Rockwood's artistic journey began at the young age of five under the supervision of his graphic artist father. He started out by drawing in pencil and then moved to ink.
Because his father was in the navy, Rockwood grew up around people with tattoo's and his fascination began. At the age of twelve he started tattooing, using the crude method of wrapping thread around a sewing needle and dipping it in india ink. One poke at a time he tattooed all of his friends.
In 1979 Rockwood met Al Orsini and Wally Pearson at "Anaheim Tattoo" in California. It was there that Rockwood was introduced to professional tattooing. In 1980 Rockwood started working at "Anaheim Tattoo".
About a year and a half later he left to open "Twilight Fantasy Tattoo" in Anaheim with partners Kari Barba and Tim Dutton.
In 1983 Rockwood went to work at "Long Beach Tattoo" for Col. W.L. Todd and Dave Orlawski. Three years later, Rockwood was invited to work at "Sunset Strip Tattoo" in West Hollywood by Robert Benedetti. After six years with the Sunset crew it was time for him to open his own shop.
Rockwood along with his wife Becky opened "Studio City Tattoo" on April 1, 1992. In 1994 Rockwood and his wife moved to the big island of Hawaii to open their second shop "Big Island Tattoo" on the island of Hawaii. In 2001 Rockwood sold Studio City Tattoo to his good friend Clay Clement.
Rockwood has customers from all around the world who travel to Hawaii for their tattoo's not to mention his extensive celebrity clientele. Rockwood's fame and talent are confirmed by Cher, Madonna, Heather Locklear, Guns-n-Roses, and many more of the biggest names in film, T.V. and the recording industry. (see Celebrity Friends under photos).
Rockwood loves to share his talents and has trained several new tattooer's who make a very good living at their craft. Including but not limited to Slik Rik, (R.I.P. Slik) "North Shore Tattoo" Oahu HI. and Danny Black "Art of Life Tattoo" in Chatsworth CA.
In addition to his tattooing abilities Rockwood is also an accomplished artist in many mediums. He paints in airbrush , water colors, oils as well as pinstriping. Available artwork sold by "Rockwood Galleries Hawaii." Rockwood is also the founder of Paradise Tattoo Association, started in '2000, "an organization of licensed tattooers, piercers, physicians and enthusiasts in the state of Hawaii who are dedicated to education and promoting a positive image of the tattoo and body piercing industry."
"Rockwood is an artist continually refining his style and evolving his techniques through constant experimentation. Whether the medium is skin, canvas, paper, masonite or a thousand square foot mural, (i.e.: Kmart, Kailua-Kona, HI; 1994) Rockwood takes any art form he adopts to new heights."
If you get the opportunity to come to the big island of Hawaii, please feel free to come by and say hi. Its always great to meet new people who share the love of tattooing as we do.
Col. W.L. Todd 1980's
Robert Benedetti 1980's
Island Living Article 2007
Bill Brown - Sunset Strip Tattoo
Nikki Sixx 2005
P.F. (Ski) Kwiatkowski
1994 Cover Tattoo by Rockwood
9 Page Article on Rockwood 1999
Rockwood was known in Hollywood as the Tattooer to the stars.
Rockwood has tattooed more celebrities than any other tattooer.
Rockwood is also an accomplished actor (SAG) writer, producer and directer. Rockwood has several films to his credit.
Rockwood is a licensed minister in the state of Hawai'i and preforms wedding ceremonies on the island. Get married in the Tattoo shop, on the beach or on a mountain.
Rockwood, photographed by David Honl