Fernando Unda: Reshaping LA’s Tattoo Landscape, One Micro-Realism Masterpiece at a Time

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In the sprawling, sun-drenched City of Angels, where countless dreamers dare to transform their visions into reality, creativity thrives at every corner. Street art, murals, and cultural festivals splash the city with a vibrant palette, narrating tales of its diverse spirit. The city’s energy echoes through all forms of artistic expression, from music and film to the visual arts. In the middle of this prolific creative landscape, tattoo culture has carved out its niche, transforming Los Angeles into a global hub for some of the world’s best ink.

One of the creators at the heart of the ink revolution is Fernando Unda, a gifted tattoo artist who recently graced LA’s art scene with his unique style. Having honed his skills in Mexico and Denmark, Fernando has brought a blend of cultural influences and a singular flair to the LA tattoo scene.

Detailed and personal, Fernando’s tattoos beautifully represent his clients’ desires while combining micro-realism and geometric design. Renowned for intricate black and white pieces, Fernando chose to specialize in micro-realism, motivated by artists like Oskar Akermo, who pioneered the field.

And so, rather than just perfecting his skills on larger pieces, Fernando embraced the challenge of smaller-scale tattoos. “Contrary to common belief, smaller tattoos require more expertise, patience, and skill. People often assume larger pieces are more difficult, but when executed correctly, smaller ones demand greater precision.”

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Fernando’s artistic approach is further characterized by his preference for combining traditional and single needles in his work rather than exclusively using single needles. His technique ensures that the pieces don’t fade and rarely need touch-ups.

“Bigger needles are challenging to work with for tiny pieces, but they result in better healing. I use a technique called Magnums, involving large groups of needles, which ensures that my pieces heal better and last longer,” Fernando adds.

Fernando’s approach to tattooing is methodical and personalized. When stepping into his booth, clients are not just walking into a tattoo session. They sign up for an intimate conversation exploring the vision and motivation behind the tattoo(s) they want.

As each piece carries a unique story, Fernando blends his clients’ stories with his distinctive style, crafting tattoos that are aesthetically appealing and rich with meaning and emotion.

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“During the consultation, I asked my clients about the motivation behind the tattoo, why they chose me as their artist, and the main elements they wanted to include in order of importance. This helps me understand what the piece represents to them,” Fernando explains.

While new to the LA scene, Fernando has been steadily gaining recognition, and he currently has his own corner at Ganga Tattoo, a famous shop favored by big names like Post Malone and LeBron James. Located in the cultural mosaic of Los Angeles, Ganga Tattoo has made a name for itself in the body art world, offering high-end tattoo experiences, including a ‘No Pain’ procedure.

Fernando’s can be booked via private messages, the first step to securing an appointment. After the initial correspondence, Fernando requires a deposit to reserve the day for the session since he works on a daily basis rather than per piece. Even though it hasn’t been long since he moved from Denmark to LA, his schedule fills up quickly, and he is typically booked a month in advance.

Despite his remarkable success so far, Fernando shows no signs of stopping. In fact, he hopes to expand his art and career even further, with his eyes set on opening a shop in New York.

Most of all, Fernando is excited about sharing his art online, not solely to boost his popularity but to challenge existing stereotypes and remind the world that a tattoo is much more than ink on the skin. As he puts it, “Tattoos are living stories etched into the skin. Much more than ink, they’re proof of people’s life journeys and a mirror reflecting their soul.”

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