We had the good fortune of connecting with Dretty and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dretty, what role has risk played in your life or career?
My whole career was based on a risk. After graduating with a graphic design degree in 2009, I was only able to work an office job for about 2 months before recession layoffs began to impact the workforce across the entire country. I didnt know what I was going to do for about a month and then a close friend of mine suggested tattooing. I mulled it over for about a week, and decided I was going to go all in. I cancelled a handful of interviews I had coming up and pursued tattoo artistry full time. I was a big risk that led to a relatively successful first year with more to come. Once I saw that I could rely solely on my own (artistic abilities), I never looked back!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The thing that sets me apart from other artists is my comfort and proficiency in most, if not all illustrative and painting mediums. There are plenty of multifaceted people out there but they dont specialize in anything. When I approach and complete a project, you would think that is the only medium I focus in. I’m a artist with 100 different styles and create based on mood and environment. My art is reactive and can fit anywhere. The same for my tattooing. I have blended polynesian tribal elements with neo traditional illustrative style to create my signature #ElectricPoly. I’ve been a professional for over 10 years now and it is never easy. I got to where I am today by staying focused on what I truly want out of tattooing and illustrating. I’ve flown to other renown professionals to study them up close. I’ve taken countless classes and seminars to perfect my techniques and learn new ones. I’ve been broke and couch surfer. I’ve had 6 figure years. It’s one hell of a ride but mental fortitude is the greatest asset I possess. What folks should know about my brand is that is fueled by passion tenacity and skill.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is a tough one because it’s been so long since I’ve entertained company, ever since Covid hit. But before the shutdown, my goto spots were ‘Schooner or Later’, ‘The Crooked Duck’ & ‘Potholders’ for breakfast. Lunch and dinner I would base around what my guest likes. I’m not a fan of bars really. I rarely go. So I would most likely buy my own and turn up at home with friends over. I would take my friends to the beach and into LA proper so see where some of their favorite movies were filmed (Friday and Training day). When people come to see me I make it all about them. For me it’s just about spending time with folk i dont get to see as often anymore. So i really doesn’t matter what we do. If they want to ride bikes in venice, cool. Want to hit the observatory to overlook the whole city, no problem!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to shoutout my friend/brother Marcus Anderson (RIP). He was the one that suggested I even get into tattooing. Also, my mentor Dune DiCapo, for always being a true light in the dark and keeping me motivated. Also, it goes without saying, that I’d be nowhere without the support of my wife, family & close friends.

Instagram: @Dretty_

Twitter: @dretty

Facebook: @DrettyInk

Image Credits
Jessica Boyer

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