Artist Interview – Dan Frye
The Tattoo Collective’s most recent poster, designed by Brighton-based tattooer Dan Frye, celebrates the resurgence of tribal art in contemporary tattooing. Dan’s studies of tribal tattooing from Maori to Marquesan, along with a keen eye for pattern and structure, have helped form a strong body of work with a range of cultural influences.
This week, we caught up with Dan to find out more…
How long have you been tattooing and where did you start out? Did you undertake a traditional apprenticeship?
I did a traditional apprenticeship that lasted around 18 months. That involved drawing non-stop, cleaning and making needles. I did my apprenticeship at Electric Buddha in Ramsgate, Kent. I’ve been tattooing for almost 10 years now.
Over the years, your work has evolved from a bold Western Traditional style to a portfolio of predominantly tribal tattoos. Was this a conscious decision or did your work naturally progress in this way?
It was a conscious decision; when I turned 30 I took a step back and re-evaluated everything. With tattooing being so popular now and with so many trends in tattooing coming and going faster than ever on social media, I wanted to focus on a classic timeless style and I love the impact that Polynesian tattoos have.
There is a noticeable rise in popularity of modern tribal tattooing in various styles. What do you think has contributed to the surge in interest for these types of tattoos?
I think it started with the mandala design getting so popular. That led to more geometric and black work being done and then I think that naturally leads to Polynesian tribal.
What are your favourite styles to work with?
I really enjoy Samoan, Marquesan and mixed Polynesian styles. But I am also interested in pushing a more contemporary style using Navajo and Mehndi motifs.
How can customers book in with you for The Tattoo Collective? Will you have any merchandise for sale?
You can email at firstname.lastname@example.org to book in. I’ll have books, prints and t-shirts available for sale at the booth.
Catch Dan working at The Tattoo Collective 17-19th Feb 2017 at the Angelic Hell Tattoo booth; find our full list of working artists here.
Interview by Jasmine Rollason for The Tattoo Collective 2016