I’ve only been in a tattoo parlour once. Terrified, it was sheer 18-year old defiance that sent me there, I was resolved to leave with something and like many teenagers in the early 2000’s I ended up with a newly minted belly button ring. In and out in less than 15 minutes, I didn’t have enough time to take in the art and trade. I grew up going ‘window shopping’ with my dad, I never had the guts to pop back into a shop. I mean, what was I going to say when I walked in, “Oh I don’t really want ink, I just want to look around?”
I was semi-nervous for our meet up because I know NOTHING about tattoos. I did what every nerd in disguise does, Googled it. Time set, coffee in hand, I arrived to meet Danny Escort at the new shop, The Inkin' Occy, located in Exmouth WA in the old arcade building between the hair dresser and laundry mat prepared with loads of technical questions.
From the moment of stepping into the shop, I was put at ease, it was inviting. Art of various mediums placed on every wall. Neat and tidy, tools of the trade were meticulously organised. The room held some nostalgic items but most of the space was taken up by comfortable functional pieces giving it a living room feel. I plopped down on the red loveseat and took it all in. Danny either didn’t notice or was gracious about my gaping jaw - let’s face it folks, tattoos, tattooing, and tattoo artists can be intimidating.
Accommodating to my questions, Danny thoughtfully and carefully painted me a picture of his history. Originally came to Exmouth WA as a photographer, crewing on boats during the whaleshark seasons. He developed a love for the ocean in Exmouth.
Tattooing is such a specific career choice, I couldn’t help the, ‘how did you land here’ question. Danny replied simply, "I’ve had an infatuation since I was young. Always loved drawing but didn’t grow up in a home with other artists." I learned he’s a man that’s driven by his passions, very talented, probably could talk with confidence about a myriad of subjects but doesn’t feel very motivated to talk at length about his accomplishments or what he knows, rather, he’s in awe that he’s living the dream and grateful for it.
Whilst in his shop, I saw the ‘Local Legend’ wall. He keeps each piece of sketch that lands on skin. He says, “tattooing is a mutual exchange. I remember each person I’ve tattooed and the experience.” Upon inspection, I realised he’s inking different styles of tattoos. I learnt it’s unusual for a tattoo artist to not have a specialty. Danny says, “Subject matter doesn’t matter. I focus on flow, composition, and execution.” Listening to him speak, I felt like I was chatting with a chilled-out engineer. He is focused, reverse engineering the design taking into account the variables and compensating accordingly to deliver literally a work of art on living canvas.
He’s impressive without the pretentious - a blend between obvious passion and drive but maintains a humbled nature - he is incredibly thankful for his clients that allow him to do what he does and I type verbatim, “doodle.” LOL. Take my word for it, he’s leaving his mark in Exmouth, WA one inking session at a time.
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Murray, Sonia & Live Ningaloo Crew!
The Titbits: “a small and particularly interesting item of gossip or information.”
Danny has had several of passions over the years. Some of them include: photography, kick boxing, art, footy, and trekking.
Dunes is Danny’s favourite place in Exmouth – it where he ‘found himself’ during a time when he was ‘lost in the world.’ Often he inks a hidden dunes in his pieces.
He doesn’t like his photo taken. When I asked him to provide me with photos for the piece – not a one had his face. Looks like you’ll have to pay him a visit to see the man behind the ink and hat :0).
The Goal Card
1. Get prepped for a busy season
2. Expand art work further
3. Travel with his trade, wants to be able to announce on social media, "I’m headed to (insert place here)" and have worked lined up.
4. Wants to travel and tattoo in: Antarctica, Canada, Japan, Tonga, & Iceland.