by Geoffrey Stephenson Photos courtesy of Darren Brass
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The cast of Miami Ink: Ami James, Yoji Harada, Darren Brass, Chris Nunez and Chris Garver.
Darren Brass is one of the stars on TLC's new reality TV show entitled Miami Ink. The show brings four friends together to run a custom tattoo parlor. The South Beach shop features Darren and artists Ami James, Chris Nunez and Chris Garver. Apprentice Yoji Harada also works at the shop to learn from the resident artists. Each episode focuses on the artists and the art that they create for their clients.
We recently had a chance to ask Darren some questions and to give us some insight into his life, art and influences.
Geoffrey: First off, how long have you been tattooing?
Darren: It'll be 13 years in November.
How did you get started in the tattoo business?
I had a friend in the business who got me interested, and I took it from there...
How would you describe your style of tattooing?
My style varies, really. I like doing anything that someone asks for and really cares about.
Tattoos by Darren Brass.
Who are some of your influences in the tattoo industry?
My biggest is Chris Garver. I feel that I've been lucky to have been able to work with him. A few others would be Joe Vegas, Bob Roberts, and Ed Hardy.
Who are some of your influences outside of tattooing?
A lot of different artists and art forms. Robert Williams is first to come to mind.
How do you feel about the emergence of tattooers in the fine arts over the past few years?
Great. I think it's great that artists have been able to bring their level of work to a fine art. I hope it keeps happening and more artists can be recognized. I feel that there are incredible artists who haven't even surfaced yet.
What made you decide to leave Connecticut and move to Miami?
You can only go so far in Connecticut. There's not much talent there to feed off of. I needed to be exposed to more artists that I could learn from.
Tattoos by Darren Brass.
What was it like filming the episodes for Miami Ink?
Different ... it was quite an experience to be in a different environment and different art form.
What do you like to do outside of tattooing?
I love music - listening to bands and seeing live shows, painting, hanging out with the guys... like going to a bar and shooting a few games of pool.
What's next in the future for you?
I would like to take my art as far as I possibly can, travel more, open new doors, and see places I haven't been.
For more information on Darren Brass and Miami Inkclick here.