Today we’d like to introduce you to Dustin Yip.
Hi Dustin, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
Well like most artists, I started off tattooing friends and family in the garage. After some sporadic moments of tattooing, I felt if I wanted to dive into this 100% I had to find an apprenticeship. I was going to art school at the time of pursuing my Bachelors Degree in Graphic Design and was trying to find a shop that would take me in. Some shops outright declined me and laughed. Some said I needed more experience.
The shop that gave me a chance was Lowrider Tattoo in Fountain Valley. I didn’t have a formal apprenticeship so I was more of a shop help. I was fortunate that this shop was down the street from my school and at the time, I was getting tattooed by Gustavo Lopez, who was the brother of Jose Lopez, the owner of Lowrider Tattoo. After some talks, Gustavo talked to his brother and felt they could utilize my experience in graphic design. My foot was in the door and from then on, I never looked back.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road definitely was a bumpy one. I was going to art school full time all while being a father and engaged with my fiancé (who is now my wife of 11 years) so it was all just a crazy time in my life balancing everything. But I believe no path is a smooth one and if it is, it’s not the right one to take. Without adversity putting your back to the wall, you won’t know how much fight you’ll have within you or the will to do what it takes to get what you want.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I tattoo black and grey realism. Or black and grey in general. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of roses, portraits, animal portraits, statues and religious imagery. I like to take my time with each piece and never want to jeopardize quality for quantity.
What were you like growing up?
As a kid, I was just competitive no matter what it was, whether it was sports, art, school, etc., I was always going for the top. Growing up, I’ve played every sport but focused more on football and basketball. I was the smallest kid on every team, which developed a competitive mindset that was with me from day one. So people would automatically judge that I was too little or not strong enough to play. But going out and giving it your all, practicing to get better and working on the weaknesses in my game helped prove the doubters wrong. Bottom line is I just let my actions do the talking.