As a child they called me QUIQUI

“My father draws”- I was proud, I’m proud of it now. I’m certain this is what i was thinking the first time I picked up a pencil.

All the kids do it, look at Maradona on TV and they kick the ball around and for me it was the same: I saw my dad use colors and I went out of my mind. I have never let that pencil go, not when I smoked my first joint or the when i smoked my last foil or even when my decisions were leading me down the wrong road, one that I didn’t belong on.

Drawing and design has been a part of me since I was very young; the first time I got a telling off was when i had drawn on my bedroom wall.

At twelve I discovered graffiti and the world of hip-hop born in America … “OLD SCHOOL”, old school of lettering from New York appealed to me right away and so, from one moment to the next, every day I practiced patiently; I arrived early to school in order to draw and design letters on a piece of paper and I was going to sleep late at night for the same reason … that year I failed, just like the next, and in the meantime I started doing drugs and began to losing the relationship with my father. I had a talent and I’ve cultivated it as it should have been, I’ve remained myself and those colors have become my outlet, sad and senseless.

At sixteen I discovered tattooing and my dream of becoming a tattoo artist was born. The year after I came here to San Patrignano, with my left arm full of small and faded and mistaken tattoos telling my story, memories of a bad period, I will cover them one day.

thinking about it drawing comes from a lot of things: I designed for love, friendship, happiness or sadness, to protest, anger, to remember and don’t forget or simply because I had nothing better to do… now that I’m doing better I design because it makes me feel good, it is no longer a way to isolate myself from the world and that to me is important. I know I want to draw and design for a living, it is my dream. For now i have committed myself to the program here at San Patrignano and to try and tear out of me something important and serious from my passion, like I never did before. This year I am going back to school, graphic school I’ve chosen a profession; I can’t wait.

I want to make my family proud … they used to call me “QUIQUI” from when I was a baby and so I decided that the first tattoo I’ll get to cover the old ones has to be that name and must represent something beautiful, rebirth … a flower that blooms after the storm.

Leandro