Ben Kaye

About Ben Kaye

From a young age, I have been interested in all forms of art but that passion and focus became tattooing. I was always drawing on people in class with some idiot talking about ink poisoning in the background. So, at the age of fifteen with all my tattoos planned out, I enrolled in Fine Art college to better myself as an artist. College was a path I wandered down but I never loved it. A few failed years of art college later I got my first tattoo in a traditional studio in a rainy north English city called Glossop. “Leave a message on the machine and I’ll get back to you” was written on his door, he never did walk ins. Harley in the waiting room, glass cases with every cult figure imaginable and you could smoke inside. After that I never looked back. Almost 9 years I've been tattooing. It’s been a rollercoaster that’s allowed me to live in Malaysia, Spain, Germany and now New Zealand.

Know Who You’re Instagramming: Ben Kaye @dbkaye

Approx Reading Time-10We spoke with tattoo artisan Ben Kaye about using his craft as a conduit to tell the stories of others. That and the correct amount of fire one should use. 




Hi Ben! Your Instagram pics are fabulous. If for whatever reason you could only save three, which three would you save?

First, I would pick one of the only family photos I have online. I love this photo, it sums us up and makes me smile.

Family times – tattooed my beautiful partner @madelinecampb3ll today… Today was a good day.

A post shared by Ben Kaye (@dbkaye) on


This was a good day. Great client with a good sense of humour. Everyone was in the studio, so there was a real buzz happening and the piece came out really nicely too.


This piece opened up a lot of doors for me in the industry and really got me focused on realistic tattooing in a new way, so it’s a special tattoo for me.


And your favourite Insta video clip?

This is one of my favourite tattoos in the last year. The more fire the better!


Can you please tell our readers a little bit about yourself and how your Instagram came to be?

I’ve been tattooing for about nine years and @dbkaye has been my online portfolio for what feels like a long time. I first started my Instagram just to see what other artists were doing and it blew my mind. At least once a day I see a piece I would love to get tattooed or even just see in real life.


InstaMoments: What do you think is the main driver to people coming to your Instagram daily and following you?

People love the art of tattooing, the culture and everything that goes with it. I like to think @dbakye is a window into that subculture as well as being my online portfolio. The inspiration for their own work or pieces that they would like tattooed is another reason and I’m sure some people just want to see what crazy tattoos people get.


InstaStories: What is the main story you like to tell through your images?

I feel as a tattooist I tell other people’s stories more than my own. It’s nice for people outside of tattooing to see what’s possible and that it can be artistic. Maybe that’s my story, through telling other stories – storyception.


InstaFans: What is the worst way for someone to try and get your attention on Instagram, and what is the best way?

The best way is anything direct; email, DM, ring me (after 5), turn up at the studio randomly with donuts or some kind of chocolate cake. I’m always happy to talk about tattoos! The worst way is just using me to try and get followers or likes. Being tagged in random posts from someone I have nothing to do with is so so annoying.


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