I've learned most of what I know from my good friend and mentor, Guy Asper, he taught me tons about tattoo machines, mixing ink, making needles, and dealing with customers. I enjoy doing simple, easy to read tattoos, nothing fancy, just a bold mark. I really don't mind tribal designs or flash, it's all the same to me.
I really like all the old- time tattoo guys that paved the way for people like me, without those guys I probably wouldn't be tattooing. It used to be about a carny-sideshow type atmosphere, but now it is all about what's commercial and what sells. I'd really like tattooing to become a little more subversive and underground again.
I have never really given a shit about the general public's opinion on tattooing or the tattoo lifestyle. A lot of people think they have a right to criticize someone's choice to get a tattoo. There aren't too many people willing to make life- long commitments anymore, and I think anyone with major tattoo coverage is demonstrating a lot of dedication. I honestly feel more comfortable around heavily tattooed people.
Some people who have influenced me or my lifestyle in one way or another include: Charlie Wagner, Al Capone, Guy Asper, Kru Ood(my muay thai coach), Sailor Jerry Collins, John Dillinger, Carlo Gambino, Cap Coleman, straight shooters, outlaws, and renegades of this world.
I love my family, rock and roll music, good beer, good cigars, my good friends, my game-bred pit bulldogs, and not much else. When I'm not tattooing, you'll find me training fighters at my MMA gym, or hanging out with my son. Send me an e-mail at BigDave@counterculturetattoo.com
My name is Dustin Birek. I've been tattooing for a little over 7 years and I've been drawing for as long as I can remember. I can work in any style ranging from traditional to realistic to graffiti and beyond. I pride myself in doing bold, custom, bullshit-free tattoo work. Come see me, you won't regret it..unless you have bad taste. Hit me up on twitter!