Artist Spotlight: David Allen, Pioneer Studios
I was excited to see that the Chicago Reader featured David Allen yesterday as "This Week's Chicagoan." In it, David talks about pain, facial tattoos, reading clients, and his own "practice leg." I've known of David's work from his practice leg years. I'd been following his tattoo blog religiously -- Allen Tattoo -- since he began it in 2006 as an apprentice at Bluebird Tattoo. [His last entry was in February.] Early in the blog, he often showed how he used his graphic design background in the construction of his tattoo designs -- and this was at a time when you didn't really see that -- so I got hooked right away. It was also cool to see how quickly he progressed from his first tattoo to large-scale intricate works. Now he's a sought-after artist with a year waiting list.
David is also known for working with breast cancer survivors. We posted one of his beautiful mastectomy scar tattoo cover-ups in 2010 here. He offers more on those tattoos that in the article:
For some of the women I tattoo, I cover up mastectomy scars. A lot of them come in with their head down. I hear about their journey--thinking they're gonna die, losing both breasts. What do you do with that information? Do you just act like you care, or do you actually pay attention? That's a living, breathing person that matters. I tell 'em, 'Look what we're able to do, how we're gonna draw the eye away.' In our heads, there's a default round shape to a breast, so we'll create a swooping line, usually floral, that corrects the form.To see more of David's diverse and exciting portfolio, check him on Instagrid, Facebook, and Twitter. In person, you can find him at Pioneer Studios in Chicago with Tim Bierdron, Harlan Thompson and Josh Howard.