Today's #TattooArtist Thursday Interview is with Falefitu Taefu, or as we call him, Fitu. A true born Samoan who has carried his traditions with him all the way for New Zealand; here to Canada. We're proud to call him family. Hope you enjoy the interview.
First Name: Falefitu
Last Name: Taefu
City: Redcliff, Alberta, Canada
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Tell us about yourself Fitu, Your Age?, Where you're from? Where you Tattoo?
A: Im Falefitu Taefu, I'm Samoan, born and raised in New Zealand. I'm 27 years of age, and I tattoo out of Monsters Ink Tattoos in Medicine Hat :)
Q: Who was your greatest influence in the art scene that made you want to become a Tattoo Artist?
Who do you look up to within the Industry? Do you have mentors that make you strive to be better?
A: I have family that are tattooist, my uncle Su'a Suluape Paulo, who has passed away, was a great influence on me when I was young. My mom would take me to watch him tattoo in Otara, South Auckland New Zealand. Growing up around it, and most importantly, as part of my culture learning the art and being Samoan it's just in me. My Mentors are my family, I strive for them, and they push me to be better. Tattooing here, in the western culture, Monty Ricken is my mentor here in Canada; he took me under his wing and gave me a shot. He influences my black and grey when I'm not doing traditional work.
Q: Please explain to our fans what your specific style is? You have such a unique style in the Tattoo industry, how would you describe it?
A: I'm a Samoan traditional Tattooist. Every design is made to fit the person; it's always different with every person's story. The tatau or tattoo tells a story throughout the symbols or motifs of the tattoo. And every traditional tattoo I do, I freehand on skin with a skin pen, connecting with the client as they explain their story with me.
Q: Please tell us about the first Tattoo Memory you have. That moment that sparked it all.
A: When my mom took me to watch my uncles Su'a Suluape Paulo and Gafa Mose do traditional tattoo sessions. And growing up around my dad seeing his traditional pe'a, sparked it.
Q: Are you a traveling Artist? Do you attend Conventions or Guest Spots across or in other countries?
A: I'm hoping to travel in the near future but having my wife and my 3 young daughters is hard for myself to go far. But I've done the Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge and Regina Tattoo Conventions so far and hopefully more soon :)
Q: How do you feel about today's Tattoo Conventions?
A: It's very inspirational to see different, talented and very gifted tattooist from all over. Sharing the same love and passion with other tattooist
Q: The Evil Question: Coil or Rotary ... Which are you loyal to?
A: I'm a Rotary fan, very smooth and consistent :)
Q: What inspires your specific style of art?
A: My Roots, My Culture and my Family.
Q: Any upcoming projects that our fans should keep an eye out for?
A: I am currently working on some Samoan T-Shirt Designs for Men and Women. I am very excited about that.
Q: What advice do you have for someone that wants to follow in your path? What is your advice to new artists on the brink of entering into this career?
A: Follow your dreams, stay true, have faith in yourself and stay hungry
Q: We always like to ask the harder questions, dig a little deeper than everyone else. Can you tell us 3 things that most people wouldn't know about you?
1. I'm a Samoan Chief
2. I'm Married to a Beautiful Canadian woman
3. I have 3 beautiful Samoan Canadian Princesses
Q: Weeding out all of the social influences, as we're bombarded every day with thousands of Tattoo images; is there any up and comers that you've got your eye on? Who are they and what is it that's tweaked you about their style?
A: I don't know how long he's tattooed for but I follow him on Instagram! His name is @travisgreenough and he tattoos out of Closed Casket custom tattoos Ajax Ontario! If I'm not tattooing my style of work, I'm tattooing black n grey work, and I really admire his work.
Q: Out of the thousands of Tattoo's you've done, is there one that you can specifically say is your best? That piece that just puts that smile on your face? Can you share it with us?
A: This is my favorite piece, I fixed the top that is not mine but i love how it turned out
Thank you for this interview Fitu, It's been an honest pleasure to work with you and we can't wait to see where this #PrimalFamily takes us. Hopefully we can see each other again soon, Safe Travels until then.
Our last Question: Everyone has a saying, a mantra; mine is "It is what it is". What is the quote you live by?
A: "Be better than you were yesterday"
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