Artists: Dan Marshall
627 East 6th Street
New York, NY 10009
What year did you start tattooing?
I started tattooing around 1995 or 1996.
Where did you apprentice? How did you get into tattooing?
I was apprenticing at Turnpike Tattoo in Meriden, CT. I had recently graduated from the Connecticut Institute of Art in Greenwich, CT, and had become obsessed with learning to tattoo. I spent about a year and a half searching for an apprenticeship. I was introduced to Mike Nicholson of Papillon Tattoo and Supply by Gunnar Gaylord, and we both started our tattoo journey together the next day. After about six months at Turnpike I transferred to the Papillon studio in Enfield, CT, and started working closely with Tom Strom, Mark Vincenzo, and Jeremy McIntosh. I worked there, concentrating on developing my technical skills and design ability, for about four years until I moved on to a custom-only environment at Shahn Anderson’s Electric Dragonland just outside of Minneapolis. Tom had moved out there a year before and suggested to Shahn that I would be a good fit with them there. I had a great experience working there for about two years, and decided it was way too cold for me so I moved to West Hollywood for another two years. Then came the most important move of my life: to New York City to work with Paul Booth at the infamous Last Rites Theatre. Working there, my work developed by leaps and bounds and I was fortunate to work closely with a lot of guest artists like Robert Hernandez, Bob Tyrrell, Shige, and many others. Not only were they a constant inspiration but we became great friends. When it was time to leave after five years there, Liorcifer, Tim Kern, and myself formed Tribulation Tattoo, still located in the East Village of NYC. We are approaching our shop’s fourth anniversary, and we are all busy and the shop is going strong.
What conventions have you worked at? Have you won any awards?
I have attended many, many conventions over the past 10 years, and I’m on my second passport. My favorite shows are London, Milan, and Tokyo. I’ve picked up a fair share of trophies and whatnot, mostly in the black-and-gray category. It’s nice to be recognized by your peers, but nothing is as rewarding as being asked by another tattooer to do some work for them. I’ll take that over a trophy any day.
How do you describe your style?
My style is primarily black-and-gray, more rendered and painterly, leaning toward darker yet romantic themes. I prefer a subtle horror element rather than just in-your-face cartoony-scary stuff.
What inspires you as an artist?
I am inspired by many different artists and types of art. The sculptures of Bernini, the illustrations of Gustave Doré, a number of impressionist painters, John Singer Sargent, Velazquez, the watercolors of Bonington, and many others. A constant inspiration is a desire to improve my drawing and painting and continuing to add a certain sense of sophistication to all my art, tattooing and otherwise. This keeps me motivated daily. I’ve worked hard to get to the point I’m at, with a trusting clientele allowing me to work in a very distinct style, designing and drawing every piece I do from start to finish—developing a body of work, not just “tattoos.”
What other mediums do you work in?
Aside from tattooing I paint almost every day, working in oil, acrylic, and pastels. I also work outside my usual subject matter in the form of landscape and cityscape watercolors. These really force me to look at things a different way and bring a freshness to my drawings and paintings for work. I have made many friends in the tattooing community over the years and I admire them all greatly. Seeing an artist I admire continue to push what they are capable of doing is the biggest inspiration and the thing I admire most in an artist.
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing?
I look forward to the piece I have to do tomorrow and then the next piece after that. Every appointment is an opportunity to do something better than the piece before. The tattoo I haven’t done yet that I’m dying to do is in the mind of the next consultation, pushing me to come up with something new that I haven’t done yet!