Who is Rob the Original?
Rob is the owner of Rob The Original Barber Shop in San Antonio, Texas in the United States. He doesn’t just cut hair but makes the hair his canvas (carving designs like the above image of Cardi B’s WAP album). Along with his artistic barber skills, Rob is known for a variety of art styles and testing different mediums.
“I consider myself an artist before a barber. I actually consider barbering as one of my hobbies and as an art medium” says Rob. His barber career is just one of many outlets for his creativity. You can often find Rob the Original creating sand art, painting celebrities (literally, see his work on Jailyne Ojeda Ochoa), carving wood and concrete walls to display portraits of famous celebrities. From Selena Quintanilla to Tupac, Rob can do it all.
About His Art
We asked what his first portrait was, to which he responded, “The very first portrait that I did on a haircut was a Tupac portrait. It wasn’t the best because it was a concept back in 2008 but it was just an idea.” He continued with, “Why shouldn’t I try to do a portrait? A lifelike image helped my career in ways where I’ve gained respect from barbers all over the world”. We then asked what inspires him to create and he responded, “I get inspired by other artists that I see online. Recently I started doing art on burnt toast, which I saw from another artist so I thought that was super amazing, and I wanted to try it.” Check out his work of Kylie Jenner on toast.
Occasionally, Rob will use his art to make a political statement, from a portrait of Donald Trump’s hair blowing, George Floyd, and Post Malone smoking a joint. Infringe interviewed Rob and asked if it ever bothered him that his art only exists temporarily, to which Rob responded, “It does not bother me that my art is temporary. I always take lots of pictures and videos,” which he shares with his 1.3 million Instagram followers and 450K+ followers on TikTok. Find his art on Instagram @Robtheoriginal and TikTok @officialrobtheoriginal.
Rob’s social media presence landed him Barber of the Year at the Star-Studded American Influencer Awards. The nominees for the award was “based on public input, an advisory board, the creative content produced and engagement it garners, and growth rate,” and according to the American Influencer Awards, it must have “the ability to positively influence”. Rob possessed all of these traits and won the 2020 Barber of the Year Influencer Award. He told MySA after winning the award that this was “another huge accomplishment for a Mexican that started cutting hair on the Southside of San Antonio”.
Rob’s Tattoo History
Not only does he work with art, he is covered with it too. “All of my tattoos are from different people. A lot of my tattoos I got done here in San Antonio, Texas”. He also pointed out his newest tattoo which is a portrait of Tupac done by tattoo artist David Vega in Austin, Texas. Rob told us that David “is a world renowned tattoo artist and his work is amazing.” We asked about where some of his work has been done and he told us that “whenever I go to other countries, If I can find a tattoo artist, I like to get tattooed. It’s kind of like a souvenir on my body instead of buying gifts” and continued with “I think that tattoos are cool because it has a story behind it. I actually want to become a tattoo artist. In 2021, I want to start practicing and taking it seriously. I love tattoos and I have always wanted to be a tattoo artist”.
Why Rob Chose Tattoo Removal
Although he has many pieces that he loves, there are some early tattoos that he would like removed. When asking Rob the Original about the tattoo being removed, he mentioned, “I really like the meaning behind it, but it was done really poorly and when I was 18 years old,” referring to the large “San Diego” SD on his chest. Rob got the tattoo after he had moved from San Diego to San Antonio as a young adult. He wanted to represent where he was from and show respect to San Diego by getting the SD tattooed on his chest. Now that he is older and has more art, Rob has decided to remove this tattoo and replace it.
Rob’s Cover Up Plans
We asked Rob if he has any plans to cover up his tattoo and he said, “Most definitely, I love tattoos and I want to get tattoos over the area that I will be getting removed”. When asking if he had a plan in place, he stated “I still haven’t found the right piece for my chest but I want it to be one whole piece. I don’t want to get little pieces anymore. I want to get one big piece.”
About Tattoo Removal
For Rob’s SD tattoo, with the ink density and scale, it is best for him to laser remove his tattoo instead of opting for a cover up. With laser removal, Rob can completely remove the tattoo and replace it with another work of art. We asked Carmen, the VP of Clinical Operations for Removery, what she thought of Mr. Original’s tattoo.
“This is a very heavily saturated tattoo. I’m assuming given his other work he wants black and grey, which almost always has a lot of negative space, so this is why he’s looking for full removal. His cover up is certainly doable, but we will have to clear more ink for him than if he wanted to put any other type of tattoo on top. To prepare for black and grey, we have to completely clean the canvas. Removal is possible; it just may take some additional time”.
Rob visits Removery in San Antonio, Texas. If you’re like Rob and have some work you would like faded or removed for a cover up, book a free consultation.