Danny Bayron Black Lotus Tattoo
Our Artist Spotlight is on Danny Bayron of Black Lotus Tattoo in Maryland. Danny Bayron has been tattooing for a short period but has an impressive portfolio which includes a multiple of different styles. We caught up with Danny between appointments at Black Lotus Tattoo.
How long have you been tattooing?
I’ve been tattooing for almost five years now, almost three years of those have been full time. The first two years I was tattooing part time and splitting my week with my other career as a barber.
Did you always want to be a tattoo artist?
I don’t think so. Back in 1997 when I got my first professional tattoo done, I thought it would be a cool job to have. I was a teenager, getting my first tattoo so the atmosphere, and the dynamics of it sparked my interest. I have always drawn/ doodled, I drew my second tattoo. I knew that it was a hard field to get into because of stories I’ve heard, finding an apprenticeship would be difficult because I wasn’t friends with anyone in the industry and a lot of tattooers at that time were old school, with old school views. So I might’ve been a little intimidated to ask a random tattooer if he wanted to teach me, so I never tried.
How old were you when you got your first tattoo? What was it? Any story behind it?
When I first started tagging, I went through a few different names. The one that stuck for a little while was JC. It stood for “just chilling”. It was a simple two letter tag that was quick to write and pretty symmetrical so doing throw ups or block letters looked cool. That was my first tattoo, JC, done by a dude named Squiggy, with a missing front tooth. I was 13, and it was done with a needle and thread, poking which seemed like forever but in reality was probably only 30 minutes.
Did you do a traditional apprenticeship?
I didn’t do a traditional apprenticeship. I eventually started tattooing because while I was cutting hair, a client of mine was a tattooer. He thought I had enough control with my clippers that I could transfer those skills to tattooing. So I had a toe through the door. He showed me the basics, how to set up machines and how to use different needles for different tattoos. The difference between liners and shaders. He also showed me how to make my own gray wash. but then I started to do my own research due to more people trying to get small stuff by me. I needed to know more, so I taught myself more about techniques and all of the health concerns involved in tattooing and how to tattoo safely in a safe and sterile environment.
How do you feel apprenticeships have changed over the years? For the better or worse?
I don’t feel I have any right judging anyone’s apprenticeship due to the fact that I was pretty much self-taught but I can say one thing. I have noticed that people have made an apprentice pay for their apprenticeship and have not really given any helpful information, or proper information regarding tattooing. I just feel that isn’t the right thing to do. you can’t charge for the type of information you should be giving to someone who wants to take this trade/skill seriously. It should be more of a brotherhood type of thing rather than a money making type of thing. Therefore, I would have to say, with more and more money hungry people out there, it’s possibly getting worse.
What advice would you give an artist trying to break into the tattoo world?
Be prepared to work for yours. It’s not easy. Remember, you are basically in the service industry so making your clients happy is numero uno. This is a job you can’t leave at the door when you leave. You have to keep practicing, studying, trying new things in order to stay fresh. If you really want to do this, don’t give up when times get hard, keep going.
What artist(s) have influenced you and your work over the years?
When I first started, I tried keeping true my graffiti roots. So I looked up to graffiti artists like Seen. While I kind of developed my own style, I knew that I needed to be able to do a lot more if I wanted to reach out to a wider clientele base. I looked towards the west coast guys for a little guidance. Then I started to dabble with realism and noticed I felt a comfort doing this kind of tattoos. My oldest brother isn’t a tattoo artist but he was a realism artist. So I thought maybe it was just something that was in our blood. Then as my career started rolling I worked side by side with Halo. Working next to this dude opened my eyes to a lot, not only to tattooing realism but the work ethic needed to persevere in this industry. I never worked harder at this than after meeting and working with him. As far other artists I am influenced by, there are too many to name. I like a lot of different styles so I look at a lot of different artists for inspiration regarding what my client might be looking for.
From your online portfolio it appears you tattoo in a wide range of styles; what is your favorite style? What is your least?
I don’t have a least favorite, I try my best to feel like any tattoo I do is my favorite style so I can execute the best I can to capture what it is supposed to be. Choosing a favorite is easy, though, realism hands down, anything horror based. I love the darkness and textures in doing horror tattoos.
Do you work in any other mediums?
Nothing too crazy, sketchbooks with a pencil. I haven’t reached out to anything else as of just yet. I dabbled a little with the digital stuff but haven’t really done enough to say I work with it.
If you could be tattooed by any artist who would it be and what would you get?
That’s a hard one. Like I said earlier, there are a lot of really cool artists out there. I couldn’t just pick one. Whoever it would be, I’d get what they were good at doing.
Do you attend any tattoo shows or conventions? If so which are you planning to attend?
I do the conventions around Maryland, DC, Pennsylvania. I planned on doing a lot more with the shop but I recently (a year ago) had a son, so it’s hard for me to be too far for too long right now. Now that he’s getting a little older I’m sure it’ll be easier to hit up a lot more in the coming years.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
You definitely can expect to see growth. I feel as if since I’ve started, I’m only getting better. I plan on working on trying to be perfect. I know I’ll never be perfect, but in trying, hopefully, I put out nothing but great work. I have my ruts where I feel like I suck but I keep telling myself, this is only temporary, you’ll work yourself out of it.
The best way for someone to book an appointment with you?
The absolute best way to book an appointment with me would be to come into the shop and meet with me if possible. Make an appointment in the shop. It’s the old school way where we get to meet and talk about what you’re looking for. Any information you need to book an appointment is located on the shops website www.blacklotustattoos.com~ ☠ AnoTat2 ∴