Dan Smith has been a busy boy this year with the release of his book “With the Light of Truth”. Between book signing tours, singing with his band “The Departed”, or tattooing Kirstie Alley on the Ellen, it’s anyone’s guess what keeps Dan going.
English born, I absorbed all aspects of British culture, most importantly music, before moving to New Zealand at a tender age. Growing up in New Zealand, I was exposed to a very unique education. Tattooing having the history it does there, sparked my interest early and after meeting Dean Parkin from Sacred Tattoo, my path was set. Hanging around Sacred with Dean and Dan Andersen was the best thing to happen to me. I took my first machine aquired from Adam Craft and what I had observed over the years of getting tattooed and applied it to what I knew I had to do.
Moving to Australia in 2001 and meeting Shep and Gomer, I was asked to start in my first shop The Body Art Shop in Adelaide, SA. This was where I got my tattoo footing and quickly and thankfully was able to stay busy tattooing a style I loved, yet always having the diversity of what working in street shop asks of you too. Being heavily involved in playing music from a young age also made traveling easier and I was able to take tattooing with me. After Meeting Jim Miner, Daniel Albrigo and Kat Von D the previous year, and remembering their extended invitation of being able to work along side them a little more permanently, it was all I needed.
In 2004 I decided to make the huge move to California. Working at Inflictions in Arcadia was my first taste of tattooing on American soil and I again, was able to stay busy and work side along stand up artists.
In 2006, now spending all my time in Orange County, I started working at Eric Maaske’s Classic Tattoo with Tim McAlary, Tom Moser, Colin Dowling and other greats. As my band got busier I travelled consistently, tattooing on the road from the back of the van, to lush hotel rooms and everything in between. When home, I spent a lot of time tattooing out of my private studio in Santa Ana, and of course frequent visits to Goldrush Tattoo in Costa Mesa.
Mid 2008 after returning from a tour and visiting ex workmate and friend Kat Von D, I was asked to join the High Voltage team in Hollywood and I accepted. I have been there ever since, but still make time to visit the people who have helped me along the way, and of course guest spot and attend conventions everywhere.
Where you can find him: High Voltage Tattoo in Los Angeles, CA
Best known for: Western Traditional with Solid Color and Heavy Black