Oak Hill tattooist’s love of tattoos

For Delaware native and Oak Hill tattooist Dave Mele, tattooing is in his blood.

“I’ve always had tattoos before I was a tattooer… and then I’ve always been an artist,” Mele said. “Took the opportunity when it came.”

Dave says tattooing is a creative outlet for him.

“Like if I don’t paint or draw in a few days I kind of need to,” said Mele. “It’s like a weird need that I kind of have to do.”

When someone comes in not knowing what they want, Dave suggests what will work as a tattoo — and he says it’s not the subject matter of the tattoo but the technical aspect of it.

“The skin’s a lot different than paper; I want my tattoos to age well 10 years down the line and still look like what they’re supposed to be when they’re brand new,” Mele said.

The tattooer prefers bold (old school) traditional tattoos… that Dave says has been around since the 1930s.

“Those designs were meant to be tattoos,” Mele said they will last forever.”

And the artist says not every tattoo has to have a meaning; it can be totally random — people just want tattoos.

“So many people are tattooed it doesn’t matter,” said Mele. “It’s not for bikers only anymore.”

Tattooing is a way for Dave to express his artistry, and he couldn’t be happier than to make someone’s day through his designs in ink.

Mele books by appointment only — contact him on Facebook or Instagram:

Sponsored Content