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For the Love of Art ~ Small Business Award
For the Love of Art Honorees: First row: Hector Guzman (Plano Symphony Orchestra, Legacy Award) and Libby Holtmann (Plano Public Library, Special Recognition Award); second row from left: Dollie Thomas (Arts Leadership Award), Riley Graygrove (NTPA Starcatchers, Organization Award), Graciela Katzer (Volunteer Award), Jim Gilbreath representing event 1013, Impressario Award); Tony Holman (Artist Award), Rodney Carrera (Anomaly Lifestyle Art & Tattoo, Small Business Award), David Downs (representing Chris Krupa Downs, Patron Honoree).
Rodney is an award-winning artist who has received recognition at local Texas tattoo conventions including ‘Best of Day’ at the Ink Life Tour and ‘Small Black & Grey’ at the South Texas Tattoo Fiesta. Anomaly Lifestyle Art & Tattoo was recognized as the highest rated tattoo shop in Plano on the Best Rated website. Rodney tattooed in the Dallas area until opening his own studio in Plano in 2017.ArtCentre of Plano
Rodney says, “The arts are an outlet for people, of all forms. An expression. It allows one the freedom to showcase your own personal creativity. It’s a gift you get to share with those around you. It touches the emotions in a way logic and formulas cannot. The arts reach to your soul and tell a story. They pull you in and you get to share in that experience. Art stirs up emotions of all kinds. In reference to the type of skin art we do at Anomaly, we are taking people’s emotions, their life experiences, some joyous, some painful, and we are helping them to mark that moment of time forever. Some clients cry while telling their stories, some rejoice, some are mourning. Without the arts, none of us would ever be able to do this and it can be so important for one’s healing process.
Plano Arts and Events article
Local Artist Spotlight: Rodney Carrera, tattoo artist, owner Anomaly Lifestyle Art & Tattoo “Healing,” says Rodney Carrera, when asked what he hopes his tattoo art brings to his clients. “I hope people feel healing. Laughter, joy, peace, healing. “Carrera thinks a lot about healing, and the emotional impact his creation brings. “I feel like tattooing can bring healing to people. In an awkward way, the pain they go through, the lifetime connection they have to that piece – it’s unique. I remember all of them. Some of the most impactful are those that have that type of healing. “The most important thing about a tattoo is the connection. You sit with someone for that long, you have to have trust, a connection. Sometimes people won’t tell me what the tattoo means to them until the very end because it’s so emotional. “There are people who cover marks they have inflicted on themselves. Covering scars. Covering old wounds. Losses in the family, loved ones. There was a gentleman who was struggling with anxiety. I tattooed his knees down both legs. They were four very large tattoos. It was about his brother. When it was done, he felt empowered walking. Showing off what he was expressing”. Carrera has been a part of the tattoo industry since early 2005 but he has a love for art as far back as he can remember. The emotional connection and healing provided by his art can sometimes take a toll on him. “I get connected to my artwork. I get home and I can be physically and emotionally beat from being connected like that.” Carrera says he finds strength and support from his family. “My family is awesome on both sides. We’ve all been through the mess but I’m here for a reason. I’m able to share my story through my art. My wife says if I’m not creative every day, I’d go insane. “Carrera and his wife have two children together. “My wife, she’s awesome. I was a mess. To be able to have someone like that in my life,” he smiles. “I have a nine year old and a five year old. Our life is crazy but we do our best. In all honesty, I wouldn’t have done this by myself. She told me ‘Don’t make this about me’ – but you asked, so thank you. She makes this place feel like home. She’s awesome. We’ve made it.” Carrera says his shop would not have been possible without the people of Plano, and the guidance he was given by the city. “We designed this place to be welcoming to whomever walks in the door. Plano made that possible. Plano said keep the tattoos behind the walls, so we made the front like a coffee shop.” Carrera says the other contribution to his success is the artists who work with him. “People say if your car breaks down on the road, and you are just leaning against it, no one will stop to help you. But if you get out and push the car, people stop to help. These guys, these guys here are pushing the car with me.” More at Anomaly Lifestyle Art & Tattoo on Facebook and on Instagram at @anomalylifestyleart
Plano Magazine Article
A Modern Take on an Ancient Art
Like the name suggests, Anomaly Lifestyle Art and Tattoo isn’t what one might expect. It is an artist’s refuge, brought to life by the inspiring artist and owner Rodney Carrera.
Rodney grew up painting on paper, canvas – anything he could use as a creative outlet. For him, art was a way of getting out of his own head when he felt like an outcast. The name Anomaly comes from an artist’s acceptance of who he is and how he is different.
“Instead of running the race, I stepped away, to do my own [thing],” Rodney says. As a reminder, the word “anomaly” and its definition (someone that deviates from what is standard, normal or expected) pour onto the studio’s black walls in a daring bright white.
Anomaly emerged in Plano recently as one of the few tattoo shops in the area. It is considered a retail shop under city guidelines stating that only 10 percent of the space – what Rodney calls his “dance floor” – may be reserved for tattooing. The rest is filled with artwork, t-shirts, journals, tattoo care products, free trade jewelry and other handmade items to admire and purchase.
Tattoos aren’t always accepted as art. Some people come in with stereotypes and forget that tattooing is more than just a machine and ink, Rodney says. At Anomaly, he reminds everyone, “We are artists. A good tattoo, a good piece of work [allows] the artist to be an artist.”
As a tattoo artist, the hardest part can be making that connection with clients and really understanding what they want from the tattoo. “People are hard to read, and not everybody is the same. We have to figure that person out first, and then go from there,” Rodney explains.
Every time a client walks in, Rodney assumes three roles. In the beginning, he is a psychic, attempting to read minds and predict what his clients are looking for. While tattooing, he becomes a therapist, listening and making sense of why they are getting that tattoo. At the end, he is like a doctor, advising people how to care for their new tattoo and skin.
One of Rodney’s all-time favorite tattoos to create was a portrait of a young man’s father who was a fireman. The young man was getting the tattoo for Father’s Day because he was so inspired by his dad.
The first tattoo Rodney himself got was the heart of a tiger, representing strength. As he grew older, his tattoos became more symbolic of where he was mentally and physically at that time, and of where he was heading.
After a hard time in his life, he got a big ship on his stomach, representing his father’s time in the Navy. “He told me they never knew when they would hit land, they just always knew they would get there eventually,” Rodney says, relating to how his dad must have felt then.
Rodney lived in Plano for seven years with his wife and two kids, when he saw an opportunity to open this shop. Several of his tattoos paint his love for family. He has his wife’s name imprinted on one arm alongside the word “respect,” and his children’s names with the word “patience.”
Rodney’s most recent tattoo is the phrase “Die to self daily,” and this tattoo, as well as his others, reminds him of who he isn’t anymore, and what he has left behind.
They are his new beginnings, like Anomaly.
At Anomaly, Rodney says he wants customers to feel inspired: “I want them to feel like they can come in, sit down and just do art” without feeling intimidated. There are couches for relaxing, books for reading, paper and pencils for drawing, lots of light and inspiring messages. Even Rodney’s five-year-old daughter sits down with a book, admiring her dad’s art.
Rodney’s goal for Anomaly is “for us to be known as what we are.” He hopes the art at Anomaly will reveal the passion behind it. The point is to take in the art and “to get lost somewhere in the middle of it.”