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Luigia Minichiello
Interview by: Luigia Minichiello Tuesday 10 September 2019
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Dillon Forte: Sacred Geometry from Oakland to Everest

Oakland-based tattoo artist Dillon Forte has been on a wild ride in 2019, from inking celebrity clients such as Usher to tattooing on Earth's highest peak Mt Everest in the Himalayas. Dillon's skilful 'sacred geometry' style, with designs featuring mandalas and dizzyingly intricate patterns, has earned him a truly worldwide fanbase. We caught up with Dillon for a quick Q&A ahead of his appearance at The London Tattoo Convention this September. 

Ben McKee tattooed by Dillon Forte

Ben McKee tattooed by Dillon Forte

Hand tattoo for Kehlani by Dillon Forte

Hand tattoo for Kehlani by Dillon Forte

What inspired you to start tattooing? 

I have been drawing and painting my entire life. My parents are both artists and encouraged me to explore my passions, so they were very understanding when I decided to pursue tattooing as a career.

What is the strangest place/venue/location you've tattooed?

The strangest place I’ve ever tattooed someone is on Mt. Everest, a couple hundred feet above Base Camp!

What do clients usually request from you?

My clients mostly come to me for Sacred Geometric designs. 

What’s the worst tattoo that someone has asked for?

A pink squiggly line going all the way up the arm, just completely random (this was requested when I was apprenticing so I was like... sure, haha!) 

Dillon Forte tattooing Usher

Dillon Forte tattooing Usher

Head tattoo for Usher by Dillon Forte

Head tattoo for Usher by Dillon Forte

How many people do you think you have tattooed in your career? How many tattoos do you have?

I honestly have no idea, I can't keep track. I have my whole body tattooed… so one I guess?!

Have there been any famous clients that you have tattooed that you can share? What did they get?

I recently tattooed the back of Usher’s head/neck with a Berber talisman. I’ve also tattooed Chris Hemsworth (Australian actor), Kehlani (American singer), Ben Mckee (of Imagine Dragons), Deandre Levy (American footballer) and lots of other notable figures in their respected fields.

Is there anyone you would have really liked to have tattooed in your career? If so who and why?

I would have really loved to tattoo Plato so I could ask him how he finished his lost writings on Atlantis. Or Leonardo Da Vinci.

Kat Von D with forearm tattooed by Dillon Forte

Kat Von D with forearm tattooed by Dillon Forte

Deandre Levy with a sacred geometry sleeve by Dillon

Deandre Levy with a sacred geometry sleeve by Dillon

Have you won any awards?

I’ve won awards at conventions but I’m not too into the idea of tattooing as a competitive sport seems kinda silly.

Anything else you would like to add?

I’ve just launched Eco Tattoo Supply Co. Every product is made from sustainable, renewable materials which are biodegradable and compostable. It’s our mission to reduce the waste accumulated by the tattoo community for a better world.

Come and meet the artist in action at The London Tattoo Convention, London’s Tobacco Dock on  27th-28th-29th September 2019. Advance tickets are now on sale.