What was the first tattoo you did?
A tribal sun. It was never my plan to become a tattoo artist. I’ve created art since childhood. Always drawing & painting with a number of people who encouraged my artistic ability. It wasn’t until I asked a guy about his own tattoos and my interest was piqued. After much conversation and sharing my own drawings, he made me a deal. He’d give me a machine and when I was good enough I owed him a tattoo. He explained how to use it and what to do. I went home and tattooed my roommate that evening. I pursued an apprenticeship soon thereafter.
How did you find your personal style ?
I’ve always appreciated art. I mainly focus on styles I’m drawn to such as; American traditional, vintage Americana and turn of the century European traditional tattooing. The reference material those artists had access to was superb. Everything just so sophisticated and detailed. For 15 out of the 25 total years I’ve been an artist, my style had been concentrated in the vintage style. The Parisian magazines, illustrations, and of course the timeless quality is something I strive to create in my own work.
What differentiates your tattoo style?
I like following traditional tattoos and style. I wanted to immerse myself and discover the essence that drove those artists. Everything throughout tattoo present and past has been done and redone. You gotta digdeep and devote time to perfecting ones’ style. Educate yourself and really never stop unearthing reference material.
When I’m creating a design I ask myself, how can I make this better? I admire George Burchett and his ability to create amazing art. My clients know each tattoo session is also a teaching experience. They learn a little tattooing history and the development of the design and I gain insight into my clients’ life and the satisfaction of being able to tattoo my creations. I rather enjoy my sessions being more than just a tattoo.
How do you see your style evolving?
Absolutely! By exploring subject matter, and having all the fundamentals to recreate a design I’m pushing myself internally to get better everyday. I alter details in my designs every time, so each tattoo is unique. That process is evolutionary in itself.
What is the goal for you and your team at
Dame of the West Tattoo?
My vision for the shop was to create a space that develops outstanding artwork, has a warm, inviting family atmosphere and to inspire each of us to become the best versions of ourselves. Each artist knows they can grow rather than feel like they’re constantly hitting their heads on the ceiling. This also forces me to become a better artist. Our artists are all progressing together. I encourage everyone to pay attention to the details that will become their legacy. Clients can sense the passion we have for our work. That being said, my ultimate goal for all of us is to exceed our own expectations and challenge ourselves professionally and personally. Each and every tattoo should be better than the last.