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Tag Archives: dan henk

Advice for the New Year

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By Dan Henk I want to address two things in this blog. They might seem unrelated at first, but I’ll try my best to tie them together. The first is that people love to complain, and they have a ton of excuses on why it is someone else’s fault. You know what I’ve learned in my 41 years on this planet? Shut the fuck up, put your nose down, and try doing some ground work for a change. I hear all the time “I’m a good artist, but no one would give me a chance, so I bought this kit of eBay and starting tattooing out of my house.” Unless you happen to be one of the very few who just stumble into opportunity, like Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton, you have to go above and beyond, spending countless hours trying to realize your dreams. I spent years doing menial jobs until, at age 28, I finally started tattooing for a living. Even then it was a touch and go at first. But after striving for so long, I was not about to give in. The guy who taught me was in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. I lived in Brooklyn, New York. Working at his shop was not an option. The first shop I worked at was way out in the ghetto in Queens. I would barely even call it a shop. The second shop I worked at was Underground Tattoos on Pitkin Avenue in Brooklyn. That is where Mike Tyson is ... Read More »

Dan Henk: My Ranting…

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By Dan Henk You know, I’m probably going to draw plenty of flak for this, but it’s not the first time, I doubt it will be the last time, and in all seriousness, I honestly don’t care. I came from a punk rock back background. In high school I had a blue mohawk, painted up spiky leather jacket, and combat boots. And this was in conservative Virginia back in 1989. I was the guy that painted everyone’s leather jackets. I did the fliers for my friend’s bands. The political cartoons for their fanzines. All under the watchful eyes of the Fairfax County police, who have mug shots of me with at least 5 different hairstyles, and a file cabinet full of fabricated charges that sometimes kept me in the drunk tank overnight. I had a super christian,military dad that made me go to a psychiatrist every week and threw my brother in a mental institution. He’s a recovering junky now. I turned 18 and he kicked me out of the house and moved. To another country. I spent 8 months homeless. Like living in the woods, with a rock as my pillow, homeless. Read More »

Dan Henk: What’s Wrong With the Whole ‘Tattoo Artist’ vs. ‘Tattooer’ Crap

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By Dan Henk People love clichés. They love to pick apart their coworkers and neighbors. One of the many, many little schools of dissension in tattooing tends to be the “tattoo artist” versus the “tattooer” label. Some circles, especially those who focus on old-school, have decided that “tattoo artist” is a pejorative. There is a whole list of complaints I’ve heard regarding anything that doesn’t look like a traditional tattoo. Everything from ”that won’t hold up over time,” to “that doesn’t look like a tattoo” to “anyone who wants to be called a tattoo artist is a pretentious hipster, this is a noble working class profession like pipe fitting or blacksmithing…”  Read More »

Dan Henk: Sometimes The Old-Timers Are Right

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By Dan Henk When I first started tattooing, the industry seemed to be breaking new ground. People like Guy Aitchison, Tom Renshaw and Aaron Caine were redefining what could be done with the form. It was an exciting time. I had been to art school, was doing album covers for bands, illustrations for a few clubs and magazines, and I finally saw that tattooing could be as detailed and complex as any other medium. I had interviewed with DC Comics, and Penguin books and both were very restrictive… Read More »

Dan Henk: The Horror Convention

Paul Acker

By Dan Henk Horror has been around a long, long time. The early fairy tales were much darker than their current Disney-fied versions. The primal gods of ancient civilizations endured lives filled with maniacal beasts, surreal landscapes and an ever-changing world of magic and dark sorcery. The oral traditions of early man’s forefathers always had an element of horror…  Read More »

Dan Henk: Ink Master

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By Dan Henk So, let’s talk about the new tattoo show, Ink Master. It was originally pitched to me (as I’m sure it was to several artists) by a lady named Lisa. She said, and this is an almost direct quote, “We have people on this show like Jeff Gouge and Guy Aitchison. That’s who we’re talking to. Do you think you can compete?”  Read More »

Rollo & Me Comic #11

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The “Rollo & Me” strip is a series of stories told by Keith Underwood and illustrated by Dan Henk which appear regularly in Tattoo Artist Magazine. They chronicle Keith’s experiences living with and working alongside one of tattooing’s greatest icons of the 20th century- Mike ‘Rollo Banks’ Malone. Mike departed this life in 2007 but these stories represent Keith’s healing process and are figuratively supposed to occur on the couch of his therapist. Enjoy. There’s more to come. [Full comic on expanded page] Read More »

Rollo & Me Comic #10

Rollo & Me #28

The “Rollo & Me” strip is a series of stories told by Keith Underwood and illustrated by Dan Henk which appear regularly in Tattoo Artist Magazine. They chronicle Keith’s experiences living with and working alongside one of tattooing’s greatest icons of the 20th century- Mike ‘Rollo Banks’ Malone. Mike departed this life in 2007 but these stories represent Keith’s healing process and are figuratively supposed to occur on the couch of his therapist. Enjoy. There’s more to come. [Full comic on expanded page] Read More »

Dan Henk: Haters

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By Dan Henk I remember when I was 13. I had just gotten out of my Huey Lewis and The News, Tears For Fears, juvenile musical tastes. I was now into “hair metal.” Ratt. Quiet Riot. Def Leppard. I thought that stuff was so much cooler, and couldn’t believe I’d liked things like the Dire Straights. Then, a little over a year later, I got three albums all at once. Metallica’s Ride the Lightning, Megadeth’s Peace Sells, and Slayer’s Hell Awaits. I was floored, immediately switched over to trash-metal, grew my hair out, and became a little northern Florida deviant. I wouldn’t admit I had listened to anything else. At 16, in my new school in northern Virginia, I heard Black Flag. My whole world changed… Read More »

Rollo & Me Comic #9

Rollo and Me Issue #27

The “Rollo & Me” strip is a series of stories told by Keith Underwood and illustrated by Dan Henk which appear regularly in Tattoo Artist Magazine. They chronicle Keith’s experiences living with and working alongside one of tattooing’s greatest icons of the 20th century- Mike ‘Rollo Banks’ Malone. Mike departed this life in 2007 but these stories represent Keith’s healing process and are figuratively supposed to occur on the couch of his therapist. Enjoy. There’s more to come. [Full comic on expanded page] Read More »

Rollo & Me Comic #8

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The “Rollo & Me” strip is a series of stories told by Keith Underwood and illustrated by Dan Henk which appear regularly in Tattoo Artist Magazine. They chronicle Keith’s experiences living with and working alongside one of tattooing’s greatest icons of the 20th century- Mike ‘Rollo Banks’ Malone. Mike departed this life in 2007 but these stories represent Keith’s healing process and are figuratively supposed to occur on the couch of his therapist. Enjoy. There’s more to come. [Full comic on expanded page] Read More »

Rollo & Me Comic #7

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The “Rollo & Me” strip is a series of stories told by Keith Underwood and illustrated by Dan Henk which appear regularly in Tattoo Artist Magazine. They chronicle Keith’s experiences living with and working alongside one of tattooing’s greatest icons of the 20th century- Mike ‘Rollo Banks’ Malone. Mike departed this life in 2007 but these stories represent Keith’s healing process and are figuratively supposed to occur on the couch of his therapist. Enjoy. There’s more to come. [Full comic on expanded page] Read More »

Dan Henk: Parasites of the Industry

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By Dan Henk I want to start out by being very clear that it is not all of them… not all, but there are way too many, and they are like a parasite in the business. What am I talking about? These people who don’t tattoo, yet have their sticky fingers in the business… Read More »

Dan Henk: It Really Doesn’t Help to Be an Arrogant Little Fuck

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By Dan Henk This industry has been around a long time. People come in from many different angles, some just want to make a living and there is certainly a place for that. Others are artistic geniuses, and there is a place for that as well. The vast majority fall in the mid-ground. All are welcomed, as long as they approach it with the right attitude… And if you can do a good, clean tattoo… Read More »

Dan Henk: Why Tattoo School is Such a Bad Idea

Dan Henk

By Dan Henk Looking from the outside in, tattooing doesn’t look that difficult. If it’s not that difficult, you learn the basics and you are good to go, right? Hell, if half the people on TV can do it, an actual school should be able to teach the essentials in two weeks! College courses take a good four years. If you want to go into a more advanced profession, you are in for an even longer ride. I don’t think anyone would trust a doctor that went to a two-week school… Read More »