Moving to Texas - Dillon Forte
We love tattoos, but even more we love people who devote their whole lives to this art, pushing the boundaries of what is possible, bringing inspiration and joy to people around the world!
One of these people is Dillon Forte. A few years ago we introduced him to you, and later talked about some of his achievements. Today we decided to visit Dillon again and talk about what he managed to achieve during this time.
Dillon, hi! The last time we spoke to you was in 2019. You have done a great job in these 3 years. Let's talk about this a little.
Your work is becoming more and more popular every year. What is the secret of your success?
- Thank you, and I just see the work as a continued evolution of my art and overall interest in the industry. I don’t really focus on “success” and more so fixate closely on my passion for tattooing, expanding my offerings and making sure my clients are happy. I meet a lot of people through my work and travels, so I 110% think it’s just word of mouth keeping the schedule full for myself and my other tattooists here at the Austin studio.
We heard some news about you. First, you opened a second studio in Austin and moved there. Tell me more about it. Why did you decide to leave California?
- I felt it was time for change and I fell in love with Texas and hill country when I made a couple visits in recent years. I really appreciate the Texas spirit, what they have to offer and I knew immediately that Austin needed to be my next home. Honestly, it’s also a much better location for my studio when it comes to everything ranging from travel and accessibility. Clients from the East Coast have a shorter trip as well, it’s just a great central location.
You tattoo celebrities all the time. Your last guests were, it seems, Usher and Chris Hemsworth. Tell me, what is it like to work with such stars? Who else were your guests?
- Yeah I’ve had a lot of fun tattooing some of these clients who are known around the globe. Let’s see, I’ve tattooed Kat Von D, Kehlani, and Chris Hemsworth / Usher as you mentioned. I have other «notable people» inquiring with me all the time, but it’s really about timing and getting things on the calendar. I don’t treat and feel any different when tattooing a «celebrity», if anything these people are a lot more normal than you would imagine. We’re just having great conversations, talking about art, family and making sure they get the perfect tattoo they are seeking.
We also heard about the release of the Forte Tattoo Tech line of eco-friendly tattoo supplies. How are your products different from others?
- I created the Forte Tattoo Tech line of products to simply be better for the environment. I noticed many of the products in the tattoo industry, while perfectly fine, were likely going to landfills and sitting there without breaking down for a really really long time. I wanted to put together a line of products that have the same reliable quality, but are made from naturally derived materials that are easier to break down and are better for the planet.
Tattooing is more popular than ever, so I wanted to make industry standard items like rinse cups, cling wrap, bottle bags and other items that break down quickly without causing harm to the soil. Forte Tattoo Tech uses plant-based ingredients like hemp, sugar cane and bamboo. I’m seeing over time that other shops are catching wind of the product and placing orders, which is really encouraging.
And of course, our traditional question about your plans for the near future. Exhibitions, conventions, what lies ahead for you?
- I’m heading out to Burning Man as I type this and just booked the 10th annual International Nepal Tattoo Convention which I’m excited about. We have other events in talks, and once confirmed I’ll get those up on my socials so people know I’m coming to hang out and tattoo.
I remember in 2019 you said that due to the large amount of work, you rarely get to get out into nature or travel. Apparently now you have even less time, or do you still find time to contemplate the world?
- I’ve been working at carving out more time to travel more. For example, I just made a trip to Mexico City to see the second largest pyramid Teotihuacan via Hot air balloons. It helps me recharge and get quality time with those around me. I also come up with the best ideas for tattooing and business when I’m off the “clock", which many can relate to. As mentioned above, I’m heading out to Burning Man as well which will be a mix of business and leisure. I try to post as much as possible on socials, check those out to see what I’m up to at and off work.