Each week our intrepid artist liaison, and generally jovial Eikon staffer Patrick Coste, sits down with a tattoo artist to get to know them a little better. This week, he's catching up with Gatineau-based artist Louis Moise Cretney.
Don’t be fooled by his smoothness or his laidback style... Louis’ passion is among the strongest, and his tattoos are spot on! We need more “Louis” in the tattoo trade - Patrick Coste
Name: Louis Moise Cretney
Year tattooing: 8 years
Year actually good at it? 😅 I see good in all tattoos, but 2 years down the road is where I started to be comfortable. But who doesn't rethink every tattoo?
Place of business: Tatouage Urban, Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
Patrick Coste: What’s up crazy man?? We used to see you at a few conventions eh!? Shoot the shit quite a bit... Your tattoos are spot on, and you’re dedicated as well as passionate when we talk tattoos. What have you been doing during these uncertain times?
Louis Moise Cretney: Not going to tattoo conventions!!! hah! Just kidding, I’m good really, been at work for a few weeks now. IT WAS ABOUT GODDAMN TIME, hah! I really miss the 3-4 conventions I usually go every year. I think I miss Winnipeg the most, with real good tattooers. Not too far really, and truly a great overall convention. You can't ask for better when it comes to getting to be out there with the others of our kin!
PC: We dove right into tattooing here. We were saying offline that really, a lot of the time tattooing is your only passion. So much to learn, to do and get absorbed by, and I remember talking with you in the past and discovering that I wasn't the only one just thinking about tattoos all the time and at times forgetting all else. Did you get to discover other passions a bit?
LMC: Haha, well tattooing is my passion for sure. As I get older it’s a question people ask me a lot: What do you like to do, other than tattoo? and I truly only had tattoos for a long time. With the current situation, I was stressed a bit. I sold a few prints and originals, but I took time off to recharge once I knew a bit more of what was going on.
I only recently took a real vacation, for the first time in over 10 years, but you know it wasn't really like a vacation but definitely the longest I had not been tattooing since I started. It did some good. I was ready to go back and kill it!
I remember thinking at first, was tattooing an art or a trade? It’s a mix of all that, it’s evolved so much. Art and business make a perfect match, but it’s a hard question in itself; what is art? Haha, big question. I really just want to make good tattoos, my way. Still, it’s a product, but it’s my art and it feels great. If you look way back to when it was a production and flash. Sometimes I'm torn between this and that, but I accommodate. I get inspired nonetheless, and in so many ways I’m comfortable.
It’s easy when you like what you do. You still need to pay the bills, but I enjoy 200% of it, you know the wheel of satisfaction. I travel between styles quite a bit, but it’s always my way, so I would say my style is illustration. Sometimes Japanese inspired, sometimes traditional inspired, and other times comic… I’m weird, haha! I just like to not get bored with one thing. I love traditional, but not every day… so I do everything that comes my way!
PC: I’m glad you do man, those new post-COVID tattoos are stellar! You’re fairly young, you've been at it for about 8 years right? How did it all get started?
LMC: Yes 8, well, I had a basic apprenticeship with somewhat of a regular parlour. At first I wasn't really sure about tattooing, I tried; nautical electrician. It was a good pay, but you know...Haha!
Then I tried graphic design, boffff… haha. I was getting tattooed by @bonneau quite a bit then, so he gave me a spot here at @tattooageurbain. I also became more serious back then and never left. The team here really motivates me a lot so I’m totally motivated once more. It’s different to endure when it’s real and you decide to take it seriously.
PC: I know those dudes, they’re good people! Tell me, did Dan make a lot of changes to the shop with the COVID situation?
LMC: Mmm well, we all know that tattoo shops are often better than any other places that deal with blood-borne pathogens and all. We were ready. Aside from physical distancing, we split the shift in two, if that makes sense, and all can work safely as we always did. The restaurants and all the retail stores are the ones who are having it a bit harder than tattooers, we ‘re used to this shit. On a side note, I can't wait to go back to normal.
PC: Normal eh!? You think so ? lol
LMC: Haha I have no clue haha, I'm not an expert in any of this. I'm a very patient person, I follow rules, even though I don’t like it. I’m easy, wearing a mask is nothing, but it’s sad. It’s been a while since people stocked up on toilet paper haha! Funny thing, I was watching people buying toilet paper, while we have two massive toilet paper plants in Gatineau here, where I live, haha!
PC: Haha, crazy right? I nonetheless also look forward to better days. It’s important to respect and overcome all this. It’s hard to think about, but do you have any plans for this summer? I mean, we just came off a “vacation, do you think of vacations still?
LMC: I started what, 3 or 4 weeks ago. I wish I could go on a vacation. We were talking about new passions...travel would be one of them. I went to New Zealand last year. My dad is from there (Cretney), my mom is from here though (Moise), so I had to go there. I worked a bit, and I had travel itch ever since.
I had the chance to go to Japan last November, what a trip!!! but now NONE. I'm looking forward to the next trip for sure, I have become addicted. I’ve been better at growing old haha, and life has been fair to me. I’ll enjoy the local spots for now.
PC: Same here man. It’s good in a sense to rediscover our own areas. Until then man, say “Hi” to Bonneau, Dan, Marilou, Frank and all others at the shop!!! All the best!
Follow Louis on Instagram: @lmctattoos