Incendiary Tattoos – Victoria, BC
My name is Dani Teitsma and I’ve been tattooing since 2010, but an artist since I can remember. Growing up I was surrounded by artists; my mom, my sister, and most of the friends I surrounded myself with, were all artistic. I can remember sitting at the kitchen table with my sister and our friends, drawing, with the music cranked!
Tell us about your path to becoming a tattoo artist…
Well, I had a very unconventional apprenticeship, if you can even call it that! I started in Hamilton, Ontario, at a shop run by a group of HA. I wasn’t sure how I had expected to start my tattoo career, but I did get a lot of practice from the consistent street walk-ins that came in off of Barton Street. I lasted in that shop for about a year, until I had to do a midnight move due to increasing tensions between some of the artists and the management. From there I tattooed on the side for about a year, working elsewhere to make steady money until I could find another shop to take me on. Finally, a family friend who had given me my first tattoo at 16, Dave McCabe, offered me a job at Kreative Khaosin Brantford. I stuck with that awesome tattoo family for three years, until I moved to Victoria, BC, where I currently reside. Dave hooked me up with Jim Carter of Incendiary Tattoos, and right away I fit in like I had always belonged; so much so that after a year working together, Jim and I fell in love and have been happily traveling, tattooing, and doing pretty much everything together ever since! I love it on the island and my art, my health, and my happiness have flourished more than ever.
Tell us something unique about yourself as an artist…
I find a lot of satisfaction in doing cover-ups and fix-ups. I get to use the creative skills I’ve worked hard at, not only to make a rad tattoo, but to transform a former piece that the customer has lost touch with. I’ve learned how to properly distract, and gauge, the darkness and tones of what I’m working with, to be able to plan a suitable cover up.
Why do you think some artists shy away from tattoo cover-ups?
I think a lot of artists don’t like doing cover ups because they prefer to have a clean piece of flesh to do what they do best: their own art. A failed cover up is pretty defeating to both the artist, and the client, so it’s a workload many artists won’t take. Cover-ups are definitely challenging, and it takes a lot of experience to get it right. With so much work available these days, it’s easy for us to be choosy with the pieces we do. I hope that opting to take on these types of challenges will set me apart in a different way than just branding myself as a certain style or personality.
Where do you get your inspiration from? Do you have a mentor or favourite artist? I am a creature of this modern day; I use Instagram and Pinterest to inspire me. Working a lot of tattoo conventions always sparks new ideas, and I participate in local art battles to loosen up and play. I try to explore different forms of art and ways to promote creativity. I oil paint, I dabbled in some nail art for a bit, I started wood burning, I play music, I bake and decorate cakes, and I like to get creative with my makeup! I have a few favourite artists for sure: Erin Chance, Brandon Herrera, Tommy Lee Wendtner, Meagan Jean Morris, and Damian Robertson just to name a few.