Dave Lum

Dave Lum Excerpt: Walk-in Day

If you follow Robert Ryan on Tumblr or Instagram you’ve most likely seen his weekly ‘walk in’ day posts; killer tattoos that their wearers walked in and got, first come first serve. Some folks like to over prepare; have their clients tattoos drawn up before the appointment, but doing walk-ins puts you in a situation where you have to think on your feet, drawing the designs as the clients arrive and trying to give them a well executed kickass tattoo with very little time to dilly-dally.

Obviously walk-ins were the status quo for tattoo shops pre-Hardy (who I tend to over credit everything to, so it’s fair to say that he wasn’t the first appointment only tattooer, just the standard bearer for the concept) but as the whole ‘custom only’ thing hit it became a dirty word, something that you worked hard to move away from. It’ great to see people still enjoying the challenge of creating really rad pieces on folks who walked right up.

This clip from the classic MetamorphosisII video ‘Dave Lum’s Heavy Duty Tattooing’ features a group of die hard Dave Lum fans going that extra mile to get tattooed by Dave. In the case of one client… 200 miles, with some folks showing up at midnight the night before hoping to secure a spot. Dave is one of those guys who really influenced the way I got tattooed back when I started getting larger work; someone who didn’t mind nonsensical/weird imagery with a sense of humor and solid almost vibrating color. He’s also someone who’s name doesn’t get mentioned nearly as much as it should; it’s my hope that converting and sharing these videos will get folks interested in guys like Dave; people who don’t really have a digital ‘presence’ by who really made an impact on modern tattooing.

I know I haven’t been putting videos up lately- no apologies, of course, but to explain- my laptop is on it’s last legs and importing, converting, editing and exporting video is getting to be a process that my 2008 macbook can’t keep up with. I’m working on options, but for the time being video content will be fewer and further apart. OV doesn’t take advertising; we don’t monetize the videos on youtube.. save for selling tshirts (which don’t sell a lot) we’re 100% nonprofit, so budgeting a laptop for video conversion isn’t top priority in my life; hopefully I’ll have a solution long term, but for now- watch this fun short clip and keep checking back for more!

Excerpt from Dave Lum’s Heavy Duty Tattooing

(non HD version- here)

I bought Dave Lum’s Heavy Duty Tattooing on VHS in 1992.
Lum’s work was nonsensical and sarcastic; bold and readable from across the room. The first time I saw one of his pieces in person I was blown away; solid packed fields of color that almost vibrated when you looked at them. Michael O. Stearns spent some time at his Austin studio and recorded so many pearls of wisdom from a genuinely nice guy; hopefully he’ll eventually release these classics on dvd.

I’ve distilled it down to approx. 15 mins of pure essence of Lum. Enjoy.