LBSPY Interview with Derek Entenmann
How long have you been tattooing? I have been tattooing for almost 4 years but I have been interested in tattoos as long as I can remember. I got my first tattoos when I was 19 and in college in Philadelphia. It was a different time then — high school kids weren’t getting tattooed yet. Although I primarily studied academics, I studied art in my free time and went to the Louvre, the Vatican Museum, the HR Giger bar, and the Salvadore Dali Museum during semester breaks. My favorite artists are MC Escher, HR Giger and Salvadore Dali. While vacationing in 2004 I was surprised to meet Giger at his museum in Switzerland.
What style of tattooing do you like? I like all contemporary styles of tattooing. Back in the 90’s, much artwork could not be artistically portrayed as tattoos. New techniques were subsequently developed which allowed tattooing to grow to the next level and beyond. Now some tattoo artists can achieve photorealism. I think Guy Aitchison and Nick Baxter are the most important figures in modern tattooing. My favorite style is the modern graphic art – styled tattooing which is popular in central Europe.
You travel and do your tattooing in other places as well? Yes, I work at tattoo conventions around the country about once a month. I’ve worked in Chicago, Washington, DC, Baltimore, Philly, Jersey, Orlando twice a year and Miami twice a year. Travelling is really important to furthering my tattoo career. It motivates me and inspires me by working with some of the top artists in the world. At conventions, I can network and learn and find out about more events. This has also lead to me bringing some world class artists to the shop here in Lewisburg.
What’s in the future for you? Last year I was able to really progress with working at conventions, learning from top artists, getting a sponsorship and having a tattoo I did chosen to be featured in a new hardcover tattoo book. This year I want to become more known on the convention circuit and continue improving my tattooing so I can be a desired artist anywhere in the world. I’d like to work at conventions in Europe.
Do you have any suggestions for anyone looking to get a tattoo? Sure, take your time and think about what you want. Go to a professionally experienced artist whose portfolio amazes you. Listen to the artist’s suggestions. Don’t be a cheapskate, a tattoo is going to be with you a long time and you get what you pay for.
-Christina Entenmann, Issue 9