Tattoos are really gaining in popularity here in Paris and there are some great artists. I’ve been on a bit of a tattoo binge lately and got a couple of new ones last week. I love Halloween for so many reasons and just one of them is for all the flash events that artists have during the spookiest time of the year. It is a great chance to meet some new artists and check out there work. I totally get that tattoos are not everyone’s bag but personally, I have been obsessed with them since childhood having looked at and been told all about this old dude Ray’s prison tattoos down the local pub and saving up my pocket money to go to Borders to buy some imported tattoo magazines. I am very lucky to have really chill parents.
I got my first tat aged 17 and have 7 now. It is not as many as I would like but time, money, life-in-general has slowed me down and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes people ask me if I will regret it when I’m old – even though tattoos are pretty mainstream now and loads of my gen as fogies will be inked – and I simply reply that I won’t because each tattoo is a memory of a time and a place. I also enjoy having peoples art on me and the ability to choose what to do with my own skin. Even the process is enjoyable as I have a high pain threshold and adrenaline is a buzz.
Paris is famous for attracting and growing artists and when it comes to tattoos that is most definitely the case. So, having decided it was time to fill up my arm a bit more, we went to a local bar that’s just a stroll up the canal from our gaff – called Le Pavillion des Canaux – on what was a bank-holiday Wednesday here in Paris. This bar is awesome, it is an old lock keepers house with the most creative retro decor. Upstairs is a 1950’s kitchen, bedrooms with missing ceilings and lavish decor and even a bathroom with a bathtub you can sit and chill in. My partner and I had already decided that we’d like to get tattoos by the talented French artist Michel Fou and we chose some retro designs – a tape for me because I used to make so many mixtapes growing up and an old Nintendo control for him because he still plays on his. It was a friendly evening where we met lots of talented artists and got some very detailed and clean tattoos from Michel, who we met again a few nights later at another event where he was supporting another great artist from the same studio, Neko.
On Friday night we headed over to The Tatoorialist’s Crazy Tattoo party in Beleville. A tattoo of a 1920′ lady flaunting a Kimono was done on the back of my arm by La Renarde at about 1 am. Her line work is really clean and she was very professional despite having had a really busy night. I also love her work with Doc Martens and t-shirt collab with Voisinage. So after some craft beers, music and arcade gaming I took my slightly sore arm back home to bed and now, a week on, they have healed nicely.
All images by Matthieu Gibson
That means it is time to start planning the next! If you’d like to see my new, and old, tatts the check out my Insta. Plus, I have some fun future tattoo projects so keep your eyes peeled.