I was born in an upstate NY apartment next to OJ Simpson. Born in a family that produced the first tight rope walker for Wild Bill's West Show and the creator of "Punch and Judy."
I moved and went through school in LKPT, graduating with honors in art, math, science, and tech. Then I got a degree from UB in 3D Computer Animation. Being a graphic designer for 8 years made me realize how little of my imagination I was truly using. Hell, I wasn't allowed toys in my crib or I would use them to escape. Expressing myself in tattooing has always interested me. And now through tremendous sacrifice and a warped mindset and a life time supply of hot pockets, I will conquer and destroy.
Matt Dunlap Interview by Tattoo Masters Magazine UK
Describe yourself in 140 characters twitter style.
Matt Dunlap is Matt Dunlap, that's about all there is to it.
How long have you been tattooing?
I have been tattooing over 3 years now.
How long have you been with ALL OR NOTHING?
I did my apprenticeship at All or nothing, so I would say I have been with the family around 5 years.
Where DID you live before coming to Atlanta?
I am from the Buffalo, NY area.
How did you come to ALL OR NOTHING, tell us the story!?!
I was a graphic designer, prior to putting my life into tattooing. I was always intrigued by tattooing and my love for art, so I started looking into switching media. A friend of mine was getting a large back piece from Brandon and introduced me to the shop, and I have never wanted to leave since.
What is your favorite type of tattooing to do?
I am still exploring all the possibilities. There are so many different styles at the shop that look awesome; it's hard to decide. Although, I am partial to things that are funny, don't make sense, TV references, video game references, or that are vintage in nature.
What type of needles & groupings do you prefer? How did you come to start using them?
When I started tattooing, I was only allowed to use a 3 liner and a 7 mag. But, as life has gone on, now I use 3, 5, 7, 8, and 9 liners and 7,9 mags, straight and curved. I know a lot of people use larger mags, but I like mine small.
What has changed about your tattooing since you first walked in the front door of ALL OR NOTHING?
I had no tattooing style when I walked in the door, but my ideas and styles of art have changed drastically.
Everyone that comes arrives at different times, so the list of artists is always in flux. Who have YOU worked with, gotten tattooed by, met or gotten to watch work since coming to ALL OR NOTHING? And how did any of that affect you and your art.
I have been in contact with a ton of artists since I have been here at All or Nothing... let's see, Brandon Bond, Dave Tedder, Short, Bird, Vince Villavalzo, John Lloyd, Tony Mancia, Jarvis, Jason Adkins, Jace Masula, Sean Herman, Josh Woods, Lenny Renken, Ted Wallens,Pepto, Joe Waulken, Nate Beavers, Carl Cederman, Mike Devries, Mike Demassi, Bob Tyrell, Billy Hill, Justin Jarrel, Jason Akerman,Josh Loyal, Shauncey Fury, Queke, Jason Fritz, Alli Mcgregor, John Mongomery, Preston, Mister, Jeff Peatzold, Tim Victim, Tim Orth,Tim Mcgrath, Chris Vennekamp, J Ranno, Chris Nelson, Pony, Big Al, Anthony Orsatti, CW, I am sure there are more...
(Please don't be offended by the order. There is no order, and if I forgot you, you know I still love ya). They have all given me something to walk away with. That is the beauty of working with so many people.
What other type of art do you produce? Paintings, video, flash, graphics etc?
I do some paintings, but I am also a nerd, so I paint miniatures. It's fun and relaxing. You should try it some time.
Are you tired of people talking to you about dogs?
I think what we are doing is for a great cause. But, as most people around me know, I am scared of dogs, pretty much all of them, but mine.
How has your LIFE been changed since coming?
Art is my Life, that about sums it up.
Was there ever a time when you realized you had figured this out or had an "art epiphany" about your own growth as a tattooist?
I have art epiphanies every day, watching and working with other artists.
What kind of inks do you use?
I primarily use Starbrite. My drawer has also been known to have some Eternal, Intenze and Waverly. It really depends on the Color. Even different blacks have different advantages, which is why I bounce between Talons, Dynamic, and National Triple Black.
What is it like to work with so many artists from all over every day?
It's awesome. You get to see so many styles, and get to bounce ideas off of so many artists' minds. One of the coolest things is that everybody works together so well, we are all friends. It's not a competition. We are here so all of us can continue to grow.
What types of tattoos would you LIKE to do, like if you could start doing any specific style a lot, what would it be?
I find that people who pick just a single style get stuck doing that style day in and day out. Keeping my styles open, I feel, will keep me from feeling like my art is getting stale.
Tell me about your kids (if you've got any?)
My kid is awesome. He is way too smart for his own good. I wish there were more days in the week, so I could hang out with him more.
What do you love about tattooing the most?
I love the fact that it makes me think hard and work hard. There is always going to be something to learn, there is no limit. There is no top, if you think you know everything or stop working, someone else will pass you just to prove you wrong. Art is boundless, and tattooing is the medium I love.
All or Nothing Tattoo
2569 S. Cobb Dr.
Smyrna, Ga. 30080
Phone: 770.435.9966 APPOINTMENT INFO