Today we’re speaking with Dillon Forte. He is an American Tattooist specializing in Geometric and Blackwork tattoos. When we speak of these styles it's impossible not to mention Dillon as he's produces some of the most beautiful sacred geometry pieces today.
In his work you’ll find a variety of geometric imagery, such as fractals, pixelation or mandalas, and you’ll often see a perfect use of pointillism to connect the elements.
With a 200k follower base on Instagram and many more fans throughout the world, Dillion is now a reference in the Los Angeles scene, having tattooed stars like Chris Hemsworth, Kehlani, Kat Von D, Usher, Imagine Dragons among many others.
Dillon, thanks for speaking with us today. Tattooing is a tough business, especially in Los Angeles. So, for those who want to follow your footsteps, can you expand on how you got started in the business?
I actually grew up in the San Francisco bay area and ended up taking an apprenticeship at a shop in the area. I was always curious about art and spent a lot of my teenage years skating and drawing. As I progressed through my first couple years of tattooing I discovered that geometric design was a passion and began focusing on that. Fast forward 10 years later and I ended up opening another studio in Venice, California, which was a huge accomplishment. I think making it in LA is hard if you don’t have focus and patience, but it’s been a fun ride down here so far.
For those who aren’t familiar with your work, can you describe your style of tattooing?
My art is inspired by metaphysical and sacred geometrical aspects of nature. I use a mix of blackwork and dotwork tattooing to create geometric and mandala derived pieces for my clients. Each piece is unique to the client and we work together to really create something special.
Can you explain a little bit of the philosophy (or concept) behind your tattooing style?
I’m very much into all aspects of the universe, nature and how sacred geometry connects everything and everyone. I’d say it’s a spiritual experience, and I think many, if not most of the clients who work with me are getting these tattoos for spiritual reasons. While everyone gets tattoos with different motives, I think I’ve set up a client base that really “gets” what I’m putting out into the world.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Nature, the universe and maybe some aliens?
How’s the process of tattooing with you like? Do people bring their patterns and ideas? Or do they just tell you to do your magic?
It’s really a mix of both, some clients bring ideas to the table and we collaborate on the final design. Others ask me to come up with something for them, and I gladly get to work figuring something out.
I know you’ve tattooed some pretty famous people, such as Chris Hemsworth and Usher.
I have, but I won’t be satisfied until tattooing on Mars cough… cough… Elon
What’s a funny story that happened to you in the studio (or with a client)?
There have definitely been some crazy ones but I’ll have to plead the 5th on this one lol
Is there any work you’re most proud of? And why?
I really pride myself on consistency and growth, so every tattoo is honestly my proudest moment. I keep moving forward and take in that moment when I finish a tattoo with a client. I would say there are moments I hold close, like when I tattooed in Morocco, Egypt and on Mt. Everest.
What would you say is your biggest challenge at the moment?
Changing the outlook on materials used in the tattoo industry. I launched a line of eco-friendly tattoo products (Forte Tattoo Tech) to help slowly start that positive change. It’s obviously challenging to change the whole industry at once, but it’s one step at a time.
How do you see your work developing in the future?
I’ve currently got my plate full but I’m looking at moving into more fine art and technology projects.
For those who want to get some amazing ink from you, what’s the best way to contact you and, on average, how long do they have to wait to get their session?
It really depends on the month, anyone interested can email this address to request more information and appointment availability. Contact@dillonforte.com
You have a brand that sells tattoo related items. Can you tell us a bit more about it and how it came up?
Yeah, I started Forte Tattoo Tech as a response to wasteful items that tattoo artists have been using for decades. A lot of what we use ends up in landfills, is hard to decompose, and most isn’t recycled. I created this line of products that are eco-friendly, biodegradable and made from natural materials. I spend a lot of time in nature and from my travels it opened my eyes to how we are treating the earth with our plastic derived products.
I know you also do other types of art, such as canvas. Is there any work you’re promoting at the moment that you’d like to share?
I recently produced a new batch of mixed media art and plan on showing it off at an art gallery soon. Many of the pieces are for sale on my website under the canvas section. You can see quality photos of the pieces along with sizing and pricing - DillonForte.com