Interview with Michael Gagnon

  Hello Michael Gagnon! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview, we really appreciate. Please start by telling us something about yourself and your background.  Were you like one of those cool kids who drew a lot and had a dream to "make it" or art wasn't really something you thought you gonna be doing for a living?
A: I draw since the age of 3 and aspired to become a cartoonist when I was a teenager. I really liked drawing the images of Todd McFarlane's Spawn.

Q: Tattooing is no joke. Was it hard to learn the basics? Did anyone help you?
A: Someone taught me the code of tattoo hygiene. I learned the basic techniques by myself and talking to other tattoo artists but you never stop learning more and that's what's exciting about this job. Philippe Gravel is a tattoo artist who helped me a lot. By working with him in his tattoo shop, I was able to reach my full potential more quickly.

Q: What would you do differently if you were starting today?
A: I wouldn't change anything, it's only been 3 years that I tattoo full time and I love the way we make the draw and stencil with apps, iPad, camera, and everything.

Q: I believe even the most talented people who have good skills and even good support, still "struggle" a bit in the beginning. Getting out there and trying to compete is truly a challenge, especially nowadays when we have such high quality/standards... the competition is insane. Honestly, how long it took you to gain confidence in your work and regular customers?
A: After 7 months I was enough confident in my techniques and my designs but I really found my own style after 2 years.

Q: Tell me more about how you develped your style.
A: At the beginning I was more into black and greys and after 2 years I started adding only one color to my works and now it's just full color, very frequently.

Q: Now... your style is really cool. I love all of your tattoos, honestly not having a favorite piece... just yet... You really mastered tattoo realism. I gotta say I prefer the color sleeve/big tattoos. Just simply amazing! Why tattoo realism? What do you like the most about this style?
A: I love realism because it's very impressive and emotional. I think I will always put a touch of realism in my works. So many things we can do whit that! And thechnicaly easy to learn.

Q: What designs are more challenging to work on? People's portraits or some crazy animal/fantasy sleeve?
A: Doing a portrait tattoo always requires a special attention, because the smallest detail can change everything and make the person no longer look alike, so doing animals is less risky and easier.

Q: Oh let's not forget, that tattoo realism is one of the most "unforgiving" styles so even the smallest mistake can "ruin" everything. Every client requires and expects perfection. How long does it take to finish a big piece? Full color?
A: Around 7 to 10 hours.

Q: Logest session? What's was the tattoo design?
A: 12 hours each days. These two sleeve both made in 2 days in a row.

Q: That Marilyn Monroe tattoo! I bet even she would like herself, if she could see it. :))) Who came up with that "gangsta" style tattoo? Really, really cool tattoo, bravo!
A: hahaha me too I think she would like to see herself like this and maybe she would even look like this. :)) This idea came from the client directly and I loved the concept!! Thank you very much I really liked the result too.

Q: I bet you enjoy doing this style, but I'm intrigued seeing the potential in your creative abilities. I think you can do many types of tattoos in all kinds of styles. Would you try something different maybe in the feature?
A: Yes, exactly. I actually I like to do several styles but I'm starting to get interested in Neo Trad, I find this style really interesting and original.
it's a good combination of style.

Q: Ah those cover ups! I enjoyed the short videos on your Instagram. Lucky clients! I believe not many artists (even good, experienced artists) want to do cover ups. I guess, it's more challenging to really cover up a bad (poorly done) tattoo, and there's also little to no room for some creative solutions? It takes "courage" to try to fix someone's mistake. :)) So when your clients want a cover up and have all those amazing ideas, do you advise them on better design, colors?
A: Yes you are right, cover ups require many other skills and the customer must trust us. Most of my clients give me almost free choice.

Q: Can people be stubborn? :)) Have you ever refused to do a certain tattoo?
A: Yeah absolutely. I have no choice but to be a little selective :)

Q: I bet being a tattoo artist is one of the best jobs out there. It's a gift you have and gift you give and in return you get respect for a lifetime. I love this dynamic. What do you like the most about being a tattoo artist?
A: That's exactly what you just said, it feels good to give people this physical and mental change and it creates a wheel of positive energy that keeps spinning.

Q: Yes, this is a tattoo interview, but I gotta mention, I checked your YouTube channel. You are very, very talented!! The music is so calming, I can listen all day. Also, compliments on the videos too, Canadian nature is so beautiful. Please tell me something about your music. Is this just a hobby or something more?
A: Ho thank you very much, I appreciate so much these beautiful comments on my music and my videos. I really enjoy doing these shoots completely alone with myself. It is a way of purifying myself and entertaining myself. I am a DJ in electronic events. More for fun than for glory.

Q: Would you like to promote something here?
Please write down your studio location and your email/socials.
A: Yes absolutely I would really like it if you talk about my music.
My video here: Between Me And I
Thank you so much!!!

Stuff Arts
350 Boul. Lacombe
(Greater Montréal)
Québec, Canada

My Email