The unlimited synesthetic tattoos of PleaseCoverMe.

Posted on 29/04/2021No Comment

I fairly recently discovered @pleasecoverme_tattoo (instagram link). What first attracted my eyes is the well balanced composition that he creates, the balanced mix of patterns, the flow of the shapes, without being too obvious and always letting space to surprise your expectations. And if there is something in abstract art that I appreciate, is to be surprised ! Please, after reading this super nice interview, go on his instagram page and follow his work, and visit his website for more info!
And since I am curious about creative concept, I was happy to discover that he uses his synesthesia in the process !

Blax: What is Abstract Art and/or Abstract Tattooing for you ?

@pleasecoverme_tattoo: For me, Abstract art (and tattooing as well), is a way to escape the limits of figurative art. It is more about senses and feelings. I am a classical pianist, and we have to practice so much, work so hard before even thinking about interpretation and have opinions on compositions. It is a fantastic journey, but with a lot of rules. Abstract art is the way to use all this crazy amount of work to express what I feel, without borders.

This piece was done with the “modular sheets” tattoo concept. It is about locks, freedom and self recovery.

Can you describe a tattoo concept? (Why and how did you develop it? Conceptually, what is the idea behind it ? Technically, how did it happen (preparation, process, tattooing)?

My favorite way of working is what I call the “modular tattoos“: I create something close to a flash sheet, but only with textures and abstractions, all based on my clients inspirations. It seems basic, but I am lucky enough to live with synesthesia, and especially sound/emotions/textures. A little bit about time/volumes, and names/colors.

So basically, my client will tell me more about the area, the size, the limitations (heavy black or not, grey wash, lines, etc…), and a few inspirations : music, texts, buildings and feelings. Then, I can build these modular sheets. We can use everything or just some ideas in it, and we build the tattoo directly on the skin, with the stencils and a lot of free machine for the shadings and textures.

The idea is that people can get emotions, music and memories on their skin, without a single figurative line in it.

What did you want to convey with this tattoo ? What do you want to give to people, to “teach”, to make them realize or transmit? (is there a “therapeutic” perspective?)

I want people to (re)connect as much as possible with their emotions, without analyzing them. But I don’t feel that I have to decide if my tattoos are therapeutic or not, I think that it could be therapeutic if people want to. And of course I don’t think that I have the legitimacy to “teach” people something about themselves. I am always very happy when they tell me that I helped them, that they felt understood, but I think that tattoo and therapy shouldn’t be mixed. But in the same way, I think that we should always do art in the idea of giving, gifting and listening to people. Blind art is selfish, and as a tattoo artist, I feel that it is a mark of disrespect to create something for myself on someone else’s skin.

(Illustration: Tattoo done within the “modular sheets” tattoo concept and performed with total freedom (Credit: Gilles Pavaday))

Do you have a preferred size and body location for these tattoos ?

I don’t really enjoy micro tattoos, but I love minimalist tattoos. I am not experienced enough to answer for sure: for example I have never done some full back pieces (even if I really want to), but for now I think that I love working on the ribs. It is always a big challenge for me and my clients, but it is almost a ritual. Pain and focus, sweat and blood, we have to trust each other a lot.

What should people know before contacting you? Should they suggest anything specific, what should they know or is it better to let you create and perform ? In short, Who is your “ideal” client?

I don’t think that I have an “ideal client”, but for sure I don’t like to work with too many restrictions about the result. Of course, I will always respect my client’s boundaries, about size and placement, but I prefer when we can add this little detail 2 cm higher, or a darker texture, because I know that the result will be much better. But again, I will never push my clients to accept something they don’t want. Everything is about trust. Most of the time, I think that we both can feel if it will work or not, and I prefer to refuse a project than to work on something we won’t really love.

Anything to add ? Any more comments or details ?

I would like to say that people should feel more confident about their ideas and boundaries, and they are free to stop a tattoo session anytime. I have seen too many artists pushing their clients, about size, composition, pain, anxiety, nudity, and it is really NOT OK.

As an advice for the clients: Talk before the session for the size and placement, there are some technical limitations, and we both want the best result, but don’t accept something you don’t want. You have to feel happy about getting tattooed, the moment itself is more important than the drawing.

Economically (no money taboo in here, please), how much do you ask for one, approximately?

I am happy that you asked this question, this is a huge taboo in tattoo industry. I ask for 130€/h of tattooing, and 50€/h of drawing. Of course, I can always adapt my rate to my clients, until some limits (we have to pay our rent and taxes, and highest quality consumables). I feel that almost everybody can get tattooed at this rate, and on the other hand I never have impulsive clients who want a full black arm the next day.

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