The odds were stacked against him. The chance of success wasn’t high. Yet there was a fire inside him that refused to go out. Steven Banegas had a passion and raw artistic talent that got him through high school, out of Las Cruses New Mexico and thankfully, to the Hart & Huntington family.
Hart & Huntington Las Vegas was a dream job for him. He did a portrait as his audition and was hired right away.
When we got to Vegas, God blessed me. I thought, Hart & Huntington, First Casino Tattoo Shop. First to be featured on a TV show. This is big time. Six years later, here I am. I give thanks to God because without Him, I wouldn’t be the man I am today.
He now has a work family and a place to call home.
“I love that it’s a family. In many shops, most people will hate you and not want you to succeed. We’ve teamed up. We click with whatever our strengths are and learn from each other.”
If you look across his portfolio, Steven can do it all. He loves fine line black and grey, which is a nod to where he started with his handmade machine.
I started my career doing small, fine line tattoos, such as names, you know, gangster style. Now I’m versatile. It took a long time to be at the caliber I’m at now and it’s an honor and a blessing.
He stays sharp with trusted talent around him and pure grit.
If you don’t work hard for it, someone else will take your spot. And my buddies tell me the truth and it makes my work better. I owe it to the talents of Blanco, Ryan, Jacki and Merdok, rest in peace.
Some of his most memorable moments are the tribute tattoos he creates for those who’ve lost loved ones.
Whenever I do ‘In Loving Memory’ tattoos or portraits, people get emotional. Any time I do anything sentimental, those are the best moments.
Steven believes tattooing is a sacred experience.
Tattooing goes deeper for me. I had to go through a lot of bad in my life to get to something good. I’ve worked so hard with no one to help me out. You can’t just go to the store and buy this stuff. I messed up a lot of my own skin to be great. I care about people. I’d never tattoo someone else until I learned what I was doing. It took time and dedication but I can proudly say I guarantee my work 110%. And I’m doing something I love. I’m the most solid person you’ll ever meet.
Once you sit in his chair, you’re connected for life.
“I give my heart to my clients. The bond is forever.”