Artists

Dan Kelley

Name?

Dan Kelley

Shop?

Skull and Snake Tattoo Studio Art Gallery

Location?

North Berwick, Maine.

Years Tattooing?

10.

Specialty?

Black and Grey/Color realism

Preferred inks & equipment?

Electrum Stencil Primer, Axys Valhalla Machine, Critical XR Power Supply, Dynamic Black Ink that I mix into grey wash myself, Eternal Color Ink, Redemption Tattoo Lubricant, Helios Red Cartridges.

Rotary or coil, and why?

I use a Rotary Machine currently. I learned on coil machines from the ground up but as my tattooing evolved, I felt that the inconsistency of coil machines and having to have a different machine setup for each needle grouping was holding me back. The day I switched to a cartridge system rotary machine is the day that my work finally began to level up in ways I had been striving for but just couldn’t seem to make happen with a traditional coil and tube setup.

You have a clear penchant for the creepy and the macabre. What draws you to that?

I’m drawn to this imagery for a number of reasons. As a child, I was raised a bit sheltered from the unusual. My parents never even let me go trick or treating because they believed Halloween was too closely related to the Devil. So when I began to discover the things I was always kept from, they grew on my like a weed. The darker side of reality is something that shouldn’t be ignored. It makes me appreciate the brighter side of things even more . . . You could say it’s a coping method for my own existence. I think we all struggle with what this life is about and what we are supposed to do while we are here.

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