Artists: Shaun Topper
DaVinci Tattoo Studio
3247 Sunrise Highway
Wantagh, NY 11793
How did you get into tattooing?
I guess you could say I got into tattoos long before I got into tattooing. As a kid I remember admiring tattoos on guys I looked up to, like musicians, skateboarders, local maniacs – ha! And that was it – no big mystery. I was in love with the result before I even considered the process.
Where did you apprentice?
I did my apprenticeship under Frank Romano at Davinci Tattoo in Wantagh NY. I worked there for a few years before I weaseled my way into an apprenticeship. My apprenticeship lasted roughly two years and I’ve been tattooing there ever since.
What year did you start tattooing?
I did my first tattoo on april fools day of 2008.
Do you have any special training?
I consider my apprenticeship to be ‘special training’. Not everybody gets to learn the right way and I definitely don’t take my experience for granted. I’m thankful for every shred of knowledge that has been shared with me – and every bit that I stole along the way. Thanks guys!
What conventions have you worked at? Have you won any awards?
I’ve been to the National convention, the Boston convention, and of course NYC conventions. I was lucky enough to take home plaques and trophies from all of them so far. The best thing about working the convention circuit is making new connections and visiting with old ones. Its good to see what else is going on outside of my bubble. Every convention recharges my batteries and inspires me in one way or another… and thats the real prize.
How do you describe your style?
My style is like everybody else’s. Hahahaha…
What inspires you as an artist?
As an artist and as a tattooer I get inspired by both sides of the spectrum. On one hand you’ve got classic concepts and aesthetics that have stood the test of time, but on the other you’ve got new ideas that trigger that “holy shit, this may be the new big thing” feeling. I feel like inspiration is like anything else. Antique is valuable. Brand new technology is valuable. The rest is just filler – and if you look at it too long it’ll hurt your eyes.
What other mediums do you work with?
I mostly paint when im not tattooing. Watercolor, acrylic, oil, whatever. I also mess around with ceramic sculpture and woodworking.
What tattoo artist do you most admire?
I admire lots of tattooers so I can’t really pinpoint just one. I admire tattooers who raise the bar and remain somewhat humble about it. I admire anybody whose heart is in the right place and is bringing something new to the table.
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing?
All of them. Every single one.
Have you tattooed any celebrities?
Yes, but their lawyers probably don’t want me dropping their names. I’ll leave it up to your imagination – but I WILL say that I’ve tattooed the most famous athletes, actors, and musicians of all time.
Is there anyone that you would like to tattoo?
Anybody and everybody. If you want a tattoo, come and get it.
Is there a tattoo that you haven’t done yet that you are dying to do?
Not really anything specific. I try to find a way to love something about every tattoo. I’m dying to do whatever. Ha!
Before someone gets a tattoo what advice do you give to them?
Check out my website!