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 Paul Tougas.
Art has no frontier. Artistry and tattoo technicalities merge so well, you can see all that is Paul Tougas' work on skins and canvas - Patrick Coste
Name: Paul Tougas
Years tattooing: 13 years
Years actually good at it?: None, haha, still learning.
Place of business: Almanzard Gallery, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
PC: Good day Paul, been a while since we travelled to China eh?
PT: It has, haha.
PC: We've both had quite a ride since, lol. Tell me what are you up to these days?
PT: Yes, haha. I opened my shop since then, it takes a lot of my time. I'm also involved in an art collective (Collectif 8), which is 8 artists organizing an art exhibition each year, and I travel for guest spots and conventions quite a bit too.
PC: Sweeet!!! Let me show off some of the paintings you do on a regular day at the office by Paul Tougas.
PC: Tattoo-wise, you came to define your tattooing style as mostly black and grey right? Is there a reason for that?
PT: The truth is that I started doing realistic tattoos in colour back in 2013, and I was terrible at black and grey. Five years ago, I moved to black and grey because I've always been inspired by darker stuff, so black-and-grey is better suited for that kind of project.
PC: Ho yeah, true. I've seen a few of your colour works. I remember now...
PT: Yes, I've always loved to pack solid colour, I just needed to find my zone. Now I do both, even both in the same piece. I don’t consider my colour work to be fully realistic, even in black and grey. I interpret and simplify some parts, that way I don’t feel stuck in my reference and have a little bit of freedom.
PC: Those Paul Tougas collabs are quite the thing these days, you paired up with Luka Lajoie to do some collaborations last year...
PT: Yes, it was a great experience, and a challenge every time! We did the first one, Venom, at the Tattoo Nouvelle Ere Tattoo convention in Montréal and the other one, the Hannya Mask in December at Luka's Shop; the Art Corporation also in Montreal. That one was based on a 3D sculpture I did! Sometimes to mix each other's styles can create a nice contrast, but for those collabs, we decided to do pretty much everything together which is really challenging. It takes you out of your comfort zone. We had to adapt our technique and design choices all the way to make a uniform rendering, which normally is a no brainer when we work alone! It's always nice and inspiring to work alongside my friend Luka Lajoie. That crazy-talented mothafukaa!
PC: Where are we gonna see you this year?
PT: I’ll be at my shop in Quebec City, and at these conventions: Germany in January 2020, Los Angeles in January 2020, Lyon April 2020 and Toronto in June 2020. I will also be in Montréal At The Arts Corporation one week a month, and I'm still looking forward to heading back out west in October; Calgary, Canmore and Vancouver!
PC: Paul Tougas, thank you my man!! All the best for this year, and see you on the road!!
PT: Thanks to you man. It's always a pleasure to chat with you!
Follow Paul Tougas: https://www.instagram.com/paultougas