Dragoncat Tattoo Opens in Belmont-DeVilliers
Get excited because there’s a new cat on the block—Dragoncat Tattoo.
Located in the heart of Pensacola’s BelmontDeVilliers neighborhood, Dragoncat is hard to miss. The quaint building is adorned with gold details and bold, black accents. Inside, flash-covered walls surround the workspaces of the shop’s four co-owners, Shauncey Fury, Alex Fame, Ryan Boxcar and Josh Adams.
Fury, Fame, Boxcar and Adams each have extensive backgrounds as tattoo artists, with a combined experience of more than 50 years in the industry. Each of the co-owning artists have been tattooing for over a decade, with some having close to 20 years of experience. On the fitting day of Friday, October 13, the ownership team reached a new milestone in their careers with the opening of Dragoncat.
We had the chance to catch up with coowner Shauncey Fury to learn more about the new tattoo shop, the artistic and personal bond with his fellow co-owners and how the artists have combined their talents to establish Pensacola’s newest tattoo shop.
Born and raised in Pensacola, Fury got his start learning to tattoo locally in the early 2000s. Although Dragoncat is the first tattoo shop Fury has had ownership in, he’s already well-known for making his mark in the local tattoo scene.
“I started learning how to tattoo from Chip Baskin at Tattoo Fever on Garden Street back in 2003, and have been a professional tattoo artist since 2005 when I started working at what would eventually become Three Saints Tattoo, which was owned by Myck McClung. While I didn’t co-own that shop, Myck allowed quite a bit of leniency in operating how I saw fit, so I gained a lot of practice there,” Fury explained.
Fascinated with the counterculture of music and tattoos, and after a few years in the area developing his craft, Fury decided to combine his love of music and tattooing and head out on the road with some rock bands.
“I worked at a shop called All or Nothing in Smyrna, GA for a bit before moving to Ocala Tattoo, thanks to my friends in [the band] A Day To Remember encouraging me to work there. This lead to more touring before a move to Jacksonville to work at Diadem Tattoo. Then, my Pensacola return saw me working at my dream shop, Hula Moon with Gabe Smith. My time with that crew was highly important to me, and I still mourn the loss of that shop to this day.”
Upon his return to Pensacola, Fury began settling down and working as “a more confident tattooer than when [he] had left.” Following the permanent closure of Hula Moon, Fury began tattooing at another local shop, Sacred Grounds Tattoo, where Fame, Boxcar and Adams reunited over their love for the craft.
“Alex, Ryan, Josh and I all worked closely together at our previous shop, and even encouraged one another before we actually worked together,” Fury explained. “We each got along well, and felt comfortable challenging, and accepting challenges from one another.”
With years of experience under their belts, the artists collaborated on the creation and opening of Dragoncat. This collaborative process was very important to each of the co-owning artists, as they wanted to create a place that everyone, including both artists and clients, were comfortable with.
“I always thought a person should be in the tattoo industry for at least a decade, if not two before opening a shop of their own. So many artists can’t wait to be out on their own so they can be the boss, and not have to listen to anyone else, but that very idea fights against the collaborative efforts of running a business. No man is an island, and it’s silly to pretend that any one person can fully satisfy the needs of keeping a business open, while also servicing the community with the processes of our service. That’s why Dragoncat was born as a collaboration from the beginning,” Fury explained.
The shop’s quirky name was inspired by Fame’s cat named “Dragon.” “Alex has a cat named Dragon, and a long time ago, we all drew a bunch of Dragoncats on a box that he used as a playhouse. We were at Alex’s house one day tossing names around, and Josh said, ‘What about Dragoncat Tattoo?’ Since we had already spent about two weeks brainstorming every name possible, that one just rang through the noise as the right choice,” Fury explained.
From bold and colorful American traditional, to intricate black and gray designs, the artists at Dragoncat can bring just about any vision to life. Each artist has their own unique style that they specialize in.
“Alex enjoys Japanese style tattoos, as well as other cultural styles. Josh has a bold style utilizing strong lines, and heavy black shading to achieve incredibly vivid tattoos. Ryan’s designs are highly experimental psychedelic infusions of familiar imagery. I like to do an American traditional style of work that varies from sternly classic to wildly innovative depending on the whims of the client,” Fury explained. “We make it a point to steer people towards the artist who we think would do a great job on their tattoo when someone doesn’t have a specific artist in mind,” he added.
According to Fury, one of the most important aspects of tattooing is communication between the client and the artist. The team at Dragoncat pride themselves on being communicative and real when it comes to people making permanent decisions for their bodies.
“Getting a tattoo is a very personal decision, so it’s important that you get along with your artist, and feel heard when you have concerns. We always encourage an open communication dialogue to make sure that everyone’s expectations and goals are the same, all the way through the process and afterwards,” Fury explained.
If you are interested in getting tattooed by one of the artists at Dragoncat, visit the shop at 417 N De Villiers St. to get a tattoo on the spot or schedule an appointment. Walk-ins are always welcome and can be accommodated a majority of the time.