Dano Collins started his tattooing career in 1974. Originally apprenticed by Charlie Dufresne in Lincoln Park, Michigan, and learned machine tuning tips from Mike Malone while serving in the Marine Corps in Hawaii . After 6 years in Hawaii he returned to Michigan and ran The House Of Tattoos (the oldest existing shop in Michigan). In 1987 he opened his first studio, "Tattoos by Tatu Dan" in Taylor, Michigan. Missing the island lifestyle, he sold the shop two years later and returned to Hawaii, only to return home once again in a couple of years. Dano worked at a couple of other local studios before opening his current store, Bluz Tattooz in 1996.
Throughout his career Dano has had the opportunity to trade machine secrets with many artists. in 2006, Dano put all those years of info to use and began making handmade custom machines, because as he states, "I was tired of buying big dollar machines from top machine builders, and still found the need to tweak them to suit my personal needs. So I just started making them myself. I find machine building to be a very creative process. I approach each machine as a work of art rather than from a machinists view. There obviously are the basic machinist elements that need to be in place as far as frame geometry and all, buy after that, it's strictly an art form to me. It's very therapeutic! It's very personally rewarding to know that so many talented tattoo artists world wide are now creating amazing works of art using my 'art tools'. Very cool indeed."
Dano's first year of building handmade machines gained him a lot of recognition by winning two different international machine competitions while competing against some of the big name builders in the industry.
In November 2008, Dano
published his book, "The
Elusive Electromagnet", A Guide To Building And Tuning Professional Tattoo
Machines" which was met with rave reviews!
Dano continues to tattoo fulltime as well as build machines.
Dano also hates writing about himself in the "third person", but for the sake of a little blatant self promotion is willing to do so, as evidenced here.