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In this raw and unfiltered memoir, renowned tattoo artist Dennis “Dizzy” Doan shares his stories and artwork chronicling his coming of age as a Vietnamese American hailing from the heart of San Diego, California. Rooted in his heritage and neighborhood, Doan vividly illustrates how he battled against family challenges, economic adversity, gang violence, and the complex realm of mental health struggles, while also carving his own path as an artist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Amidst these struggles, Doan’s narrative shines with how he harnessed these difficulties as fuel for his ambition and sculpted a path that simultaneously ignited hope within himself and also within his communities, ultimately breaking barriers not only for himself but for everyone who has felt they are “not good enough” or “don’t belong.” Within these pages, Doan imparts profound insights on conquering societal norms and internal barriers, empowering readers to weave their own unique stories of triumph. With Memento, Doan invites all readers to become his apprentices–to remember, witness, imagine, and create.
Dennis (Dizzy) Doan is a Vietnamese American veteran tattoo artist who owns BLVCK LOTVS TATTOO & SOCIAL CLUB in San Diego, California. Doan is also the Founder and President of The Doan Foundation (Doan Incorporated), a charitable organization committed to empowering marginalized teens in Southern California to pursue their artistic aspirations by providing them with comprehensive resources and support, with an emphasis on academic scholarships. He is widely known for creating “Model Minority(c)” – A digital painting he released during the pandemic that went viral two years in a row in response to the Asian hate crimes all over the world that became prevalent during that era. The artwork was originally just meant to aid the nonprofit organization “Hate is a Virus” in their efforts to assist AAPI communities that were affected by the violence as well as businesses affected. But it became a piece that graced phone screens and TV screens alike, along with rally banners and t-shirts that were flaunted worldwide.