Portland tattoo artist’s 3D work brings fame

Posted at 10:04 AM, Apr 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-16 13:48:52-04

PORTLAND, Oregon (KPTV) – Taking his work outside the lines, a Portland tattoo artist found himself suddenly famous for art that just might leave you a little dizzy – no corny glasses needed.

The artist, who only wanted to go by Dave, calls his work Winston the Whale. He started creating 3D-like tattoos last fall while he was visiting Seattle as a guest artist. He said somebody asked him for a red and blue skull created in a 3D effect.

“The combination of the colors — the way they contrast to one another, it creates that visual,” Dave said, adding that offsetting two identical
tattoos also creates the effect.

As for the skull, Dave said he just decided to go for it.

“I didn’t know what I was doing at that point, so we just tried it out and it looked really cool and I posted it (on Instagram) and it just blew
up,” Dave said.

Thousands of Instagram ‘likes’ and several articles and videos later, it’s now Dave’s most requested type of tattoo.

“I love it,” Dave said of spike in new business. “It’s super rad. I’m very grateful for it.”

People are now coming to his studio from all over the country including a Seattle man who wanted to add something different to his tattoo collection.

“I thought it was new and intriguing,” he said. “It’s an optical illusion, and I find that interesting: it plays with your brain and your eyes.”

According to Dave, he is not the first artist to give 3D tattoos a whirl, but he said the simple and classic styles and imagery that he prefers
makes his work stand out.

“The whole 3D thing is very nostalgic for a lot of people,” Dave said. “It’s pop culture.”