with my kids, but I plan on picking it up again and going to as many as I can.
Why I use Cheyenne
Going to jail made me realize I wanted to do more with my life and got me back into art. My grandfather, Art Escamilla, is a painter and would have all his grandchildren begin to paint at a young age. When I was released I started doing road construction with my stepdad but I knew I wanted to do more and then my uncle Jerry gave me my first tattoo machine and that's when I knew what I wanted to do!
I've been using Cheyenne for so long now it's what I'm most comfortable with and being able to use multiple needle configuration with the same machine makes it super convenient. I believe I was the first American artist to start using Cheyenne machines. I love all Cheyenne machines.