Photo-Realistic Tattoo Pro

By: :C.A 2/1/12

Gabriel Ayala - Mainline Ink Tattoos

We are proud to include in our art gallery the clean and well detailed art portfolio of professional tattoo artist and Mainline Ink tattoo shop owner Gabriel Ayala Sr. of Friendswood, Texas.

Ayala, 33, has been tattooing for 19 years so there probably isn't anything Ayala hasn't already tattooed. This seasoned tattoo artist has one very impressive portfolio (View Photos) and is a master of photo-realistic portraits and other styles of art.

Sketching a human face on paper is one thing, but tattooing it into skin is a whole different beast. A simple slip of the hand, or one shade too many can ruin the photo realistic quality of a human portrait. Ayala learned the tricks of that tedious trade after years of practice and can tattoo a portrait with eyes that appear to be watching you and properly shade the human facial curves so many tattoo artists fear.



Gabriel Ayala's amazing skill of art is an inspiration to many and so is his life story. Ayala was only 14 years old when he first starting tattooing with a sloppy homemade tattoo gun. Tattooing with a homemade tattoo gun is kind of like trying to draw with a pencil with a fractured tip but that didn't stop Ayala from learning how to shoot the straight, crisp lines he is known for.

By the time Ayala was 17 he was almost a pro but he wanted to learn more. Ayala's mother recognized her sons great talent so she wrote down the phone number of a local tattoo shop after seeing a help wanted sign posted on its window. The shop, Barrio Artz Tattoos belonged to artist Joel Cevallos who has now passed away and his brother David Obregon. The shops owners were impressed by Ayala's art skills and admired his persistence. "They took me under there wings and showed me everything they knew about tattoos." says Ayala. "I love them like brothers. If not for them I might not be were I am today."



Ayala learned about respect and loyalty while working at Barrio Artz Tattoos where old school tattoo artists did not put up with bullying or belittling of any kind. Ayala would eventually solidify his experience in tattooing by working with Barrio Artz Tattoos and other reputable Houston area tattoo shops. Ayala met many talented tattoo artists who taught him hundreds of different tattooing techniques.



Believing in himself, Ayala decided to take a big risk and open up his own tattoo shop. Ayala knew that having good art skills was only half the requirement of running a successful tattoo shop. The other half required being a good manager and having a team you could count on. Ayala credits a former boss he once worked for named Walter Jones for showing him good leadership skills and an example of good work ethics. In 2000 Ayala opened up his first tattoo shop, Lasting Impressions Tattoos.

Ayala would have to continue tattooing clients AND manage and maintain his small business. Things didn't work out as Ayala had hoped for. Ayala made the difficult yet necessary decision to close down his beloved shop, Lasting Impressions Tattoos after 6 years of great service.



Being the persistent fellow that he is, Ayala transferred all of his energy into helping his friend Steveo Yates own and operate Mainline Ink, a tattoo shop in Friendswood, Texas. Mainline Ink was loaded with potential since it now included Ayala and his crisp and realistic tattoo talent. Mainline Ink would eventually gain a solid reputation and attract dozens of clients from the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area.



Ayala runs Mainline Ink using a mixture of leadership skills he learned from Joel Cevallos (RIP), David Obregon, Walter Jones and other mentors he met while reaching his goals. Ayala's shop consists of a dependalbe staff of artists who treat eachother like family and most importantly offer clients a chance to get the tattoo of their dreams.

Ayala says that he would have never been where he is today if it hadn't been for the support of two important figures in his life.

"I thank God for giving me the talent to be able to create something from nothing and my parents for their unconditional support."



(281) 996-1153 -

Location: 2525 W Bay Area Blvd Ste F Friendswood, TX 77546
Hours 3 - Midnight

El Paso Texas artists Eduardo & Lorena Aguilar