While his nickname may be small, the loss to the Grande Prairie tattooing world is massive. Dave “Tiny” Edlund, the man responsible for opening up the first tattoo shop in the Swan City, passed away December 9th, 2019 at the age of 78.
Tiny’s Tattoos opened its doors in the mid-70s. Despite changes in names and its eventual closure in 1998, the legacy Edlund left behind can be seen on people throughout Grande Prairie to this day.
“I have five of his out of 23, and the rest of mine are from his last apprentice,” says Tiny’s granddaughter Baileigh Wardill. “I can spot his artwork on other people and I think, ‘you have Tiny’s artwork… I do too.”
Wardill says she knew that her grandfather had a history in the city, but when she announced his passing on social media, the full scope of how many lives he touched came into perspective.
“I was starting to have a moment and I thought, ‘I know Papa was very much loved and appreciated and respected. If I put it out here, hopefully, it will have some responses that will help us get through and knowing that we won’t be the only ones who will miss him as he’s impacted a lot of people.'”
Staff at Cree8ive Ink posted on social media that Tiny “trenched the way” for all other tattoo artists who call Grande Prairie home.