Studio Visit: Winston the Whale

Earlier this year we were introduced to Dave, aka Winston the Whale’s, wholly unique, 3D inspired, tattoo designs. Smitten with his clean symmetrical lines, nod to vintage tattoo flash, and bright AF color palate, we invited him to create some designs for us. The wolf mug is the first Winston the Whale design to grace Stumptown wares. Affectionately nicknamed the acid wolf mug, these heavy duty diner mugs are hand screened in Portland, OR. 

We caught up with Dave at his studio which is saturated with retro, bright colored ephemera amidst inks and plants. Sketches of tattoo designs cover the walls. Naming cartoons, Scandinavian / European folk art, and the psychedelic graphics of the ‘60s / ’70s, he notes his rise to success came with the social media posting of his three-dimensional tattoos, “After that, everything happened really, really fast.” 

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Dave has ties to the coffee world, as he moved to Portland from Charlotte, North Carolina and worked in cafes until opening his private tattoo studio. Juggling barista-life with the hustle of showing his work in the art community, he snagged his tattoo license and his life changed dramatically. He spent the next year studying under the skillful eye of Cassady Bell at Sideshow Alley Tattoo in Portland, OR before opening his books solo in a private studio, right down the street from our PDX headquarters. 

Thanks for having us over Dave! Check out his work on Instagram.