At the end of his army career, David Mushaney knew he needed a plan to support his two sons. He’d always loved art and tattoos, so he started to study both earnestly. While he was overseas, he kept himself busy by reading about tattoos online, in books, and magazines. Once he was out of the army, in 2010, he started working full time as an artist just outside of Fort Hood, Texas. Like many artists, he began with a lot of small tattoos and script.
Although David is mostly self-taught and did not have a traditional apprenticeship, he did have a lot of help from his good friend, Chad Clark. Chad helped David fine tune his skills and set up his first real tattoo position at Second to None in Killeen, Texas.
Today, David co-owns Rebel Muse Tattoo in Lewisville, Texas. When they opened up in the spring of 2012, they envisioned an atmosphere that was client-oriented yet still provided the artists with an environment where they could focus on their styles. They wanted a private studio to create custom tattoos rather than a walk-in based shop where clients pick designs off the wall to have tattooed. As a result, Rebel Muse Tattoo doubled in size after just a year and a half.
David enjoys the easy going environment and working alongside artists who encourage and inspire each other artistically. Since everyone at the shop has a different style, David loves walking around and seeing what everyone is up to for the day. It helps him keep the wheels turning, learning new things, and most importantly it keeps him ambitious to get better every day.
Being around so many talented artists has an impact on David’s style. He’s one of those artists that is talented at every style he attempts. Recently, David has especially enjoyed abstract, collage style tattoos because of the freedom and creativity involved in those designs. He says, “I try to be versatile and try as many different styles as I can to better myself as an artist. If you look through my portfolio, I really do some of everything. It helps to keep me on my toes!”
One of David’s biggest influences is Jeff Gogue because, “his art, creativity, and color theory are insane. I have always admired his ability to stay humble and [how he] manages to always value his clients as real people and not just a canvas.” Other influences include Guy Atchison, Bob Tyrell, Rich Pineda, Nikko Hurtado, “..and honestly, hundreds of other tattooers out there creating great art every day.” Although David tattoos practically every day, he loves being a family man, “If I could do anything, I’d be at home with my wife and two amazing boys. They are awesome and hilarious and definitely the reason I work so hard!
David’s advice for people planning their first tattoo:
“Do a lot of research before choosing your artist. No artist is created equal and we all have our areas of specialty. Look at your artist’s portfolio and see if their work reflects the style that you want to see in your own tattoo. Maybe talk to someone who has worked with that artist before and see how the experience was for them. And as always… You get what you pay for!
David’s advice for artists just getting started:
“Know what you are getting yourself into. Tattooing is a lifestyle, not a job. It is all encompassing and I truly believe that it is something you should really, really love or you will never make it. Find a mentor or group of artists that have the same values and goals as you and that really want you to succeed. Surround yourself with GOOD people! A good environment and a positive attitude go a long way.”