lucasThis forearm piece is intended to show this persons love for the land, sea, air and fire. It is also a representation of his unity with family and ancestors. At the center is a compass motif that speaks of his past and future travels.
The overall paka shape is that of a hulu ‘io, or hawk feather. This relates to his aumakua and also symbolizes freedom. The symmetry of the piece speaks to the intended duality of the overall design which reinforces the efficacy of the tattoo.
This piece is done in Ana’ole style while its component pieces are done in traditional Marquesan, Maori and Hawaiian.

a) Hope vehine/ Kea/ Mata- this symbol represents the twin goddesses of tattoo, the turtle shell and the eye. Intended to glorify the art of tattoo, protect and look out for danger, respectively.

b) Mata hoata- brilliant eyes, this motif is meant to protect the wearer from unforeseen dangers and to protect the integrity of the tattoo itself.

c) I’ima- hand, this point is where the tattoo itself attaches to the wearer. The intention is to hold it fast to the body.

d) Koru- unfurling palm frond, this Maori motif is meant to convey the cycle of life, new beginnings and breath.

e) Heo’o- compass, this Marquesan motif represents direction and acts as a guide.

f) Ani ata-sky, heavens, ancestors, this motif represents the heavens and his ancestors as they watch over him.

g) Ama kopeka- fire, this motif celebrates the element of fire while also acting as a light to guide him through life.

h) Lau hala- this Hawaiian motif represents this persons connection with the land (aina) and his relatives.




To mark the first day of spring, March 20th, 2014 I am holding a contest to see what your take is on the Acid Cat. Show me your skills and feel free to add your style and creativity! Any medium is acceptable.

Contest ends April 20th. Winner will receive a large signed print of Acid Cat and an Inkmaster t-shirt. Runners-up will have their artwork posted on my website and blog.

Artists will retain copyright of all materials submitted. I will not reproduce or profit from any submissions.

Please make submissions using the ‘Contact Me’ link at,, as an attachment. Heading on email should read “Acid Cat Contest”. Please make sure you send a .jpeg file that is at the maximum 5×8 @72dpi.

I will not publish names, only your first and last initials and please include the state you live in as well as your age.

Winner will be announced on this site, on Facebook and my blog on April 21, 2014.

Show me what you got!


IMG_1027I did this female Polynesian piece yesterday. It is comprised of traditional and modern Marquesan, with Maori overtones. Had a lot of fun with it and look forward to working more with this client.
When composing Poly tattoos for female clients, I like to work with the flow of the body and believe that the overall piece should not overpower the femininity inherent in the female body. I also believe that less is more in this case and prefer a light and airy coverage that is extensive instead of packing a ton of motifs into a small space. I like to long, flowing paka that aren’t necessarily touching or attached, such as in male tattoo.

This piece was meant as a decorative with familial and protective elements.

Anyway, here is the breakdown. Peace!

a) tai: the sea, this speaks for her love of the ocean
b) lau niu: coconut fronds, this represents someone of high regard
c) maka: eye(s), placed on various parts of a tattoo the eyes are meant to warn of danger as well as give a human element to the tattoo itself
d) poka’a: opening/uterus, this symbolizes her role as a mother and giver of life and when used in mirror image conveys balance
e) hope vehine: twin goddesses of tattoo, this motif represents beauty, life, creation and protection
f) piko: belly button, representing her two children
g) this client had high regard for the number four, so inset along various parts of the tattoo are four niho (teeth)
h) koru: unfurling fern head, this Maori symbol is used here to represent new beginnings
i) hena/i’ima: hand, this motif acts to attach the tattoo to the body
j) u’uhe: piece of turtle shell, this motif is a feminine protective motif
k) ani ata: sky and heavens, this motif represents her deceased relatives
l) pa’aoa: whale, this motif represents trust, protection and unwavering friendship
m) tai: the sea
n) kaka’a: lizard, this represents tenacity but also her love of lizards!
o) maka: eye
p) hena/i’ima: hand
q) koru: the overall shape of the upper piece is that of a koru

DRbd1  DRbd2DRbd3

1017147_10151838627332455_347252365_n dannybd

Did this shoulder piece the other day. It contains Ana’ole as well as traditional and modern Marquesan and Maori motifs. This was a walk-in client and the overall piece was conceived as an aggressive, warrior-oriented design. The overall pauku was meant to resemble armor to some degree, that would be placed on the shoulder area.

Here is the breakdown of the paka:

a) ana’ole style, niho or teeth. This is meant to protect the tattoo and gives an aggressive appearance.

b) niho. For the same reasons as stated above and additionally, this traditional motif also forms the mouth of the mata hoata above it.

c) mata hoata. The brilliant eyes are meant to watch for any danger or threat to the individual.

d) niho peata, or shark teeth. These represent courage and power as well as protection in this piece.

e) koru. This Maori symbol represents the cycle of life and growth.

f) lauhala/a’aka hala. This weave pattern of leaves from the hala tree symbolize protection and unity.

g) hope vehine. This rendition of the symbol for the twin goddesses of tattoo represents protection.

note: f,g are fit into the overall shape, ka’ake, or uplifted arm, symbolizing strength that fortifies the overall piece.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for more. Aloha and Peace! R

I just had to post this picture from a roster of the contestants on IM4, from Inked magazine. Funny stuff!


Ink Master Season 4 Ink Master Season 4Alright, enough subterfuge, evasiveness and straight out lying.

The reason that I was on the East Coast this fall was because I was asked to be appear on season 4 of Spike TV’s Inkmaster!!!! Damn, that feels good to finally be able to say!

It was an awesome experience. I met some very talented folks both artists and on the production side of things. I made some friends for life, (maybe a frenemy or two) and just had the time of my life out there. I learned a lot about myself as a person and as an artist and look forward to what the future may bring.

It was brutal! I get slammed; everyone does really at some point, but damnation!

Anyway, I would like to thank my wife Anna for being my rock. She helped me to be what I am today, she believed in me and was there when I needed her. She convinced me to go; that it would be a wise career move and I owe all and any of my success to her.

I would also like to thank Adam and Peggy Everett. Two of the finest people you’ll ever know, and makers of the best ink on the planet. Without their support I certainly would not have had the tools to become the artist that I am today. Late night conversations with both Anna and Adam helped get me through some hard times in the loft. Their encouraging words went a long way in helping me stay grounded.

I would also like to thank my clients over the years, who have allowed me the honor of putting my artwork onto their bodies. Without you all I would not be a tattoo artist at all, and for that I am forever grateful. And a special shout out to my clients that I had to cancel on in order to appear on the show.

Finally I would like to thank my family and friends for believing in me and just for being who they are.

I’ve remodeled my shop and relaunched my website,, please feel free to check them both out.

So please stay tuned to this space as more announcements will be coming forth, but most importantly please watch Inkmaster season 4 when it premiers Tuesday, February 25 on Spike TV.

I’ll be your Huckleberry.

Peace and Aloha!
Follow me on Instagram: rolandpacheco808
Follow me on Twitter: Roland_Pacheco

video link to meet the artists:

Aloha all! Just thought that I’d post this Trash Polka arm piece that I did yesterday. The Latin phrase means “down time”. This person is a freediver and so wanted something to reflect his passion. Photo is from my iPhone and is very saturated in the red channel. I will post a healed pic ASAP.  Peace!tony