Interview with Dylan Lemoine

  Hello Dylan Lemoine! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. Please start by telling us something about yourself and your background. Do you have any formal art training? I have been drawing since I was very young, I have always loved drawing, my mother drew fabulous portraits and influenced me a lot during my adolescence, and I became interested in tattooing very early on. I have never taken drawing lessons, I am self-taught.

Q: How did you end up doing tattoos?
A: My father brought me tattoo magazines and I was fascinated by what we could do on the skin. As a teenager I studied business and had the chance to do internships in a tattoo artist friend's shop, I was able to do my first tattoos on fake skin there and I knew everything immediately I would like to do this job.

Q: How long took you learn the basics? What type of tattoos you use to do as a beginner?
A: I quickly learned the basics of tattooing but I had to be patient to learn realism, tattoo artists who did realism were not as widespread as now. I started by doing tribal, comic, traditional and fine line tattooing.

- Would you correct some of them now?
Now that I am better, I have contacted many of my old clients to upgrade or cover my old achievements.

Q: Who was your very first client that actually paid you to do their tattoo? What was the design?
A: My first client was my best friend in high school, I made him a “biohazard” symbol. I covered it last year.

Q: I believe even the most talented people need some time to get good and gain confidence. How long it took you?
A: It's true and I think we learn throughout our lives, to think otherwise would be sad. It took me 8 years to become the tattoo artist I am today and I hope to get even better.

Q: How much your style changed over the time and what are the changes you implemented as an artist that you are most proud of?
A: My style evolved a lot when I did my first conventions, I had the chance to see a lot of talented artists and I was able to see what was wrong with my creations. I really evolved when I found my artistic identity and imposed my style. I was afraid of imposing my style. I made the choice to forget everything I had learned and to start again differently. I participated in seminars and listened to the advice of other artists, it was the best decision of my life.

Q: I like that you do both color and black and white tattoos. Which technique you like more?
A: I really like black and gray but I prefer to work with color, the different shades are real challenges to achieve, and I like challenges. We don't get bored with color.

Q: Would you say that color tattooing is more challenging from a technical aspect?
A: Yes obviously, you have to be patient with color, it is more difficult to saturate a tattoo in color than in black and gray, it is more difficult to make our color associations, any mistake is forbidden, but it's exciting.

Q: I like the portrait of Lilith but I'm absolutely in love with the death-skull back piece tattoo. I love the black ink and how it nicely blends with the gray parts. And then there are these characters with white ink, nicely contrasting the bold black ink - I LOVE IT! Who's idea was this tattoo yours, your client's?
A: Thank you very much, these are also my favorite projects. The skull on the back was one of my creations, I had proposed it from my available projects. This kind of mixture of styles are often personal projects.

- Since it's a back piece, I bet it took a few sessions to complete? Is it done or there are some parts you still need to work on? It took me 3 sessions to finish it, in the photo you saw, the tattoo was not finished but there is a video where you can see it finished.

Q: In tattooing, perfection is the "bare minimum" this can sometime put pressure on the artist, but it's part of the job. Have you ever felt a bit nervous to do a certain design?
A: Yes of course, every time I must start a technical project, such as color tattoos or big projects like a complete back. But I think there's a bit of excitement too.

Q: Any favorite tattoo you did, that is almost like a career "highlight" so far, technically and creatively? Maybe even an inspiration to experiment with other designs and styles?
A: I would say that there was one that was the trigger, the "Stranger Things" project because it was the first tattoo that I created after my seminar with the artist Shooby. I was able to integrate part of what I learned and it gave me the opportunity to reimagine my next projects.

Q: How important is to be open minded and curious to learn more about tattooing even as an established artist?
A: The world of tattooing is constantly evolving, as with any profession it’s important to follow the trend and developments, if we want to meet the expectations of our customers and if we want to surpass ourselves.

Q: Tattoo artists have a lot more opportunities to grow, there are so many seminars, conventions, even some good YouTube channels with educational videos... I think it's easier to learn but also market yourself on social media. I think we are seeing so much progress nowadays. Just the last few years... There are so many new styles, artists and the quality is on a completely different level. Do you agree?
A: Yes absolutely, it's an opportunity for new artists and experienced artists but I think it's even more of an opportunity for customers who are looking for particular styles, thanks to all these media and the evolution of tattooing, it’s the golden age of tattooing.

Q: Your opinion on your local tattoo scene, do you see progress?
A: Yes there is a lot of progress, in France we are seeing styles more widespread in other countries arriving and that's great. We see that artists are more invested than ever in offering quality work.

Q: Do you have any interesting hobbies?
A: I don't know if it's interesting but, I do digital drawings, and I'm also a musician, disc jockey and producer of techno hardcore.

- How do you manage the busy schedule? It's not easy but I manage to find a balance between tattooing and private life which comes with time.

Q: In few words, please encourage my young audience who would like to try tattooing and maybe get into this business.
A: Be determined, studious, never stop learning, find your style and surround yourself with good people.