One of the world best tattooists comes to Manchester this weekend on 5th and 6th March for the Tattoo show at Manchester Central.
Dan started out life as a tattoo artist at the tender age of 21 when tattooing was still a very much underground scene.
Dan has worked internationally as a tattoo artist, rubbing shoulders with the glitterati (his is a little black book you would want to get hold of!). Many of the famous clients he has tattooed he calls friends including Kate Moss, the guys from Kasabian and Peaches Geldof (Kate has even done a tattoo on Dan – her claim to fame.)
We met Dan at his Liverpool shop which he very much calls home now. His decision to relocate to Liverpool came after a rise in northern clients. He’s keen to point out that he loves Manchester and goes out here regularly with the Northern Quarter being his favourite part of town. “I love it, it’s kind of cool with the cafe vibe. It reminds me of the old scene in London before it got too pretentious. I’d love to open a shop in Manchester.”
The tattoo show in Manchester is one of the biggest tattoo conventions of its kind and this year is celebrating its 10th Birthday. Dan explains that it allows tattoo fans to see and meet international tattoo artists and it allows the artists themselves to showcase their work to different audiences. Dan explains that it’s quite like a ‘travelling circus’. Over the years, he explains that the audience has changed, “The media have boosted popularity of tattoos. It’s not unusual to see families at the tattoo show now where as it used to be just enthusiasts. There’s now something for everyone.”
Dan’s very cagey about whom he’s tattooed in the celebrity stakes, he simply just says lots of footballers and TV stars. He’s not a name-dropper but tell us of the time when he met Britney Spears and didn’t recognise her, he actually asked her to make him a cup of tea which Miss Spears took in her stride.
The tattoo industry has changed massively and we asked Dan if he thought it was easier for budding tattooists now with the rise of the internet compared to when he started out, “It’s easier in some ways but in other ways harder. When I started there weren’t even tattoo magazines to look at, now you can go on the internet and watch of video of how to do a tattoo but with that there is more competition. There are most people to stand out against if you’re a good tattooist.”
Dan was very involved with graffiti art when he was younger and is still interested in it. He’s actually bringing out a book in Europe entitled “From Here to Fame” documenting his love of illegal graffiti. Tattooing much like graffiti has long been a controversial topic and given the time and attention put into it, the argument is that both should be classed as an art form to which Dan agrees, “yes it should. It’s becoming much more accepted but it’s down to the public really. In certain parts of the tattoo industry its definitely art given the detail involved.”
Tattoo fans need to log onto www.manchestertattooshow.co.uk and you can get student tickets for just £10 per day with a valid NUS.
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