The Official Blog for Tattoo Artist Magazine

Posts tagged “baltimore

Stay Humble with Dave Wah: The Exclusive Tattoo Snob Interview

By Kevin Miller
I generally excited about everything that’s posted on Tattoo Snob, but I’m really excited about my interview with Dave Wah. Dave has been killing it for a long time, and he recently opened Stay Humble Tattoo Company in Baltimore, Maryland. I shot Dave a handful of questions about his tattooing, opening up a new shop, who inspires him, and what else he has lined up for 2014.
This interview is a must read. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be checking flight prices and planning a tattoo getaway to Baltimore by the end of the interview.
dave-wah
Tattoo Snob: For those who aren’t familiar with your work, can you give them the basics?
Dave Wah: I guess I would consider myself to be an artist who likes to do a little bit of everything. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some great veteran artists over the years, including Uncle Pauly and Eric Gregory, who really stressed the importance of being versatile. My work ranges from realism to traditional, however I do try to incorporate my own style into everything. I think the range of styles I use keeps me motivated to keep creating. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or bad thing that I don’t have a particular style, all I know is I love going to work everyday.
TSdave-wah-1-214x300: Let’s talk about Stay Humble Tattoo. Tell us a little about the shop, and what led you to this path.
DW: I opened Stay Humble Tattoo Company in Baltimore, Maryland last october and things have been amazing ever since. The time just seemed right to head out on my own, I’ve developed a large clientele base and I’ve always wanted to work closer to the city. My father has owned his own business for over 35 years and he always taught me the benefits of working for yourself. I also had the benefit of working under Vinnie Myers for the past 5 years, and he is easily one of the most successful people in tattooing.
It’s a second floor shop, and I set it up to be a semi-private studio. There’s limited signage outside and you kind of have to know I’m there to even know it’s a tattoo shop. I tattoo by appointment only and it’s a super laid back environment. It’s kind of nice having a little hidden place to do my work.
TS: Your work ranges from black and grey, to traditional, to neo-traditional, to realistic. How did this come about? Do you have a preferred style?
DW: I think there’s a few factors that led to me doing so many different styles. I think the number one reason is I truly love almost every style of tattooing. I never understood artists who only liked one style and hated everything else. There’s value in so many different styles of tattooing. Another thing that led to me being diverse is my background in realism. As a kid growing up my focus in drawing was realism, so when I got into tattooing I was able to incorporate realistic techniques into traditional tattoo designs. The last reason is that it took me a long time to figure out how to do a solid tattoo, I worked at street shops and I kind of jumped around trying different things to find what was right for me. Tattooing is hard.
My favorite style tends to be illustrated realism, not even sure if that’s an actual style haha.
dave-wah-6
TS: With being comfortable in so many different styles, do you suggest different styles based on the subject matter or what the client asks for?
DW: I’m very fortunate that most of my clients tend to let me do whatever style I want. Once they give me the subject of their tattoo I consider what style I think it would look best in, and what style would look best on them. I’m also very aware of my limitations as a tattooer, so I think about how I can utilize my strengths to make the tattoo work.
TS: I see your website states that you no longer do coverups. Why is that? Does this include lasered pieces?
DW: The short answer is that coverups are a pain in the ass and they stress me out. I will cover lasered pieces if they are light enough, I’ll also cover up small tattoos if it’s fairly easy. It’s such a shame that so many people are looking for cover ups these days, unfortunately I think the problem is only going to get worse over time.
dave-wah-5
TS: Outside of tattooing, what do you do in your spare time?
DW: Spare time is pretty hard to come by these days, tattooing is pretty much my whole life. When I’m not working or drawing tattoos I spend a lot of time looking at tattoos online, good ones and bad ones. Other than tattoo related stuff I spend a lot of time in my basement studio recording and writing music. I’m really lucky to have a wife that gives me a good amount of freedom.
TS: Which tattoo artists inspire you? What about outside of the tattoo world?
DW: My favorite tattoo artist is Seth Wood. I don’t think I’ve seen a tattoo of his that I didn’t love. Some other artists who constantly amaze me are Jim Sylvia, Stefan Johnsson, Peter Lagergren, Mike Stockings, Emily Rose Murray, and Mike Moses, just to name a handful. I think we’re very fortunate to live in a time when everyone’s work is so readily available to see. I’ve only been tattooing a little over eleven years but I still remember having to wait for new magazines to come out see new work.
TS: Who was the last tattoo artist that tattooed you?
DW: The last two tattoos I got were from Steve Wimmer in Delaware and from Seth Wood when he was still in Brooklyn. Both were really great experiences, it’s really cool to see how every shop has it’s own unique vibe.
dave-wah-10
TS: Who do you want to get tattooed by?
DW: I’d love to get tattooed by Jim Sylvia, Grime, and of course Seth Wood again. There’s a bunch of artists in Maryland who I want to get work from, Jason Reeder, Gary Gerhardt, Thomas Kenney, and John Rippey, all those guys are killing it.
TS: Any travel plans for 2014?
DW: I think most of my traveling is done for 2014, my wife and I just had our first baby so I’m gonna hold off on traveling till the end of the year or the beginning of 2015. Between the baby, a new shop, and the new house we just built my plate is pretty full. I usually do about 5-6 conventions a year but I’d like to do a lot more conventions and guest spots in the future. I also need to get back out to see my friends at Memento Tattoo in Columbus, Ohio. Those guys are on another level.
TS: Any last words?
DW: I’m currently looking to set up a steady rotation of guest artists at my shop in Baltimore. Working by myself has been great, but you can learn so much more by working with other artists. If anyone wants to set up a guest spot send me an email to dave@davewah.com with a link to your portfolio. Thanks so much for supporting me and putting my work on your website, it really means the world to me.

Nipple Tattoos and their Michelangelo

By Katy Watson

Source: BBC News, Baltimore: http://www.bbc.co.uk

Vinnie Myers has helped thousands of women recovering from breast cancer by painting tattoos for women who have lost their nipples to surgery.

A tattooist in Baltimore has built up a huge customer base because of his unusual specialty – tattooing nipples on to women who have suffered from cancer and had their breasts removed.

There is something very familiar about the suburbs of small towns across America.

The roads are big and distances long, but sooner or later you are guaranteed to come across a strip mall – a little open air shopping complex along the side of a main road.

And so there I was, 20 minutes outside Baltimore, parked outside one of these strip malls.

This one had a 24-hour pharmacy as well as a veterinary surgery, a hairdresser’s, a tanning shop and a tattoo parlour – Little Vinnie’s Tattoos, to be precise, and it was Little Vinnie I had come to meet.

He was a friendly man dressed in a tweed waistcoat, a striped shirt and a smart felt hat. Vinnie shook our hands, welcomed us in and showed us around his business.

The walls were covered in tattoo art with catalogues lined up at the back of the room, packed with thousands of designs to choose from.

A classic heart with a dagger through the middle, perhaps? Or maybe your favourite cartoon character or – if you are feeling patriotic – you could choose from a bald eagle or the American flag.

Little Vinnie's tattoo parlour

A few customers were sitting on the benches, waiting to go in one of the six studios along the side of the wall, each with a black crushed velvet curtain for a door.

But one studio on the other side of the room stood out. It had more of a structure to it and a wooden door, much like an office or a doctor’s surgery.

Rather appropriate really, because although Vinnie has no medical training, he has become a bit of a star in the medical world.

He no longer spends his day tattooing anchors on men’s biceps. In fact, most of his clients are women and they have one thing in common, they are all recovering from breast cancer.

A few years ago, a doctor in Baltimore asked Vinnie to help out with a patient who had had breast reconstruction, leaving her with no nipples.

So realistic were his skills in creating 3D nipple tattoos, patients started demanding him over doctors who typically carry out basic tattoos as the final stage of reconstruction.

Now, he says, it has taken over his life. Vinnie sees up to 1,400 patients a year and travels across the country and beyond.

To prove it, there is a map in his studio with pins in it, showing where people come from – he has clients in countries as far away as Saudi Arabia, no mean feat in a part of the world where tattoos are considered haram, or forbidden.

Map of the US

When I was visiting, Sarah had just finished her appointment and was beaming.

Sarah is in her mid-30s and last year was devastated to find out she had cancer – just a few months after being told she was pregnant.

Within a month of giving birth to her son, she had to have an operation to remove both her breasts. She describes the first time she took off her bandages as the hardest day of her life.

“Every time you go and take a shower you see these scars that are a permanent reminder of what you just went through,” she says.

But now she can smile.

“I have other tattoos but I never thought I would be getting my nipples done.” It is certainly a conversation starter, she jokes.

A self-confessed bad boy who learned his trade while in the army, Vinnie says there are a million people who need this done, but just a handful of people doing it.

Little Vinnie's tattoo parlour

He was even asked to fly to the United Arab Emirates recently because there were about 20 women who wanted his tattoos – but only three of their husbands would give them permission, so he could not go.

Such is his reputation, he is affectionately nicknamed “the Michelangelo of nipple tattoos”. But Vinnie plays down his talents – he says his work is not artistically challenging.

In fact, he got fed up a few years ago and decided to stop. He said enough was enough and he wanted to get back to regular tattoos.

But then one day a woman called him up to ask for an appointment. He said “No” and she sounded very upset.

Then out of the blue his sister called, telling him she had breast cancer too. It was a sign, he says, that he had to continue with this work.

“You lose the artistic satisfaction but then you gain this other satisfaction that is incredible,” he says. “I was not prepared for how it was going to make me feel.”


Dave Waugh: Work in Progress Session VI (By Hunter Spanks)

By Hunter Spanks
1:41pm August 29, 2012 and Lizzy finds herself back in Georgetown at Jinx Proof Tattoo for the sixth session on her back piece by Dave Waugh. A mystical piece complete with unicorns, naked women, hidden cocks and butt plugs just to round things out. Dave prepares a message table as they harass each other in preparation for the session to start. I’m sure this is just to work out the nerves. At least on Lizzy’s part. Dave seems cool as a cucumber as always…  (more…)


Dave Waugh: Work in Progress Session V (By Hunter Spanks)

By Hunter Spanks
It’s June 27, 2012 and we are finally back in Georgetown. Lizzy is back in the saddle for session five on her back with Dave Waugh.

It has been almost a year since session four and truth be told I still have not submitted part four to TAM yet (it is up now). So I have hopes that I will get both of these to them pretty quick (that didn’t happen). The banter with Dave is great. We talk about a recent trip to Niagara Falls and being grilled by the border patrol on the way back in and Lizzy and I making up stories about us meeting on Christian Singles or that she was a porn star and that I met her on her site. It is now 1:36 p.m. and the buzzing of the machine starts and session five is underway…  (more…)


Dave Waugh: Work in Progress Session IV (By Hunter Spanks)

By Hunter Spanks
Getting a back piece is quite a commitment physically, mentally and financially. For all the reasons stated above this installment takes place a bit over a year ago. We knew Lizzy would not be able to come back for another session for quite a while so I held off submitting it to the TAM Blog. Little did we know that it would take so long. We hope to be on more of a regular schedule from here on out… (more…)


Dave Waugh: Work in Progress Session III (By Hunter Spanks)

By Hunter Spanks
On a sunny June 6th here we are back in Georgetown at Jinx Proof for session three on Lizzy’s backpiece from Dave Waugh. Today he will concentrate on background on the left side of the back, kidney and rib area. Ouch. That’s okay, Lizzy brought a friend with her. His name is Dr. Numb. A topical numbing cream suggested by Dave. The cream has been applied and covered with Saran wrap and parts will stay covered as Dave works until he begins to work on them. Right at 2 p.m. Dave’s needle strikes the skin and they begin to talk about things being thicker and longer. So they are off to a good start… (more…)


Dave Waugh: Work in Progress Session II (By Hunter Spanks)

By Hunter Spanks
So after a rainy drive down from Baltimore we are back at Jinx Proof for Elizabeth’s (Lizzy) second session on her back. Lizzy seems a bit anxious as we get here but that’s understandable, tattoos hurt. Based on the little I have started on my own back it is quite uncomfortable… (more…)


Dave Waugh: Work in Progress (By Hunter Spanks)

By Hunter Spanks

When Crash asked me to write for the TAM Blog I said, “Yes, of course.” Then it hit me; “Now I have to think of what to write about?” Well, I am happy to say that with a little patience it has fallen into my lap.

Elizabeth, (Lizzy) who works the counter at Have Fun Be Lucky where I currently tattoo, announced she was going to get her back tattooed by Dave Waugh… –jealousy came to mind. (more…)


Baltimore Tattoo Convention: On the Road in Maryland

By John

Baltimore single-handedly wiped me out… Well, actually, one night with Hunter Spanks wiped me out! And how about those Orioles, huh? Anybody? No… okay.

I love the Baltimore Tattoo Convention because I get to spend three days with Hunter. Except, that particular weekend we crammed three days into one night! So off we go… (more…)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,796,249 other followers