COLUMBUS, Ohio — His life, like his craft, is a work of art. Dino Nemec never wanted to be a tattoo artist. Not really.
“It evolved to what it is now,” he said. “Like, it was always meant to be.”
It just happened. He went from tattooing himself, to doing small jobs for some friends before word-of-mouth got him work in a couple local tattoo shops.
Then, in 2015, inspired by creation and driven by passion, he opened Lone Wolf, which is his own studio off North High Street.
“My first day I came in there was a line out the corner,” he said.
He does things a bit different. Instead of creating something beforehand, his designs and thoughts are as fresh as the day he meets you.
“Think about it,” he said. “If you go to a restaurant because you like a certain chef, but he’s booked six months…are you gonna email him six months from now and be like ‘Hey, I’m gonna be there Thursday at 7:30, can you make me spaghetti with spicy meatballs?’”
Instead of stencils, he draws his designs freehand, on you, the day of your appointment.
“Most people don’t even see the finished design until we’re done with the tattoo,” he said.
He commits to one tattoo a day so that he can focus on you, your background and your story.
“I think that’s like the biggest, like touching…emotional,” he said, starting to tear up. “A lot of, like, really sad stories.”
It’s that talent, care and trust that has gained him more than 137,000 followers on social media and now has clients on a two-year wait list.
“Right now, I’m booked up a couple years,” he said.
“From all over the world,” Erin Nemec said. “All over the world.”
Dino met his wife, Erin, when he gave her sister a tattoo. They started dating in 2007 and got married in 2009. The couple now has two children.
“Art has just been a part of our lives since day one,” Erin said.
A bottomless well of reason and purpose.
“Right,” Dino said. “It’s like…special doesn’t even describe it,” he said. “It’s like life-changing sometimes.”
Knowing it’s the good, the bad and everything in between that makes life a true work of art.
To view some of Dino's work, check out his Instagram page.