Who Did Your Ink? is the Straight’s account feature, area we ask badass Vancouverites about the accomplished artists, enduring stories, and, at times, ambiguous antics abaft their best admired tattoos.
What’s your name? Dion Kaszas.
What do you do? On any accustomed day, I can be begin alive at Vertigo Tattoos and Body Piercing as a able boom artist, lecturing as allotment of my alum degree, applying acrylic to canvas in my artist’s studio, or traveling to a association accident to allotment my abilities as a cultural boom practitioner.
As a boom artist, I specialize in neo-tribal, blackwork, dotwork, ornamental, and atramentous and grey. As a alum apprentice alive appear my Master of Arts in interdisciplinary alum studies with a specialization in Indigenous studies at the University of British Columbia Okanagan, I am attractive carefully at the awakening of Indigenous tattooing locally and globally.
As a practicing Indigenous artist, I assignment in abounding mediums as a painter, including oil, watercolour, and acrylics. I additionally assignment in new media bearing abbreviate documentaries, recording my assignment as a cultural boom practitioner and bearing abbreviate video montage artworks that analyze capacity that ambit from adherence to masculinity.
As a cultural boom practitioner, I am an able at the acceptable methods of hand-poke and skin-stitch tattooing. These are methods which my ancestors, the Nlaka’pamux, acclimated in the appliance of our cultural tattoos.
As allotment of my responsibilities as an Nlaka’pamux actuality of alloyed ancestry, I accept had to acknowledgment the question, which the architect gives to all of us, “What will you do for the bodies to be?” My acknowledgment to this catechism is the Earth Line Boom Training Residency, which was created in accord with the Earth Line Boom Collective and adjourned and accurate by the adroitness of Creative Studies at UBC Okanagan, the Aboriginal Office of the Canada Council of the Arts, and the Equity and Enhancement Fund at the University of British Columbia.
This boom academy accomplished four Indigenous accomplished artists, aboriginal and foremost, the attempt associated with blood-borne pathogens, cross-contamination, and their appliance to the convenance of a cultural boom practitioner. Secondly, the address participants anniversary researched and explored their affiliated tattooing traditions as a accomplishments for anniversary individual’s cultural tattooing practices.
Each amateur larboard the address with the adeptness and abilities to cautiously administer skin-stitch and hand-poke tattoos, and anniversary one of them will become an important amateur in the awakening of Indigenous tattooing in Canada. The four participants were Amy Malbeuf, Jordan Bennett, Jeneen Frei Njootli, and Dean Hunt.
I was honoured to assignment with these four amazing Indigenous artists as the facilitator and adviser of the Earth Line Boom Training Address and was added honoured by the attendance of two Indigenous boom artists and cultural boom practitioners who alternate as bedfellow mentors. Nahaan is a Tlingit boom artist, carver, accent teacher, and announced chat artisan who abutting the address in its final anniversary to allotment his adeptness and journey.
The additional bedfellow coach who accustomed in the residency’s final anniversary was Nakkita Trimble. She is a Nisga’a boom artisan who specialises in formline tattooing. This accomplished address was filmed as allotment of a documentary blur actuality done on my activity and assignment by the accomplished Kiano Zamani of Uniters Media.
Who did your ink? The aboriginal three tattoos I ambition to altercate were done by Carla Gosgnach, my coach and the actuality who absolute in me the accent of the bloom aspects of tattooing and who additionally accomplished me how to boom application the boom machine. The aboriginal of these three tattoos is a aback allotment Carla did for me as a camouflage of an old boom of the chat Jesus amidst by some atramentous affiliated work—it is of a huge dejected Asian dragon.
This dragon boom aboriginal and foremost speaks to my adventure from the time in my activity area I was a Christian and formed as a pastor in Northern British Columbia. The additional boom done for me by Carla is a bendable atramentous and blah account of Charles Darwin, which tells the additional allotment of my airy journey. This boom represents a aeon in my airy development area I was exploring atheism, deism, and scientism.
The final boom done by Carla is a allotment that covers my lower-right acquaint and hand, which consists of designs and motifs from my Nlaka’pamux ancestry and seeks to allotment the final appearance of my airy adventure aback home to my mother’s peoples. I chose Carla to do these tattoos for me because of her adeptness to assassinate them, abnormally the camouflage on my back.
I accept two pieces that awning the aback of my calves, which I accustomed while in New Zealand aftermost November as an arrive bedfellow artisan at the Indigenous Ink festival held in Auckland. The accident is answer by my acquaintance and aide Terry Klavenes, a Tongan boom artisan alive out of Karanga Ink in Auckland.
The boom which covers my appropriate dogie was done for me by the accomplished Pip Hartley, the buyer and abettor of Karanga Ink on K Road in Auckland, New Zealalnd. I chose Pip to do this allotment for me because of her able adeptness and training in Maori tattooing. The additional allotment was done for me by Lawrence Ah Ching, who is a acceptable Samoan boom artisan who hand-tapped a admirable Samoan arrangement on my larboard calf. I asked him to do this boom for me because of his adeptness and accomplishment in application the hand-tap tools.
During the final canicule of the Earth Line Boom Training Residency, I accustomed two tattoos from two of the participants. The aboriginal allotment was a skin-stitched pictograph architecture from my nation done by Jeneen Frei Njootli, a Gwitchin achievement artist. The additional was a hand-poke allotment done by Jordan Bennett, a Mi’kmaq beheld artist. It is his estimation of a grizzly bear-paw pictograph, which we apparent during a hiking cruise into the Stein River Valley as allotment of the residency.
These two tattoos are on either ancillary of a allotment which abstracts my adventure into the awakening of Nlaka’pamux tattooing, as it is the abode I aboriginal accomplished hand-poke and skin- stitch tattooing methods for the aboriginal time on my own leg.
The final allotment that I ambition to allotment is a allotment that is in advance on my chest and done at the Earth Line Boom Training Address by the bedfellow coach Nahaan. It is a admirable Tlingit formline atramentous on my chest. In March of this year, I tattooed a formline architecture on Nahaan’s close and the atramentous he is accomplishing on my chest is a barter for that allotment I did on his neck.
I asked Nahaan to do a allotment for me as a allowance from him and his culture, and he told me the acumen he able me this atramentous architecture is because, like atramentous through my awakening assignment and through the Earth Line Boom Training Residency, I am bringing ablaze to the world.
What’s abutting on your ink list? I’d like to accomplishment my master’s amount and complete the filming of the documentary actuality done on me by Uniters Media. There are additionally affairs for a additional Earth Line Boom Training Residency, so break acquainted for added advice on that aboriginal abutting year.
I will be tattooing at the Calgary Boom Arts Festival in October and traveling to New Zealand for Indigenous Ink in November. I accept been arrive to participate in the Acceptable Boom and Apple Ability Festival in Mallorca, Spain, abutting year.
As for my abutting tattoos, who knows? Hopefully, accomplishment the allotment Nahaan started for me.
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