My Outlook: Darnell Waine
How many tattoos do you do in a typical day?
I usually take one or two appointments a day. Most of the pieces I do take quite a bit of time so I try to keep my clients per day to a minimum, then I can focus more on each individual piece.
What’s the craziest tattoo you have ever done?
The one tattoo that always comes to mind is a tattoo of a giraffe riding a sea turtle on the water. As far as the concept, it’s pretty far from the norm, and that’s just the kind of stuff that guy’s into. It’s a full-color tattoo and it was a fun piece to do for sure.
How was your experience on the TV show Best Ink?
Best Ink was an awesome experience. I like to compare it to a roller coaster ride—ups & downs and you get thrown for a loop from time to time. I definitely learned a lot about myself as an artist and things haven’t quite been the same since the show aired…in a good way, of course.
How did you handle the competition?
Artistically there were definitely some tough competitors I was going up against. The other artists definitely kept me on my toes and pushed me to really dig deep creatively.
What was your claim to fame on the show?
I’d have to say it’s my skills. I’m talented. It’s also been said that I’m quite handsome, so that doesn’t hurt either.
Were you ever nervous about drawing and giving a tattoo in such a constrained time frame?
Yeah that was probably the toughest part of the competition for me, the time constraints. I like to take my time when I work.
How has your career changed since you’ve been back in OKC?
I’m busier than I’ve ever been in my life. I can travel more because there are plenty of people in other states who are looking to get work done. Traveling is a huge part of what I’d like to do in life.
Did you always want to do tattoos?
I’ve been able to draw for as long as I can remember, but I never had an interest in tattooing until after high school. I never liked school, and hated regular jobs, so I realized tattooing would be the perfect career choice.
How did you transition from being a traditional artist to a tattoo artist?
Transitioning from paper to skin is a lot easier when you’ve already got it down on paper. I feel like drawing is the basis of a good tattooer’s abilities. The same principles apply in drawing and tattooing-—you’re just learning a different tool and canvas.
How many tattoos do you have personally?
I’ve lost count of how many I have. At this point, they’re all just meshing together as one big piece on my body.
What do you think the average age is of someone who wants a tattoo?
These days, people of all ages get tattooed. Kids are still getting their first tattoos on their 18th birthdays and I have clients in their 60s getting full back pieces. Tattoos are timeless.
What is your specialty?
I enjoy doing the larger pieces, more along the lines of photo realism. I have a special place in my heart for black and grey but I love doing color as well. My absolute favorite pieces to do are portraits.
Muse Art Tattoo Co., OKC 601-9669, @worksbywaine