What About The Tattoo Artists?
If you have a business, it’s safe to say that you may have been affected by Coronavirus somehow and to me tattoo artists got it worst than almost everybody. While the government has drawn the line about what is an essential service or not, there are entrepreneurs all over Quebec who decided to not let this be the end
all be all and actually raise questions about how this pandemic is affecting small businesses all over the globe.
We spoke with the legendary David Z. James, a tattoo artist who made a name for himself for nearly 3 decades by pushing the limits of the tattoo industry. From tattooing 28 000 feet above ground (breaking a Canadian record in the process) to putting together tattoo conventions with artists from all across the world. It’s safe to say that most like his art, it’s a permanent thing between him and the tattoo world.
In the interview, we ask David how he thinks brick and mortar businesses and the tattoo world is going to rise again from the pandemic and as expected he gave us an unfiltered/raw trip into his creative mind.
Where do you find inspiration for your art?
I love a lot of styles, forms of arts like graffiti to old school painters, tattooers and entrepreneurs .
My bests are : Le Caravage, Salvatore Dali, HR Giger,Tintin, Filip leu, Richie Bulldog, Guy Laliberté, Horiyoshi3, Devildriver, Mister Cartoon, Estevan Oriol, Norm,Trigz, LA Originals, Dany Diablo, Sane2, Imago Tattoo’s Safwan, my wife my baby girl, my 2 boys, family histories and many, many more. All the originals ones
You started in 1991, what keeps you motivated these days?
Tattooing, arts and living my life with my partners, friends and family around the world.
How did you came up with the idea for your record of tattooing a TV personality 28 000 feet above the air?
it s a Felipe Del Pozo Idea, just ask him! More seriously, he wanted to produce a spectacular event to help the cause of young people in difficulty from Montreal’s Dans la rue de Montréal and Québec’s Au Trait d’union. In the United States, Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee and Justin Bieber were tattooed 40,000 feet in the air! We managed 28,000 feet above the air the first time on a Chrono Aviation plane. With Felipe, we are developing a new idea to beat the world record!
Even though there’s competition, you seem to care about bringing artists together through events and projects. Why is it so important to you?
Because i’m a real original one they said. 30 years of tattooing around the world. I’ve met a lot of people during my trips and they gave me that “tattoo essence“, the real fire. So since, I try, over those years to re-give all that knowledge and power to the young artists from the streets and ghettos :
real ones, our kids, our futur. TTWO our future foundation.
How do you separate the artist from the businessman
After all these years, I can say I m both of them now and i’ll never separate again the artist from the businessman . A big brother showed me the best way to do it so now I do everything ALL by myself with the James family which is a really good team. it’s a family business.
What do you think about copycats?
Fuck that shit..next!
What is the wildest tattoo you’ve ever had to make?
I did a hair tattoo on François Sagat in the early 2000’s. One shot, all black, five hours to did it. He’s a true warrior and a legend.
What are your 3 keys to success?
Working ..Working …Respect.
The tattoo industry got hit severely by Covid-19. Do you think tattoo artists should open brick-and-mortars in the future?
We will see. I can’t answer because I’m not a Gypsy. Let’s go back to work together, 2021 will be better.
Felipe Del Pozo, Safwan & David Z. James
What is the most challenging aspect of the pandemic for tattoo artists?
In your open letter, you talk about the fact that tattoo artists already had sanity guidelines to follow that are quite similar to hospitals. Do you think it was fair to be put on lockdown and how tattoo artists will adapt in the future?
For sure, we’ve lockdown our shops on Friday 13/03/2020 to assure our safety as required by the government and like all other Canadians we’ve been waiting since.
Now we will l continue all the good work we started 30 years ago and keep our community on top. Tattoo is The ”10ième art ” for us .#fuckcovid19
On the business side, how can a company with a physical location can plan and survive to a lockdown in your opinion?
You know i m a self made man. This Time it will be really hard for every Canadian. While 9-11 was happening, I was Working on a project in New York when the twin towers fell. It was a war zone and we’ve won and we’ve adapted . We must adapt to a new way of life in 2020.
Some viruses are more vicious than terrorism, like the black plague in Marseille France. Over 85 % of the population died in just a month . All this to say that we must remember, learn and we must protect our families.
Is there any project you’re working on once the lockdown is over?
A lot, we are booked in many new projects with my hermano Felipe del Pozo like a new campaign Tous Encrés in collaboration with many stars and friends from all around the globe. We have a world tour coming as soon as we can fly again, with 13 dates.
A family road trip ,.an original series is on the way. We’re going to Paris ,Moscow ,Los Angeles Miami ,NY, Montreal, a real inside view of our crazy family but not a reality tv show. TTWO the Original Series is our trademark and brand.
We also have Ink’n’Road 3 Montreal edition coming . We will Keep on tattooing and living a good life.
To celebrate the opening of his tattoo in the province, David Z. James is doing an exclusive tattoo session on IG LIVE via the Cyns Tattoo Barber Shop instagram account on June 1st at midnight
Follow David Z. James
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The 50th Anniversary Of Les Grands Explorateurs Presents A Touching Documentary Exploring Africa And Its Wonders
An Amazing Story by Amazing Creators!
Les Grands Explorateurs Is Celebrating Africa In A Real Way!
Curiosity has to be the most incredible human quality there is and Les Grands Explorateurs has been putting it on the forefront for the past 50 years!
We are now entering an era where we want to know more about what is going on on the other side of the world.
How people are living, their culture and what is their reality compared to ours.
Sometimes the depiction of such reality is either unfair or made to look down at somebody. Other times, filmmakers have the challenge to depict a reality in a way to uplift what other cultures are bringing to the table.
Milan Bihlmann and Muammer Yilmaz are two filmmakers who know where they stand when it comes to that.
”Rêves D’Afrique” is the epidemy of that. The two filmmakers decided to go to 7 countries in Africa to not only paint the picture for the world but to give the good people out there something we forget to give one another : ”a piece of yourself’.
Armed with a backpack, film gear and true altruism, the duo spread love and good deeds wherever they could throughout their trip.
Watch The Trailer
Les Grands Explorateurs being this platform to uncover the world made the right choice by adding this beautiful piece to their program.
Up until November 1st, you still have the chance to see the beautiful piece in theater and then online starting November 2nd.
Isabelle Mugwaneza Desmarais: An Unlikely Journey For An Unlikely Unique Success Story
A Change Is Coming…Finally?
I grew up in the 90’s and although we can only realize it now but seeing people like Isabelle Mugwaneza Desmarais striving in a space where not a lot of us do is what was missing this whole time.
Read More: Lobster Season Has Arrived And The Homard Gaspésien Is Still The Best You Can Find On The Planet
The thing about representation is that you won’t know you need it until you need it. As most of us were just looking at society, we didn’t see ourselves but also normalized it.
I think Isabelle saw something that we couldn’t see in ourselves. The truth is not at the extreme it’s right in the middle. The intersection between being different but also a part of the ecosystem was what she saw.
Representation is not about doing what’s right because it’s right but more so because it needs to be done.
Starting her career in the public sector wasn’t a thrill anymore. Then she did some soul searching and probably came to the conclusion we all come to at some point in our existence:
Life Is A Joke
For her it was literal though. She figured out that humor and the business around it was her calling so what was the first step? Becoming a comedian herself and teach a thing or two to Dave Chappelle?
What about producing your own show with up and coming artists? Well, for Isabelle Mugwaneza Desmarais the start of this new chapter was simple as getting a non-paid internship.
Just For Laughs became her new home and with that started her mission to be at the forefront of what the landscape in comedy was to become.
Through thick and thin, work and dedication, intuition and know-how, she pulled through and the big way too!
Isabelle Mugwaneza Desmarais became the director of ZooFest. With her pulse on the scene, she fought and pushed for upcoming talents that are more than just tanned.
We’re seeing more BIPOCs getting a chance on stage and I would like to believe that this is just the beginning.
Speaking of ZooFest, if you want to see for yourself how this festival has grown in diversity and get a good kick out of it. You still have the opportunity to do so tomorrow as the last day of the celebration
With french performers like Lenny M’Bunga, AZ, Marine Ella, Meryem Benoua, Ayoub Marceau & Hugo.
Live podcasting will also be a part of the last run of the show. In the corner of Jeanne-Mance & Maisonneuve, you can can get a good view, a good potential date, you get to see greatness in all shapes, size or color AND of course a good laugh!
Lobster Season Has Arrived And The Homard Gaspésien Is Still The Best You Can Find On The Planet
The Homard Gaspésien Is What Your Plate Been Missing
2 weeks ago our good people at L’association Des Pêcheurs De Gaspésie sent us the email we’ve been waiting for all year long: The Homard Gaspésien Is Back!
Not only that but for this season, we were blessed not only with 1 but 2 dozens of lobsters from the region. I know what you’re thinking right now? Why would one person do with all those lobsters?
I will answer this question in a bit but while I have your attention, let me tell you all that I’ve learned about the Homard Gaspésien.
First, this is probably one of the few lobsters in the world that you can trace where it was fished at.
Indeed, they add a little tag to their claw that traces the lobsters from Gaspésie to your home so by then you know the authenticity of lobsters at all time.
Gaspésie is also one of the main resource provider in Canada when it comes to lobsters and all kind of seafood. (and yes my taste buds do appreciate the fishermen that went out and got them).
Back to the business. Once I got the email, I felt the need to do something special this year. I wanted something challenging and something where I could share my love for those lobsters.
Then I thought about my good people at Never Was Average and how they usually go about things. They bring people together in a meaningful way.
That’s when ”Meeting Of The Minds” came to me. I like to conversate with my fellow creatives, exchange ideas and compliment them on their artistry.
With the help of Never Was Average we were able to thank those same creatives for their contributions with a special dinner over lobsters and bubbles. Sophia Traiteurs Cathering came through with her magic touch and prepared us a seafood bowl in cajun style.
Since we like to give our audience a glimpse into our creative process, we made it a point to document this entire experience. Those moments that were shared and lived got captured and frozen in time by our collaborator Carl Apollo.
This experience reminded me of two things: We should always take the time to build and celebrate each other more and of course doing it over lobsters is a plus.
As the lobster season is closing on us. Treat yourself and grab your loved ones for an experience you won’t regret.
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