HAPPY 4th OF JULY!
Today I have a very special guest, my friend and tattoo artist, Dusty Rhoads! Since I’m working on the next book of my Breakers’ Bad Boys series, I thought it would be fun to have Dusty come visit and chat with us about what he does. I asked some of my readers to provide some questions for him to answer, and he had graciously done so.
Now, sit back and prepare to be entertained!
Thanks for the opportunity to let others see into the life of a tattoo artist. Answering some of these questions will probably shine some light on what goes on in my world...
1. Why do you think woman (and some men) are attracted to bad boys with lots of tattoos?
I think the attraction for some people with a “Bad Boy” as you put it, with lots of ink is an attraction to the unknown in some cases. These women or men may not have a tattoo, or have a small one or two, but can’t understand how someone like me—who is sleeved, full chest, thighs, calves, feet, and hands—could sit through all this tattoo work. Through forming a personal relationship with me, they start to see how patient, understanding and caring I can be. Their guard is let down and feelings of desire may form. It’s not love, but lust. The person will start touching my skin with wild eyes.
2. If someone has an old tat that is messed up, would you recommend touching it up or covering it with something new?
If a person has an old tat that is in need of attention, I suggest talking to a few artist or going to someone that you know their work and love it. Talk with your artist and weigh out your options, and what budget you would like to be in. Be open. Understand that nightmare cover-ups require lots of planning.
3. Without giving names, who was your worst client and why?
Worst client. Guy or girl walks in and says: “Hey.”
Customer: “How much for a sleeve?”
Me: “A sleeve of what?”
Customer: “I don’t know, anything.”
To which I reply with a bunch of ideas, like Japanese style, colorbomb graffiti, tribal, islander, photo realism... Do some homework about what you want to get a tattoo of as a customer. You have the responsibility to yourself do a little research for photo reference of a tattoo. When it comes to an entire sleeve who would pay at least a thousand dollars for “I don’t care?” If you don’t care what you get, should I spend three hours coming up with a sleeve, and hand draw marker to skin your sleeve to fit perfectly if you as the customer don’t care what you get? This type of customer is usually just getting work done to fit in with other tattooed people.
4. How did you become a tattoo artist? Where did you learn?
I learned to tattoo in Rockford Illinois. I did a piercing apprenticeship , and another for tattoos. I have been working in a tattoo shop for 13 years now. I’m 33 yrs old.
5. What is your advice to someone who wants to get a tattoo, but doesn’t know what they want?
If you want to get a tattoo, think long and hard about what and why. Research the meaning of some of the traditional designs, and see if something grabs you.
6. What is your advice to someone who is getting something you think will look horrible?
Ultimately, a stupid idea for a tattoo really depends on the client. People get little travel marks, or lovers names, or other spontaneous tattoos to mark an occasion. Is a tattoo of a peach a stupid idea? Not to a girl born in Georgia.
7. What do you think is the most difficult area of the body to tattoo and why?
Stomach is my least favorite, by far. It’s moving while you take a breath, and is a little painful.
8. What is the strangest place you have ever given someone a tattoo and why?
Tattooed a black heart on the shaft of my own penis. The why is a little difficult to explain...
9. What is the longest (time frame) tattoo you’ve given and what was it?
Longest was five or six hours without a break. After that, I took the rest of the day off. Tattooing can be exhausting.
10. Have you ever done a tattoo that offended you? What was it?
Nah, I’m not easily offended. It’s the people that can be offensive, not the tattoo. ;)
11. What’s the one thing you would tell someone about tattooing that no one seems to know when they walk into your shop?
Tattooing is a one on one business. Talk to me, form a connection with me, and your tattoo will be the best.
Wanna see the fun Dusty and I had together recently? Here is the new tattoo he did for me...it's a dragon that wraps around my side. I just love it!
Contact Dusty Rhoads on: