Meet the Artist: David Sugihara

Hinman (stones & David)

Tattoo artist, David Sugihara, designed and painted these stepping stones for a client’s garden just a couple of weeks ago.  It was such a pleasure to work with him and witness the surprisingly beautiful marriage between landscaping and the art of tattooing.  See the full post for more photos and a description.  Keep reading below to get to know this talented artist and all-around great guy!

How did you design these beautiful stepping stones?
For this project, our client wanted the “zen” and “om” symbols painted on the top surface of each stepping stone for a total of 17 stones. Since the stones were conveniently flat surfaced, I thought the most efficient way to achieve uniformity was to create a stencil and paint over it. To create the stencils, I used mylar stencil film and and cut them with an x-acto knife. Since the stones were intended to be placed outdoors, I used [black] all-weather paint so that the symbols would be able to withstand the varying Chicago weather conditions.

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How did you get interested in tattooing?
I first got into tattooing in 2012 when I was living with a buddy in AlbanyPark. One night, we were hanging out and he suggested that I should tattoo (whether he was joking or not, I don’t know) and that he would let me practice on him if I decided to. I was taking a break from school since I didn’t really know what I wanted to be doing, so I thought I might as well give it a go. I went online, ordered some very basic equipment, and tattooed his forearm the following week. I guess they say, “the rest is history.”

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What do you like about tattooing?
Besides the ability to create art on a human canvas, one of my favorite things about tattooing is the opportunity to interact my clients. Since many tattoos can take a few hours to complete, I get the chance to get to know the individual on a little bit of a deeper level. Tattoos are often very meaningful and personal and I feel honored that someone would be willing to let me be a part of that. People come from all walks of life and in the few years that I’ve been tattooing, I’ve been privileged to meet many great people and share in their experiences.

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What is your favorite kind of tattoo?
I enjoy doing tattoos of any style (Japanese influence, realism, etc.) but my favorite would have to be American-traditional. Something about banners and pin up girls never gets old. 

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David recently finished up an apprenticeship at a hole in wall shop on the south side of Chicago and is currently looking for a full time position at another location.