Bryan Burk is not your average tattooer by any stretch of the word. He has been blessed by having one of tattooing greats as a teacher. Bryan has a very impressive and relaxed style. His sense of layout is unmatched, I truly love and respect his sort of Japanese/American style. Not to mention his great fashion sense, the man has his own hatter, custom hand made for his head only.
I have thought for a long time that Bryan Burk was the greatest kept secret in tattooing in LA, a town full of not very talented people clambering for both fame and famous friends. None of this has ever struck me about Bryan, he takes the job very serious and has a deep respect for the roots and responsibility of it. The secret is now out, he's got quite a faithful following of local and international collectors.
The first time I met him, I was working at Spotlight and he was quietly working in the side room. I still remember the tattoo he was doing, it was an amazing raven. I thought to myself, "how long has this dick been tattooing? He just did a better raven then I ever have." I still remember it to this day, and I don't remember much. We next traveled a bit together because of our mutual friend, Juan Puente. This is when I got to know him a bit, traveling from Amsterdam to Paris, and then on to London. Two weeks of hanging out with Bryan every day lead to the discovery that he was more than just another idiot with a tattoo machine. His knowledge of Japanese tattooing and art was impressive, I personally consider myself seriously lacking in this department. Bryan later asked me to do his back, which I was, and still am, flattered to have done it. In the process of his finishing his back, he scored me some of the best reference books in my library. My book shelves are now way cooler thanks to knowing him. (It seems I have more books on cars and motorcycles that tattooing.) In this interview, you kinda get a glimpse at his strange old man type of relaxed character that I find hilarious. If you are planning on being in LA, arrange your trip around an appointment with this man and you will not regret it. Bryan's shop, Dark Horse, is at 4630 Hollywood Blvd., call them at 323-401-9950.
I hope you all enjoy the interview, it took place in the back of our shop, Blackheart, quite a while ago. Due to some technical difficulty it was delayed until now, but Bryan Burk was actually one of the first tattooers I set out to interview right from the gate.
Sincere thanks to all of you for reading this, and many thanks to Bryan for doing this and being a part of LST. And a special thanks to you, Bryan, for all the amazing drawings of me you have done.