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Daniel Werder was born and raised in Colorado Springs, a town that was extraordinarily conservative; however he came from a liberal family and was encouraged to be a free thinker, creative and artistic. His family’s love of music and performance translated for him into dance and art.
Daniel Werder, Boartooth TattooAs a child, Daniel loved sketching cartoons and comics. As he grew older, he became intrigued with the culture of low rider cars and developed a love for building them with his Jr. High School friends and began drawing images from Low Rider Art magazine. This was the birth of delving into photorealistic drawings further rendered by his new understanding of design aspect.
The next phase of Daniel’s art took off as he discovered graffiti. In his local neighborhood of Holland Park, Daniel and his friends became involved in the hip hop culture, and Daniel’s passion for dance emerged. Breakdancing and writing graffiti became a life style and with the recognition of some of the more respected graffiti artists in the city, he began learning color theory, dimension, and perspective as his art matured.
With drawing always in the background, Daniel’s focus turned to dancing which motivated his move to California in 2001. With substantial success as a dancer under his belt, he felt complete with that art form and when he found a tattoo machine Daniel’s interest was sparked. Choosing to pursue tattooing as a career was fueled by meeting his mentor Sung “Keyn” Song. In addition to sharing a history and connection in graffiti, Keyn recognized Daniel’s deep hunger to learn and willingness to stay teachable throughout his two year apprenticeship at Pure Tattoo in Hollywood.
In spite of a common background in street art, Keyn encouraged Daniel to forget what he already knew about graffiti, understanding that tattooing is a distinct art form and being an artist had to be learned anew, an extremely humbling experience but ultimately very beneficial and instructional. In classic apprenticeship style, Daniel thrived within the tough discipline and old school method of learning to crawl before you run which protected him from developing bad habits or a bad reputation before his craft was fully matured. Keyn’s strict mentoring and aggressive learning curve was a huge contribution to Daniel in the long run.
Daniel Werder, Boartooth TattooIn 2008, Keyn invited Daniel to support him in opening Unbreakable Tattoo in Studio City, where he has had the privilege of sitting with other artists who have provided inspiration. Jason Kundell, who frequently visits Unbreakable Tattoo to offer encouragement, has been a strong influence on Daniel and he continues learning from other past and current Unbreakable tattooists such as Daver, Brenden Rowe and Joel Kennedy.
Daniel’s style continues to develop due to a willingness to remain a student of life and art. He dabbles with most styles in order to stay well rounded, but excels in color theory, American traditional and Japanese traditional. His forte is using the symbolism of these traditional styles, pulling influence from mythology and ancient woodblock artists (his favorite being Yoshitoshi) and creating innovative combinations and blending of styles. He likes to push the limits working photorealism with other elements to create work that is different and unique while keeping it timeless. Daniel is a sharp listener and has a gift for asking the right questions and turning a client’s thoughts and words into powerful images.