Not to sound morbid, but David Kruger, owner of Disturbed Asylum in Jewell City, CT, will artistically disfigure a model in the style of a Day of the Dead tattoo just for kicks. Capturing deep emotions in Realism and black and grey is all part of Dave’s dramatic charm. Dave shared a moment with me to describe what keeps his passion, and tattoo shop, alive..
How long have you been tattooing?
I’ve been a professional tattoo artist for six years.
What is your tattooing style?
I’ll do real tight lines with a Realism effect. I don’t do here’s one color, and there’s the other, so I’ll use different techniques in my work. I’ve learned to develop my own style.
When did you realize you wanted to be a professional tattoo artist?
I always knew, probably since I was about fifteen years old. My uncle was apprenticing to become a tattoo artist, and I just watched him and become very interested in the art. I wasn’t happy in any other career. So this was it.
What significant changes have you seen over the past few years in the tattoo industry?
The quality of tattooing has changed. I don’t have respect for scratchers by any means, but once you get your own shop people are still really cut-throat and will talk about you even if you’re really good. It can be like high school all over again.
What’s the story behind the name of your Disturbed Asylum in Jewell City, CT, tattoo shop?
My girlfriend and I broke up and times were sort of rough. I was in my home and I felt disturbed so I jokingly called my home the asylum. I decided once I opened a tattoo shop, that would be the name. (And people love it.)
What’s the most intimidating fear factor in getting a tattoo?
It’s the pain factor. Of course people know tattoos are going to hurt, but most new customers are worried how bad. I’ve had lots of new clients requesting rib tattoos; I usually recommend a smaller tattoo in a less painful placement. I don’t want a first tattoo to be marked by any traumatic pain.
What other tattoo artists have you been inspired by?
My uncle Jim Furr, and Nikko Hurtado is fantastic. His color portraits are just amazing.
What do you find most rewarding about being a tattoo artist?
I love absolutely everything. I love meeting people that are associated with our lifestyle. And it’s a learning experience just talking to all of these different types of personalities.
What’s the weirdest tattoo request you’ve received?
Doing a tattoo in someone’s ear just really gets me. It’s just really weird. People will get a tattoo of a flower or a skull and then add a dermal piercing. I’m a body piercer so I’ll gladly do the dermal, but I’m not tattooing the ear.
What makes Disturbed Asylum unique?
My shop is unique because I don’t have booths or private rooms; my floor space is open and welcoming. I have stellar customer service and try to make everyone feel awesome. I have nine tattoos but I can hide them all, so when you walk in you wouldn’t be intimidated by me. I can make even the preppiest customer feel right at home.
(Disturbing? Not quite.)
To check out artist portfolios, review the shop or book an appointment, check out the Disturbed Asylum in Jewett City, CT Member Profile.