World-renowned tattoo artist and world traveler Dillon Forte asserts, “If you have a clear direct vision about what you want in life you can achieve anything.”
Forte is a rock star in the world of tattoos. Complex sacred geometry, black and dot tattoos, and canvas art are his areas of expertise. His clients include celebrities such as Chris Hemsworth, Usher, Kat Von D, and bassist Ben McKee of the pop-rock band Imagine Dragons.
Forte’s artistic approach perceives the body as a whole. His designs revolve around balance, grace, and congruence, integrating flawlessly with skin.
He describes his artwork as a “blend of tribal, geometric, and spiritual influences.”
Featured in outlets like Uproxx, Tattoodo, HIghlark, Tattoo Life, Wacom’s website, and Tattoo.com, along with appearances on television’s The Art of Ink and Jean Claude Van Johnson, when not applying ink in some exotic location, Forte devotes his time to photography, tech design, galleries, canvas painting, sculptures, and murals. Essentially, he’s a modern Renaissance Man.
Forte began his tattoo career in Berkeley, California, followed by opening his first tattoo shop in Oakland, California. In 2018, he opened his second tattoo studio, Sri Yantra, in Venice, California. Conscious of the constituents utilized in tattoos, in the course of his development as an artist, Forte plunged into researching and discovering ingredients conducive to tattooing that are environmentally benevolent.
According to Forte, “Most products used in our industry are disposable and made from plastic or other petroleum products. Each time we toss something in the trash, there’s a bit of guilt. Something needs to change.”
His investigations resulted in Forte creating a line of tattoo products obtained from biodegradable substitutes, including sugar cane, hemp, paper, and bamboo. Forte’s line of eco-friendly products is marketed and sold under the name of Forte Tattoo Tech. The line of products is extensive and encompasses eco razors, eco cling, PLA ink caps, biodegradable clip cord sleeves, bottle bags, rinse cups, theurgy salves and eco pens. Forte Tattoo Tech’s online store also has Forte branded hats and stickers for purchase.
Not long ago, Forte partnered with Toronto’s Inkbox to release a line of temporary tattoos – ‘For Now Ink.’ Easily applied in a few minutes, the tattoos remain viable for one to two weeks and are sourced from South African fruit, making them risk-free.
Unrestricted by the commonplace, Forte has tattooed in glamorous international setting, including Mount Everest and an Egyptian pyramid. His artistic talent and personal charisma, as well as an aura of mystique explain his year-long waiting list of new clients. In other words, one doesn’t just walk into Sri Yantra and request a tattoo.
Unlike most tattoo parlors located in strip malls or less desirable parts of downtown areas, Forte’s Sri Yantra studios reside in penthouse spaces reminiscent of boutique shops on Rodeo Drive. Once inside, clients are enveloped in delicious aromas from burning palo santo and Sage, glistening crystals, an array of luxuriant plants, beautiful works of art, and Tibetan singing bowls. For all intents and purposes, it’s like entering another world, akin to a spiritual experience.
In his interview with Tattoo.com, Forte delineated his unique point of view toward tattooing: “One of the biggest misconceptions in tattooing is the lack of holistic vision. You have one body, therefore, one image no matter how much space between tattoos.”
As Dillon Forte so eloquently puts it, “The hardest part about tattooing is bringing a new refreshing angle into a saturated competitive space.”
Thus, in a sense, for Dillon Forte the art of tattoo is a search for the sacred in life – a search for love, for acceptance – a desire to divest oneself of pervasive feelings, even dread, of loneliness.