Spotlight on Brandyn Feldman
"As crazy as it can sound, I want to give back to the tattoo gods for allowing me to be good at this, to form my life based on this beautiful old craft." - Brandyn Feldman
Maryland USA based Brandyn Feldman has steadily been building his reputation as one of the top tattoo machine makers today, making a serious name for himself within the tattoo world.
Brandyn is a tattoo collector, artist, studio owner, and machine builder. His experience extends as a tattooist since 2003, making him almost 20 years rich in industry experience… so it’s no wonder to see Brandyn’s work and custom coils always reflect the old school mojo and nod to the history and legends he has worked with across that time.
You can find Brandyn featured in various magazines, newspapers, books, and websites. So, even though you can find him in interviews on our Youtube Channel, today we wanted to celebrate his talent in writing, right here.
Let's hear the back story…
Before stepping into tattooing fame, Brandyn is a U.S. Navy veteran and comes from a family who worked on and restored cars. Both of these paths built his love for engines, machinery and the craft of machine engineering that would ultimately stem towards venturing to building his own tattoo machines.
We were lucky enough to be able to virtually sit down with Brandyn, and in his words, he explained that he "Got into tattooing by pure luck."
In a 2014 interview with USA Distributor, Hildbrandt, Brandyn explains,"Being a punk rock kid in LA, I thought that the modern navy lacked nostalgia. I was stuck in an unrealistic fantasy when I decided it just looked like a lot more fun than riding around on a f*cking boat. It gave me a chance to change the way people thought. I could read a person and figure out myself what to put on them to make them happy and I liked that."
He continues on in that same article to say, "I didn't actually apprentice which is extremely rare. I literally taught myself how to tattoo. I believed I had figured out the technical aspect of it. Other than that, it was just putting designs on people. While in the navy and started bullsh*tting people into letting me tattoo them. I bought what I could afford and improvised on the rest. I found a catalogue from Kaplam and bought two tattoo machines, power supply tubes, needles, ink, and ink caps & just said f*ck it."
The passion & inspiration…
Brandyn liked the idea of putting a design on somebody and having it stay there for the rest of their lives. Apparently, it was also an extremely rebellious thing to do in the Navy and he wanted to be different from everyone else.
Brandyn explains that his favourite tattoo style is "anything with a lot of line work. I really like the old school styles and try to put my own spin on it."
As for inspiration, he looks up to artists such as Robert Hernandez, Jason James, Carlos Torres, Corey Miller, Nikko Hurtado, and many more.
Discussing his passion for his trade with us in 2021, Brandyn put it plainly “You’ve got an X amount of years to live your life, we don’t really know what that amount is, but we are here. If you are a tattooer, then god damn you are lucky as hell because it’s the best job you could have ever applied for and you get paid to put silly little pictures on people and change their life and meet all kinds of new people. And it's forever, because the love that you put into it is the love that you get back.
My view on this whole thing, tattooing and just in life in general? Tattooing, tattoo machine building - we all are just custodians. I’ve never thought of myself as some true innovator or anything like that because I really believe all humans are super connected whether we want to believe it or not. And there is this thing that connects all of us. We are just here and we are keeping our section clean, for the next group of people who can come in and enjoy it. And I guess having that sense has allowed me to love it more. I gravitate towards people who have that same mindset.”
How he ended up making his own machines…
After making his own needles for years, Brandyn started to get into building his own tattoo machines. He was convinced that being able to build his own machines would lead to him becoming an even better tattoo artist. Initially, he hadn't even had a thought about being able to sell them.
"My Dad taught me that you are your craft. If you use your knowledge and your heart to build the things that you build you won't have any regrets and that translates into how I build these machines."
"I even went as far as making the screws the same material as the coil cores, the same material as the armature bar because then you've got this really well-balanced circuit. Every piece, every aspect of the machine is definitely overthought and over-engineered."
Some of our favourite machines Brandyn has built…
What the future holds…
Brandyn explained his perspective in today’s machine world with us. “Everyone is on their own quest you know, young, new whatever. (For me it’s) The quest to bring professional manufacturing and machine shop craftsmanship and merge that with the knowing of how to make a tattoo machine run properly.
For me as a tattooer the most important thing and the reason I do this is that I want people to actually use machines. I built them and put myself through all of that so that people can love them and use them.
I go as far as I can to understand the very essence and be as responsible in sourcing and creating the tattoo machine so that I can sleep at night.”
Brandyn has accomplished so much in his career thus far, and we can only imagine what the future holds for him. We are excited to see what new ventures he takes on and what other amazing machinery he produces.
Brandyn Feldman is dedicated to his craft and excellence, and his history and experience makes him a serious badass.
Brandyn’s come a long way in his tattoo career and has accomplished an impressive amount in that time already. We can't wait to see what he does next. If you're not already, make sure you're following along on his Instagram here.
You can also find some beautiful tattoo coils and rotary tattoo machines from Feldman MF on our store now.
Stay tuned as we cover more seriously talented individuals within the tattoo world in the coming months. Thank you, Brandyn, for your dedication, inspiration, and passion for the tattoo industry.