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The student news site of Frank W. Cox High School

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The student news site of Frank W. Cox High School

Falcon Press News

The student news site of Frank W. Cox High School

Falcon Press News

Mantra Tattoo artist Dominick Taylor visits Arts I, II classes

DOMINICK TAYLOR SHOWS Core Art 1 and 2 students his art pieces as well as discussing tattooing as a career. “I hope this experience has inspired some students to have a career in tattooing but also respecting tattooing as an art,” Art teacher Van Veenhuyzen said. (Samantha Radford)

After seeing many students with “homemade scratch tattoos” at CHS and understanding that many students are almost of age to get tattoos, Art teacher Mrs. Van Veenhuyzen asked tattoo artist and owner of Mantra Art Tattoo Gallery in Norfolk, VA, Dominick Taylor, also known as D-artist, to speak to her core Art classes.

Van Veenhuyzen initially worked with Taylor after Homecoming Week to create a tattoo of her freshly decorated classroom door and believed that her students would enjoy his particular brand of art.

Taylor spoke to students about the artistic process involved in the tattoo business, as well as the importance of paying for ‘good’ art. Both Van Veenhuyzen and Taylor also reminded these students to respect tattooing as an art and to possibly inspire them to choose tattooing as a career.

“Don’t worry about the price, worry about the art, ” Taylor said. ” When picking out a tattoo never regret spending good money on the tattoo if you are happy with your decision as far as getting what you want at the end of the day. You will have this tattoo on you for the rest of your life so don’t go cheap.” 

Taylor owns and works at the Mantra Art Tattoo Gallery, a private tattoo studio, that focuses on the importance of custom-made art.

According to Taylor, private studios like his are client-focused and they strive to give their clients an enjoyable, relaxing, and independent experience without the loud music or stress from other customers that a larger tattoo shop may offer.

Taylor stressed the importance of finding an “artistic style”, as well as the inclusion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into his line of work.

“When at the high school level, students are still trying to find things they enjoy doing and I’m just offering new options to explore,” Taylor said.

He also recommended that students should not rush themselves when trying to figure out their own artistic style; many aspiring artists try to identify their style immediately, rather than allowing it to grow through the art and experiencing different techniques. 

“Practice different techniques to see what works for you,” Taylor said. “Many artists ‘piggyback’ off other artists, but it’s important to differentiate between liking what the artists do and understanding or appreciating them more for the complexity of their work, compared to actually doing art in their style. Let your style find you, then keep building on that.”

As far as incorporating AI into his work, Taylor believes it to be a “good tool” in tattooing, however, computers are unable to sense when a client has had enough and needs a break from the needle.

“The main problem with AI tattoos is that the computers can’t sense human pain,” Taylor said. “You need the artist to do the tattoo, as they can feel when you are at your limits. Computers don’t know this. They will keep going even if it’s too much for the person, as they are completely oblivious and  unaware of  limitations and pain. ” 

Aside from working in the tattoo field, Taylor is also an artist, showcasing a few of his art pieces to Van Veenhuyzen’s classes. Although his hope is to still tattoo whenever he chooses, he also wants to focus on painting and produce art and galleries shows during his retirement.

“It was really fun and I liked how he actually brought in his own art and showed it off,  shared his experiences, and gave important tips,” sophomore Art student Noelle-Leigh Bulger said.

Taylor also posts his work on his social media, which he provided for students to check out after the event.

“I like his brand of art, especially the shading in some pieces that I saw in his posts on social media,” senior student Joel Canedo said. “He creates amazing art and gives his art the respect it deserves.” 

Taylor’s next show will take place Saturday, February 3, and will be open to the public.

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Samantha Radford
Samantha Radford, Editor-in-Chief
Junior Journalism III Student | Anchor Channel 4 Falcon News Historian and Social Media Manager Class of 2025

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