Freshly Inked Interview with Danny Elliott
What's your experience been like tattooing in Texas?
The Texas scene is like a Mecca for tattooers across all styles. Pick any genre and you can find one of the top artists here well within reach, so that keeps me hungry and pushing myself constantly.
Seeing as your portfolio is filled with awesome pop culture pieces, what is your favorite cartoon and why?
Growing up it was definitely Dragonball Z which sparked my love for art, but today it’s Rick and Morty hands down. I like that some of the comedy is punchy and other bits take some serious time to pay off. You never know what to expect and it doesn’t hold your hand with the storyline.
And the most recent Disney movie you've watched?
Literally, the last one would be Frozen. I watch cartoons and kids movies all the time though so that answer will likely be different in the next day or two. I have a Tv in my workspace also, so occasionally a tattoo session with me is also a Disney marathon.
On a personal level, I’ve been really fortunate that my clients are as nerdy as I am and that they hand over creative control.
What colors do you recommend to really get a tattoo to pop?
I use Eternal Ink, which definitely helps. The color itself is relative though, so making something “pop” is less about the actual hue and more about making sure there is enough contrast with the surrounding elements to create that emphasis.
Can you share a favorite tattoo you've done and why?
That choice is getting more difficult the longer I tattoo, but probably the voodoo teddy Bears I did on Liz Cook.
The concept she gave me was super unique, plus she had literally just completed a creepy teddy bear sleeve and used every good reference online, so it made me get creative. After all, it’s not every day your friend/ artistic mentor asks you for work.
So I ended up building a still life, setting up lighting and taking my own photos to make it work, before spending hours in photoshop. That was my first time really working a dynamic/ harmonious color scheme also, so I learned a lot in the process.
Do you prefer traveling and tattooing or tattooing in the studio?
The studio. I’d rather travel for fun now, and It’s also pretty cool to know where everything is.
Who are some awesome artists you've met along the way?
There are way too many to name here, I’ve found that most people I meet on the road are artistically driven, yet humble and down to earth. I really dig that.
to name a few:
Mike Devries, Phil Garcia, Guy Aitchison, Dave Lukeson, Big Ceeze, Ben Ochoa, Adrian Novo, Timmy B, Lindsay Baker and the whole NiteOwl Crew, everyone at 9th Realm, obviously Liz Cook and my family here at Rebel Muse. The list could go on forever.
Where do you find new ideas or inspiration?
Ideas come from everywhere for me, from movies and video games to music and nature. I feed off my clients a lot and it’s fun to use their concept as a jumping off point, just seeing how far it can go.
True inspiration though is like trying to catch lightning in a bottle. It hits hard, it’s unpredictable, and you just try to hold on as long as you can.
Along the path of becoming a tattoo artist, what's one important lesson you've learned?
The pursuit of knowledge and growth never ends, as an artist, I’m always wanting more. So every time I reach a goal, I end up immediately setting a new one for myself and the cycle repeats.
The most important thing that I’ve learned over the years is that it’s not about “making it” anywhere, it’s about enjoying and appreciating the journey in between.
Any messages to our readers?
Thanks for taking the time to read through all this, I’m honored and humbled to be included among such amazing artists. If you catch me on the road please stop by my booth and say hey. I’m always down for a chat!
See more from Danny here!
Son you are so incredibly talented. Your hard work and the beautiful art you share with everyone has always made me very proud of you. You see things in a way not many can and I appreciate you for always giving your very best.