It is Dave C. Wallin’s love of numerology that prompted him to name his new tattoo shop on North 8th (bet Bedford and Driggs), “8 of Swords.” The shop is located at 178 N 8th St, (“One and seven is 8, and 8, North Eighth Street,” he spells out). He continues, “In tarot, when you get the 8 of Swords, it means all the obstacles around you are created by yourself,” a particularly poignant analogy as Wallin breaks out of his ten-year role as guest and staff artist at shops like Roebling’s Tattoo Culture, and finally takes the helm at a shop of his own.
If you ask Wallin what tattooing style he is known for, he will tell you, “I like to think I do the stuff no one else wants to do.”
By that he means, he adorns bodies with one-of-a-kind designs that reflect both his unfettered imagination and impeccable craftsmanship. He will paint your arm with a jewel-colored, fully landscaped sci-fi sleeve. He will send a dandelion up your back, twisting the stalk with the curve of your side and blowing it’s seedlings across your shoulders and down your arm. And he will, if you like, bedeck your calf with a connect-the-dots pattern, which, when completed, reveals a boxy, preschool-friendly giraffe. He is willing to be experimental (“though not at the risk of the tattoo”), and is committed to customization, which involves both molding a design to fit your body’s shape and movement, and conceptualizing a design that is one of a kind.
“Every time I do something, I try to do it completely differently from the last time. So it’s not something that you’re going to see on somebody else.”
Wallin has been working out of his new digs since July, and, over 100 customers later, he and business partner Dina DiCenso are ready to celebrate. They are throwing an opening party this Saturday, October 17 from 7-10pm in the shop, where snacks and refreshments will be served, and two artists will show their work. Dave personally designed a gorgeous, wrought-iron chandelier for the space to shed light on his subjects while he works, so don’t forget to look up.
For more information on shop location and hours, and to view Dave’s portfolio, visit the shop’s website.