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Donald Purvis

Artist Interview



Artist of the Month




Hmmm, obviously tattooing. I like to draw and paint. I don't have much time to paint anymore. I mess with computer graphix alot and building web pages. I like to watch tv just to make fun of it. There is humor in everything, nothing is sacred. No one will watch tv with me and a friend of mine named Eric. We add a touch of mystery science theater to everything we see. When not poking fun at the world and all it's wonders, I like to read. Science fiction, horror, history, paranormal & fantasy are my favorite subjects.

I like music, all kinds. Overkill, anthrax, gwar, monster magnet, blues, some old rock, some new. I like camping but I don't have much time to go anymore.

I find humor in extremely juvenile acts and behavior among friends, especially when these acts are being orchestrated by grown men who have somehow managed to maintain a grasp on their mindless adolescence and their refusal to grow up completely. It is these people that I've met in

My career of tattooing that keep the studio interesting as well as humorous. Other hobbies include coffee, cigarettes and insomnia.


Donald Purvis Name:
Donald Purvis


New Albany, Indiana

Years in the Biz: 14

Asgard Ink Tattoo &
Bod Mod

What made you want to become a Tattoo Artist?
I was an Artist, I tried to find work everywhere with no results.
I always liked and wanted tattoos. I started getting tattooed when I was 18. I kept hanging out at the studio drawing flash and just helping out. I was later put through an apprenticeship at Tattoo Charlie's. Tattooing let me do the kind of art I like. It's that freedom I saw early on, that made me want to become a Tattoo Artist..

BAW: Who are your influences?
DP: Wow, there are so many. Tattoo Influences are Gil the Drill,Jack Rudy, Randy Adams, Kari Barba, Ed Hardy, Guy Atchkinson, Joe Scapin and later on in my career I would have to Say Paul Booth. I have a detailed INFLUENCES page on my site Asgard Ink Tattoo & Bod Mod Consist of three pages.

BAW: What is your favorite style of work?
Evil ! Ok, really umm black and gray work I would have to say, evil black and gray.

BAW: Tell us about your first Tattoo Inkspierence?
DP: I had no money, I was hanging out at Tattoo Charlie's for a while. I was drawing flash for him. I traded flash and a little cash for the tattoo I got from him. It was the Motorhead No remorse design. The flash wasn't really that great, I was learning. He did me a favor by doing the tattoo for me. That was in 1987. After that first one I was

BAW: What is your favorite piece you own?
DP: Glock 9mm. OK really, I have a piece by Kevin Vera of Cthulhu on the inside of my right forearm. It's black and gray and It looks great.

BAW: What is your most memorable Tattoo given and why?
DP: LOL, ok ...A girl name La Monica got this huge bird on her hip and it came down her leg and onto her stomach a little. There was this "Spot" that when I went over it with the shader, she would TENSE up. At first I thought It was pain. I looked up and she had this big grin on her face. I knew right then she was having a really good time. I finished the tattoo, She was VERY PLEASED with the whole experience. She stood up and her knees buckled a little. We both started laughing. She said " I don't know if I should kiss you or pay you!" My mom was In the studio at that time, La Monica and I were behind a curtain. Everyone in the studio could hear what was going on, She wasn't the quietest girl I've ever heard. My mom, LOL, In front of everyone said as soon as La Monica Left, "What were you doing to that girl?" The whole studio full of people busted out laughing. Till this day, mom still doesn't believe me...

BAW: What is your most outrageous tattoo given and why?
DP: Wacky Dave! ! ! His entire body Is covered in a medley of death and mutilation. Demons killing People, including himself all over him. People don't know how to take Dave. he's been my customer for 11 years, he strives for newer and sicker things with each tattoo. There will be a wacky Dave gallery on my site soon.

BAW: Is there a part of the body you won't Tattoo and why?
The Penis, because you cant pay me enough to hold someone's business.

BAW: How do you feel about female Tattoo Artists?
DP: Kari Barba was one of my greatest influences. If someone has a problem with female tattoo artist then there Is some serious emotional scarring in their mind.

BAW: Do you support supply co. that sells to the public?
DP: Nope ...

BAW: Do you feel there now should be mandatory schooling for soon to be tattoo artists?
DP: Yes and No. Who will govern this schooling, surely to God not the state government. What about tattoo artist that have been around For 10 years or 20. I don't see where this can be resolved easily. I will not sit next to some hack in a state governed classroom. I do think
something needs to be done. APT should be a requirement and I think all the cranked up crack smoking Tattooist should be shut down. Tattooing is permanent and so are the results of cross contamination. I don't think the public should be exposed to Tattooist who have a drug problem. It's not safe, I refuse to call them Tattoo Artist. They are raping the industry and it's customers. I'm all for schooling, just not state governed schooling. How bout a Tattoo Mafia? LOL

BAW: Do you feel Tattooing has changed over the years, and if so why?
Yes it has for the better. It's cleaner today than before. More real Artists are getting into the business.

BAW: Do you think it is important to do as many conventions and shows as possible?
DP: Not really, If that's what you want then that's great. I think your hometown is your bread and butter. Conventions are great but your customers are greater. They pay the rent, phone and feed us.

BAW: What advise can you give to someone who is starting or
looking to get into the tattoo business?
DP: If you can't draw already concentrate on that first. Work on Flash, Flash, and Flash. Don't worry about the tattoo machine right now. worry only about being able to draw the tattoo on paper first. It has to be perfect on paper before you can move onto flesh. Use colored pencils, not the cheap ones. Worry about good clean outlines. Use a technical pen for that and the backbone of the tattoo to me Is All in the shading. If you can’t shade it correctly, all the color in the world won’t save it. After you can shade well, then move onto color. Go out and buy tattoo magazines. Work on reproducing the designs you see in there. Change the colors, correct the shading. Make it look better if need be. BUST YOUR ASS ! Read everything you can get your hands on or your mouse over about tattooing. If you really want this you will have no problem with it. Contact a local well-respected studio. Go in with your portfolio. If you don't have one, Make one! Don't get discouraged they will seem to blow you off. You have no idea How many people a day approach us wanting to tattoo. Impress the studio owner. You’re just another person asking for a job. They don't know you. Make them know you! By your work, Your attitude and appearance. and lose the attitude if you have one. You are not Gods gift to the business. No body is Gods gift to anything. Don't get me wrong I'm not religious, I just hate assholes with the God complex.

BAW: What could you say to someone who has had a bad first Inkspierence?
DP: Sorry...if it was due to a shitty tattoo artist all I can say is warn all your friends about him or her. If it was a reaction to the healing lotion, salve or the pigment then you are a rare bird. It's not the Tattoo Artist's fault. I would consult your doctor and I wouldn't give up on tattooing. Ask the studio where you got It the tattoo what kind of Ink, salve etc... It was that caused this so when you go to get tattooed anywhere else, If ever, you can tell them at that studio that you had a reaction to BLAH,BLAH and they could tell you if they use the same BLAH that caused the reaction. As far as The Shitty Tattooist/HACK goes. Well there's not much to say. There are alot of new shops popping up like sores nationwide. If these people were not trained then you’re in for some trouble. Don't try to save a buck. Go to a pro. Don't support the hack shops, They are the cancer that this business doesn't need. Another word of advice, " Those who trumpet their glories, usually suck the worst!" If you want good work seek the portfolios, the answers are in there.

BAW: Please share any other comments or views or questions to the public you might have.
DP: I just did? LOL, To the customers. Don't worry about cost, you get what you pay for. Demand to see their portfolio of tattoo work, it should be proudly displayed. If not then chances are that they suck and you should leave with your skin intact. Tip the artist if he or she did a good job. Boycott all hack shops ! ! ! Ask to see the autoclave and sterile packaging. Show respect to the artist and you should receive the same. Don't become an artist or go to an artist that thinks that they are the be all end all of the tattoo world. These self proclaimed Demi Gods are just as much of a plague as the hacks that are polluting this industry. There is a difference between having pride in your work and accomplishments and being an arrogant pompous ass swelled up with what I call bitch pride. If this offends you then you probably are a part of the plague. If not, then you know exactly what I'm talking about...