I am Donno, a humble tattooer, painter, illustrator, writer, and occasionally a singer as well. Tattooing and painting are mostly what this site is here for, but I’m sure the other elements will probably work their way in.
A Brief History of My Tattoo Career…
Well, I began my tattoo apprenticeship under Web Blair at Higher Ground Tattoo in West Philly back in October of 1998, and started tattooing full time in 2000. I continued working with Web until his untimely death forced us to close Higher Ground.
I then went to Popcorn’s Tattoo Parlor in North Philly, where I worked for 3 years, building my chops and toughening my hide in a crazy, fast paced walk in street shop.
I then moved on to Tiny Tim’s Boulevard Tattoos in Collingdale, PA, and worked there for 5 years. At Tim’s I had an opportunity to focus more on custom work and larger pieces in a lower keyed atmosphere.
Eventually my family and I moved to Florida, where I spent six months tattooing with the amazing Turtle, at Turtle’s Tattooz in Kissimmee.
For a while, I returned to the Philadelphia area, where I slung ink at Valor Tattoo, in Trevose, PA, with some old friends- and made some new friends there as well!
After 6 months there, however, I went back to the Sunshine State, and began working by appointment at Armadillo Red’s – the oldest tattoo shop in Central Florida! I can’t say enough good things about Red – he is one of the best people I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing, let alone working with. If you get the chance, go get tattooed by him.
Not long thereafter, my family and I relocated once again, this time to Knoxville, Tennessee. I worked at Synergy Tattoo with a fantastic crew of people- excellent tattooers, every last one, and they welcomed me aboard and made me feel right at home. If you’re in the area, call or come by! Even though I’m not there to tattoo you, there are super talented artists there who will take good care of you!
What do I tattoo?
That’s a good question! I can work in pretty much any style other than photo realistic. I leave the portraits to the portrait guys. My preference is for Old School American Style tattoos, but I also love doing Black and Grey work, and I’m comfortable working with pretty much anything- New School, Celtic, Japanese, what have you. You bring me your idea, we will make it a good tattoo that will last with you your whole life.
What do I paint?
Stuff. Mostly sorta vaguely tattoo-y stuff. I use a combination of Dr. PH Marten’s watercolor paints and various tattoo inks. Once in a while, I do a painting as a preliminary for a tattoo, but usually, they are done just for my own amusement. I do the outlines with an assortment of India ink based pens. I just like the look better than when I do the lines with a brush. Purists be damned!
I thank you again for checking out my website. Please look around, check out my galleries, read my blogs, and peruse my store. Feel free to contact me with any feedback, suggestions, comments or criticisms. I appreciate your time, and appreciate all those who have allowed me to practice my craft on their hides!