Photo by DixiePixelphoto.com
Danny Fugate was born with a pencil in hand. An award winning tattoo artist, he was actually born in and raised in Knoxville, TN - then as a teenager, moved to Pigeon Forge, TN with his mother, two brothers and sister. As far back as he can remember he was with a pencil or paint brush in hand. His artistic endeavors are due in large part to the encouragement and amazing support of his mother, who alone raised him and his three siblings. He was always fascinated by the art of tattoos, and the growth of his artistic abilities carried him through his grade school and teen years. At the age of eighteen, he secured his apprenticeship and picked up his first tattoo machine. Now 36, Danny’s career spans 18 years.
A versatile artist, Danny loves most to do custom one-time color pieces. His wide range of talent runs the gamut – from black work, bio mechanical to portraits & realism, and of course, color—he is comfortable doing it all. He likes to work on a more personal level with his clients – a collaboration to ensure a quality tattoo and memorable experience. He thrives on his work and can go months without taking a day off. The pride he takes in his work is evident as he continues to build his portfolio with top-quality and original work. Danny also enjoys painting but finds working on skin most satisfying. Danny proudly displays many of his pieces on the walls of his tattoo room and tattoo conventions, garnering much attention from his clients.
In April of 2002, he began his apprenticeship at The Body Shop in Pigeon Forge and spent the year supporting seven artists, six days a week. Already a licensed piercer, in addition to doing his apprenticeship, he did piercing at the studio which helped him get by financially. Needless to say, Danny committed himself 100% to his apprenticeship, the studio and his study of tattoo. Finally licensed after completing his one-year apprenticeship, he began his very successful career – building a strong reputation locally. His compulsive workaholism over the next eighteen months lead him to buy out the owner of The Body Shop. He renamed the studio, Nautical Tattoos and successfully ran the studio for four years. In 2008 he decided to sell the shop. He felt it was time to further build his career and reputation on the convention circuit.
After transitioning the shop to its new owner, Danny hit the convention circuit—tattooing at ten shows that year. Winning multiple awards, the move was perfect for him, further expanding his knowledge base, plus making new contacts for guest spots that he did in between shows. He also enjoyed traveling the country and making many new friends.
It was also during this time that Danny’s work began being published in multiple publications. As a result of his workaholism and dedication to his craft, Danny was published in Pain magazine, Skin Art magazine, Tattoos for Women magazine and Tattoos for Men magazine. In addition, the Spanish language publication "Tatuajes" did a four-page spread on him. Danny has continued on the convention-circuit Since 2008 as well as earning even more awards in recognition of his incredible talent.