American born tattoo artist, Dave Tedder, started off his tattooing career doing body piercing as a doorway into the tattoo industry. Since he was ten years old, Dave wanted to be a tattoo artist.
Growing up in a place where tattoos were illegal and bikers were the only ones who sported them, Dave wanted to be just like them – tough as nails and feared by all. Not only did he want to be as tattooed as the local bikers, but he desperately wanted to be the one who carved those very designs on their chests and arms.
Tedder started his apprenticeship in a high end studio on Mecca Myrtle beach and then moved to Fort Lauderdale to progress his apprenticeship. It took him almost a year to find someone he was comfortable with learning from as he was very particular about who he wanted to be his mentor and who to draw inspiration from. During the period where he was looking for a reliable mentor, he spent his time bouncing between different tattoo shops, learning a little bit from each every time.
He finally found his mentor at Bulldog Tattoo, in the form of Holden Ritchson, and the two instantly clicked. They became good friends soon after. They both left Bulldog Tattoo to expand their horizons and further their tattooing careers at Babylon Tattoo studio, where Dave learned from three of the finest tattoo artists in the area. He mainly focussed on learning from Novi Filopovich and John Coiro.
After he finished his apprenticeship, had to move back to South Carolina due to certain family issues that he had to attend to. His daily commute was in North Carolina where tattooing was legal. Dave spent four years in North Carolina, honing his skills in tattooing and also the art of ninjitsu. He spent most of his time working small jobs at various tattoo shops, attending tattoo conventions and selling flash tattoos. By the time he was done, he was almost ready for his big international appearance and that’s when his professional career started in Florence, South Carolina.
Ever since his big career launch, he left all his old tattoos behind as he saw the new career
as an opportunity for new beginnings and new experiences in the tattoo industry. Dave set
a five year plan for himself to better his skills and take the world completely by storm
in the future, wanting to make a big name for himself. Now he is known for his exuberant use of colors along with fine detail and shading, mostly depicting Asian, Native American and skull motifs.
Dave believes that everything happens in a set time and that setting goals for yourself and adding time limits to them is the best way to achieve everything you want out of life. Apart from the fact that Dave would like everyone to know that he likes ‘taters, he lives by the philosophy, “A ninja neither arrives early, nor late. Rather precisely on time and target.”
Looks like he is right on target thus far!