KAREL MATO – THE TATTOO ARTIST
Occupation: Tattoo Artist
Location: South Philadelphia
Relationship Status: In a relationship
Karel is a successful Tattoo Artist living in historic South Philly with his girlfriend of four years, Jessi. After a failed attempt at running his own Tattoo Shop in New Mexico, Karel abandoned his dream of having his own business and went to work for a well-reputed chain of Philly Tattoo shops, Body Graphics. He’s a beloved and busy artist with a devoted base of clients, but he's had a hard time reeling in new customers and taking his name further in town. His traditional Cuban family lives in South Florida and have expressed disappointment that Karel hasn’t applied his artistic gifts to a more respectable art form, like painting, etc.
Karel's live-in girlfriend wants to take things to the next level, but she refuses to do so until Karel grows up. Karel is terrified he'll lose Jessi if he doesn't make a change quickly.
CALLING IN THE EXPERTS:
FASHION: Karel dresses like a teenage kid. People are always shocked to hear he’s nearly 40-years-old due to his dirty punk-rock style. He wears the same tee-shirts he’s had for ever twenty years. For the first time in his life, Karel is making a comfortable living but he's used to being broke and doesn't know how to #TreatHimself to nice things every now and then.
GROOMING: Karel has what Jessi semi-affectionately refers to as a “dread-mullet.” He is going bald up top and then has “rat tail dreads” hanging from about his ears down. The dreads have been a part of Karel’s look for so long that he fears he will look “plain” without them even though he questions if they still look good. His hair texture is curly/coarse and the dreads were the only way he knew how to tame it. He has trouble spending time on self-care and says growing up the men in his family didn’t spend time concerned with their appearance.
DESIGN: Karel owns a historic two-bedroom townhome in South Philly. He is an avid collector of vintage books, rare art, and woodworking machinery. The house is a “work in progress” and cluttered from top to bottom. The downstairs space is utilized as a woodworking studio. The neighborhood is rapidly gentrifying and the house could be a great investment for Karel, but he has no idea how to get organized and fix it up.
FOOD: Karel ONLY knows how to make Cuban food and sometimes eats only rice and beans for days at a time. Jessi loves his delicious Cuban specialties, but she would love for him to diversify his repertoire before he turns into a bean.
CULTURE: Karel is struggling with the transition of working for someone else after running his own business for several years. He went from being his own boss to being a "minion". He has a great list of devoted clientele, but doesn't do much to seek out new business. Jessi has nudged him to make business cards and put himself out there more but he is hesitant to make the leap.
EVENT: Tattoo Convention (Many happening along NJ Shore all summer long)
Nominators: Jessi Hawk, 29 - Girlfriend
Jessi is madly in love with Karel and wants to spend the rest of her life with him, but she needs him to step up before taking the next step in their relationship.