My name is Roly Maximiliano Viruez Oyola, better known as Roly Viruez, and I was born in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. I have always been surrounded by the arts from an early age, as both my parents were in the business of the arts, and influenced me to follow the same path. My father was a sculptor- I still remember the fragrances of the different woods around the house- and my mother was a Fashion Designer, who also designed her own dresses and alterations at our house. The memories that influenced me the most were the interactions with people that my father was surrounded with. He always had artists coming to the house or took me to art exhibitions. However, living in Bolivia was not always easy for my family, since there aren’t many opportunities, especially in the art’s field. Surviving was a priority for my family, so after a series of unfortunate events, my mother, siblings and I had to leave, not only our large family, but also our history, culture, and uproot our lives. My father stayed to try to recover some of what we had lost and consequently was never able to move with us, thus our paths grew apart. We immigrated and stayed here in the United States when I was 15 years old. New York City was the new world for us, and we thought that it was going to be awesome, but reality was completely different. We lived in the scary places and to think about them depresses me. But instead of drowning myself in pity, I used all that energy in pencil and paper. I made a pledge to myself that I would make my family proud with my art. I attended college and graduated with an Associates Degree in Illustration, and began pursuing my Bachelors Degree at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. But then one day I decided to move to Tennessee with my wife and left everything once again. I can truly say that it was the best decision of my life yet. Clarksville is a small town compared to NYC, but I found a great tattoo shop in September of 2008 and have been there ever since; Tattoo Technique, in downtown Clarksville. My mentor and great artist, Andy Casali III took me in and from there I just couldn’t get enough of art. I started tattooing and painting, and my skills grew fast. I was, and still am always studying other artists, learning, practicing, and working hard to help me achieve what I have always wanted.
This is my 9th year in the industry and I feel that I can’t stop learning and improving, and that’s what I love! It’s great to have a job knowing I could never cap out! I’m not in a rush to find my particular style so I’m just enjoying it as I go. I started going to conventions a few years ago and I have to admit that it is so much work and pressure, but I love it. At every convention I have been to, I’ve met great artists that make all the work worthwhile. I feel so appreciated when an artist comes and tells me, “good job Roly” and buys one of my prints or simply takes my card. It gives me a sense of satisfaction and a drive to push forward even harder. The tattoo industry has given me so much and I am truly blessed to be a part of it. So far, everything has been a great ride and you will see me at more conventions and maybe with some more tattoos on myself. When it comes to styles of tattooing, I prefer to work on realistic subjects mixed with Japanese style or have watercolors for background. I want to thank everyone who takes interest in my work and this short biography of my life. I appreciate all the love and support and I will always do my very best each day.
“I really appreciate people who choose me to do their tattoos, because a tattoo will stay with that person for the rest of their life, and that is why I do my very best for every tattoo.”