Carlos

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Carlos EGW Golf Collage

Carlos Torres

Age 43, Tattoo Artist

"There’s just something about being out there. It’s beautiful. It’s about hanging out with your friends and getting out there. We’re going to be terrible, but we’re going to have a great time. Every time I go out there I think, “damn, I could be in a worse place right now."

Every now and then me and my homeboys would play a nice course, and we didn’t get the most welcome looks, but we also didn’t care. We don’t get those looks anymore. I feel like we belong. Or maybe we just took over.

As a kid I lived down the street from a comic bookstore. I was super nerdy and really into art. In my high school, if you weren’t causing problems, they kind of left you alone so I didn’t get much direction; but I was getting more involved in art and I thought I was going to be an art teacher. I grew up in a pretty rough neighborhood. I had a lot of friends that were homeboys, and they knew I could draw. We got our hands on a homemade tattoo machine and they were like “you can draw, you’re gonna tattoo us.”

In those days, I was working at the airport and tattooing people every couple of weeks. I was a full-on homeboy and, looking like I did, no one wanted to give me an apprenticeship. Then, one of my friends got out of prison and was like “I’m gonna open a tattoo shop and you’re gonna work for me,” and I never went back to the airport. That’s how I first got to work in a shop. I was working in a super crazy area, trying to get noticed by a few artists and eventually a couple of the best artists at that time took notice and took me on as an apprentice. I like telling stories with tattoos. I sit with a client and get an idea of what they want and come up with some wild story and help put the pieces together for them. It’s kind of my process, I really like being a storyteller.

I started golfing in about 2000. I had a terrible break up with a girl. My cousin dragged me out because he had an 18 pack and I was like “oh ok, we can drink!” It started with just having drinks and we would hit some good shots and be like “wait, how did I do that?!” We started to sober up when playing and paying more attention. And our group got bigger, soon there were 5 to 10 homeboys playing. You can imagine the looks our group got on the course. Artists don’t usually like sports. But I’ll put something (golf related) on my Instagram and get all these messages from other tattoo artists that golf is like their dirty little secret and they’re like “what! I can’t wait to come back out and play with you!”

There’s just something about being out there. It’s beautiful. You shouldn’t be having a bad day. It’s about hanging out with your friends and getting out there. We’re going to be terrible, but we’re going to have a great time. Every time I go out there I’m thinking “damn I could be in a worse place right now. "

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