My name is Daniel Sas and I will have been tattooing for 4 years come July. I got my first tattoo at Funhouse by Art years ago and have been working here since September 2014. It's always been my highest career goal to work along side Art and the caliber of artists he always had there such as Juan and Fester, who actually taught me to tattoo. My next major goal was to compete in tattoo conventions and, needless to say, win!
The Vancouver tattoo and culture show just passed through March 27-29 and Funhouse had a booth. This was my first tattoo convention and my first submission to a competition against other qualified tattooers. I must admit, as confident as I am I was nervous . I almost didn't do the piece I had been planning with my friend for a week because I was intimidated. I felt like a very small fish. But as I put the finishing touches on the piece on Saturday, my confidence grew. I had also done quite a bit of work at the convention in the first two days so I felt ready. The jitters were gone.
On Sunday, March 29, my friend Eric and I showed up at the convention in the morning and by the time the needle broke skin, it was already and the best of day, the last competition of the convention, was at . I remember when I finished the first portion of the tattoo, the rose at the bottom, I suggested we take a break and have a smoke. Fester immediately stopped me and said, "NO! You're going to run out of time, don't stop!" I turned around and kept going straight through to 5. In fact, I was still tattooing while they were judging the tattoos. I had given up on submitting it, I thought I missed my window of opportunity. But I was busting my ass still trying, still pushing, still tattooing. I honestly had to compromise some details in the end just to submit it (things I will finish up later). But I finished the white highlights, whipped it and sent him running to the stage. I still had my apron on running back and forth whipping more blood off his leg while he was on stage. It was literally bleeding in front of the judges! But as soon as Eric turned to face the audience with the other 15 or so other contestants, all the artists started gravitating to it asking who had done it and who I even was. It was a very humbling moment for me. As an artist, it's nice to hear clients, friends and family compliment your work. But when other artists, your peers, start giving you genuine compliments on your work, it really makes you feel like you've reached a certain level: an artist's artist!
Of course it took forever to decide who won. First they narrowed it down to three and mine made the cut. Then they announced second place which wasn't me. At that point I was bouncing around and biting my lip in nervousness so much that Fester had to tell me to calm down. And when they announced the winner I couldn't believe it was me at first. It didn't hit me until later that night. And I realize that for a seasoned artist, winning a 'best of day' award at a tattoo convention may not be the biggest deal. But this was my first one and up against some serious talent. The runner up had won 'best of day' the previous day and was very good from out of town. He later started following me on Instagram and gave me props on the tattoo. Along with so many other artists, suppliers like Eikon that gave me a dope rotary machine as an award for the win. It has all been very humbling! Since a week ago I have gotten a lot more followers, attention, bookings and most importantly a lot of support.
It was a wild ride but definitely a great memory and story to share for years to come. It was great experiencing it with my good friend and long time client, Eric. Also that I got to do it through Funhouse. Everything has really come together for me throughout my entire career and I think it's because it's fueled by passion. This whole experience has left me more hungry to become better, grow as an artist and continue to change people's lives through my art.
"Passion first, and everything will fall into place." -Holly Holm