Today we’d like to introduce you to Dani Rachmann.
Dani, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I had wanted to do tattoos since as long as I could remember – as a child, I had spent all my allowance money on temporary tattoos from the local pizza place and taped them up on the bathroom walls to mimic the flash I had seen at the shops on Melrose and Venice. Neighborhood kids were my first customers. Now I own my own business, where I work by appointment. Ironically, I don’t have flash displayed on the walls – I tend to do more custom work.
Has it been a smooth road?
At 18, I worked to gain trust from one of the myriad shops on Hollywood Blvd and acquired an apprenticeship. At this point in time, tattooing was still quite fringe, very counterculture. There wasn’t the access and information that exists now with the advent of social media, Amazon, Pinterest, and yelp, and it wasn’t seen as a viable career choice for trained artists. There weren’t art school students interested in the field, and female artists were often steamrolled over. It was really hard work, in an extremely unforgiving, and at times dangerous, industry. Needless to say, I was one of only two women out of 15 tattooers at the shop, and certainly the only nerdy Jewish queer disabled artist I knew of. Other artists weren’t necessarily willing to help out the younger kid sister type and clients had very little trust in me based on my appearance. Nowadays, I’m able to be myself at work. The clientele has largely shifted and is far more diverse, varied, and art-focused. Clients are a dream, and really get a kick out of it. Even my elderly neighbors think it’s “neat!”
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Because of the treatment I had received and been exposed to as someone who was involved in the tattoo industry prior to its shift into the mainstream, I’ve seen firsthand how daunting it can be for a shy, nervous, or otherwise anxious client. As much as I love the actual craft, I find that I take the most pride in providing an experience in which doubts aren’t cast aside, body issues go out the window, insecurities are treated gently, and mostly, laughter is a remedy form pain. My clients are my family, and their comfort and trust is priority. Whether you’re a trans man who wants a top surgery scar cover up, a young woman looking to fall in love with their body for yet another reason, someone memorializing a brother, or even someone looking to commemorate their favorite brand of canned beans (yes, that happened,) everyone’s tattoos are valid to me. I think the joy on their faces keeps me motivated. It’s simply a blast.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Los Angeles is especially saturated with tattoo artists, specifically, but really all forms of artists – chefs, actors, graphic designers, you name it. Yet, this is a double-edge sword… This can be a good thing in many respects, from access to other great like-minded individuals to an eager and accepting clientele. I would recommend starting anything in Los Angeles quite simply because I love Los Angeles… If one feels the same way as I do regarding the matter, they have a home here. This city is one of my greatest loves.
If you had to start over, what would you have done differently?
Had I been able to have more foresight, I may have sought out a more legitimate apprenticeship. I had to unlearn and relearn a lot during the first five years of my career. However, had I received kinder treatment, I may not have valued the bedside manner that I have come to have been known for, so possibly it was a blessing in disguise.
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: Instagram.com/d.rachmann
Jatearra Ritchie, Dani Rachmann
Meet Downtown LA Series Sponsor:
Michelle FRECKLES Labelle: I am a writer. My inspiration when I write is my life. God gave me a complex life – mixed with pain & struggle, but he also added beauty, grace, & talents that I could use to improve my life and the life of others. I have 2 published books available for purchase on my website right now. One of the biggest ways to support me is to order my books. I am also available to perform my Spoken Word at events. People can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss fees. I have performed at dialogues between prominent public figures, such as Dr. Cornel West. I have also performed at hair shows, school events, business events, etc. People also pay me to create videos with myself vibing to their latest music.
- Website: http://www.witeaze.com/Freckles.html
- Instagram: @dafreckledpoet
- Email: email@example.com