By CRAIG FREILICH POTSDAM – A local tattoo artist will soon audition in New York City to see if he’s good enough to compete for a $100,000 prize on a national TV show. Scott Dafoe, who has been …
By CRAIG FREILICH
POTSDAM – A local tattoo artist will soon audition in New York City to see if he’s good enough to compete for a $100,000 prize on a national TV show.
Scott Dafoe, who has been creating tattoo art for seven years, will audition next week for the second season of SpikeTV’s “Ink Master.”
The show features tattoo artists competing with other “inksters” from around the country for $100,000 and provides the kind of publicity most tattoo artists could only dream of.
Dafoe, who operates Beyond Tattoo, upstairs at 38 Market St., is a fan of the show, and when he saw they were looking for people for the second season, he went to the show’s web site and applied.
The show’s audition web page explains, “The tension and stakes are high as contestants compete in various tattoo challenges that not only test the artists' technical skills, but also their on-the-spot creativity, where they must create and execute an original tattoo on command. Challenges focus on different tattooing techniques, such as shading, line and proportion, and styles including photorealism, Tribal, American traditional, and pin-up.”
“I figured I’d get an email or I wouldn’t. And I got one, inviting me to come down for a casting call April 17 in New York City,” said Dafoe, a Norwood native.
He says he’s bringing his mother on his first trip to The Big Apple. He also will bring 10 pictures “of the best of my best,” he said.
“They’re only having casting in four states. A lot of people get excited when they get a call, thinking they’ll be on the show, but it’s just casting so far.”
Even if he hadn’t been called for an audition, he was willing to be a “human canvas” – one of the people the artists will work on.
The first season of the SpikeTV show has presented assorted challenges to the contestants, including things like portraits and head tattoos. The least worthy artists, as determined by the judges, are being let go, one by one.
“I’m known for my portraits,” Dafoe said, an area that most tattoo artists shy away from because it’s easy to go wrong. “Portraiture is one of those things you either have a knack for or you don’t touch them.”
To get a good portrait, Dafoe says, you need a good light source and a good reference to work from. And there’s “being able to blend shading and have an eye for detail,” and the ability to translate that detail into ink in skin.
To avoid mistakes, he said you must take your time. “Some shops try to get as many people in and out in a day as they can. I’d rather take the time to get it right.
“I get mad when people who shouldn’t be attempting them do them anyway.
“There’s not a portrait out there that I’ve done that I’m not proud of.”
He displays a few photographs, and his ability is apparent. He shows a pair of photographs of a tattoo portrait of a child – one a “before” shot by a first artist, and another of the tattoo after he had fixed it to look more natural and more like the child.
He wouldn’t criticize the first artist: “He’s actually a good artist. He taught me a lot.”
Discovered Calling at NNCS
Dafoe went to Norwood-Norfolk Central, and wasn’t doing especially well, so he went into the Army in 2000. But it was while at N-N that he discovered his calling.
“I’d been doing a lot of drawing, and I was in a study hall and took a picture out of my wallet of my grandfather who had passed away. So I drew him. It caught me off guard how good it was. I nailed it.” That sounds immodest, and maybe it is, but the other work in his studio backs him up.
“People have been coming from out of state to get portraits done by me.”
He admits he’s a bit nervous – “a small-town dude heading to the Big Apple. I see pictures of these guys in the magazines. They look like rock stars.”
But he expects the trip to be worth it, whether he gets a shot at TV or not.
“There are going to be a lot of really talented people there. If nothing else, it will be a chance to meet some other tattoo artists.”
Dafoe is also on Facebook, and can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 274-9200.