I was a painter before I begun tattooing, and I was getting tattooed before I begun tattooing so it seems like the transition to becoming a tattooer happened pretty naturally, I've always been into Art since I can remember, I always wanted my life to be 100% revolving around Art. Frankly I do not care about anything else!! I'm really visual, and creating Art with my paintings, my tattooing or the modeling I do which uses my created tattooed body is pretty much all that interests me. I work days and nights doing that stuff, and I love it!!...I actually wished we had more than 168 hours in a week, cause I could use more than that!!
You're also a painter do the 2 mediums cross over and which do you prefer?
If you paint with inks or watercolors, there are similarities between tattooing and painting, but tattooing really is a sacred Art, really difficult technically and ethically to master.
I love both, they are both completely different, tattooing is probably a bit more draining for me because it is really demanding, it is about commissioned work that is about changing somebody's life and there is no right for mistake, immense concentration and attention from beginning to the end is necessary, think of it as a jeweler-surgeon combo job :)..that is if you want to do a great job and respect your clients.
Painting is more calming, rejuvenating for me, because I can erase things if I make a mistake even if I prepare a big show that has to be good! ;)
Also themes and subject matters are all up to me so it is relaxing in this way too, I can just paint whatever I like.
Tattoos are very popular in the fetish community, do you feel like your work is part of that culture?
Well, I think that it used to be because tattooing used to be underground, and subcultures would be the only communities getting tattooed, but it has changed a lot now and I just feel like I tattoo anybody and everybody now, so yes, I feel like my work is part of that culture but also all other cultures and subcultures. I also feel that the fetish community just like tattooing has become way more popular than when I was a kid, all those things used to be taboo now all those things are on TV.
Do you think it’s possible that tattoos have become too popular and lost some of their cache?
That is a really interesting question, I think that everything that becomes popular will definitely loose some of its power or strength, when it becomes popular it is not special anymore it becomes vulgarized, I saw different ages of tattooing, I saw it so avant guard that if you had a tattoo you were a total scum bag, and now I see it where housewives get tattooed, and they even want their daughter to become tattooer!!!
I never thought that day would ever come, but I also never thought I would see Tattoos, Ozzy on Tv, Gay guys having their own show, Drag queens Rupaul show, and a black President!!..and you know what? Times change and in that direction it’s a good thing, I think that we are entering a new era of accepting people how they are, respecting others without judging or at least judging less, so I do think it will lose some of its cache, but I think the Tattoo community will be regarded just as another community as opposed to as degenerates. And tattooing will still be strong no matter what because of the fact that you have to go thru a long painful ritual in order to get tattooed so mot everybody will ever get tattooed only the ones that feel the urge. I can tell you that this will also bring way more outrageous body mod and tattooing in the future because people always want to push the limits and specially when an Art like Tattooing becomes popular or acceptable, you will see more face tattooing and outrageous body mod, like eye tattooed...there will always be a part of society that does not want to be part of it and those people will turn to something else than tattooing.. I can see it with myself in the body mod community, I used to look pretty hardcore and now I almost look like a nun:)
Have you ever had anyone completely freak out during the tattooing process?
Well, in 15 years of tattooing I got to see that I was pretty lucky because that happened to me only once but yes it did.
Once it was a guy that passed out and left after I did a line on his back, the beginning of a little moon tattoo I was working on but that never got finished, the other one is a girl that was crying "comme une madeleine" (that how we would say it in France! :)
She was just balling, crying screaming big tears on her face, for like 10 (as painful for me) long minutes, then she said she wanted to stop and by some miracle, right after I told her that if we stopped or not the price would be the same, she finally decided to sit good and did not make a noise till we were done!! Hehehe! This old trick always works!! :)
Conversely, has anyone ever enjoyed the needle a little too much?
Oh yes! it happens actually more often than people that freak out, really often actually, but different intensity, that’s how tattoo shops are, all day long while working you can hear people scream like they are in pain or having orgasm!! Hahaha!
That’s what it’s all about, being alive and feeling it! Good or bad.
What advice would you give to someone contemplating their first tattoo?
Come and see me! Hahaha!
Well, just make sure to go to a reputable shop, be comfortable with the shop and person that will do your tattoo, and make sure to check out their book and to know the amount of years they have been tattooing for, a professional tattooist has at least 5 years of experience, so if they’re 18 or 19 and tell you they have 5 years’ experience I would just like have some doubts you know..