The story of Gen
Being a tattoo apprentice is no easy task. While you’re trying to start your career, most people will ask to see a portfolio, which you do not necessarily have! This is why having a good mentor is key to becoming a good tattoo artist. I had the chance to meet with Geneviève, a 39 years old tattoo apprentice in Montreal at studio Tattoo Abyss, in Griffintown.
Who is Geneviève?
Geneviève (alias Gen) is a 39 years old tattoo apprentice. Growing up in the suburbs, she’s been living in Montreal for 20 years now. Other than being a tattoo apprentice, Gen is also a professional illustrator. After trying traditional animation and graphic art at Cegep du Vieux-Montréal, Gen decided to complete her diploma in marketing from the HEC. A fun fact to know about Gen is that she is ambidextrous, she writes, draws, and tattoos with her left hand but for everything else she uses her right hand!
What pushed her to become a tattoo artist?
Like many people, the pandemic pushed Gen to question herself about her life. After losing her marketing job during the first COVID wave, she decided to pick up her drawing skills after 10 years of not using them. During the next 3 months, Gen would draw all day every day, building her portfolio slowly but surely. She tried her luck as an illustrator and tattoo artist to help diversify her revenues and make sure she could continue to evolve as much as possible as an artist.
Did she have any background in arts before starting to tattoo?
Apart from constantly drawing as a kid, Gen studied traditional animation for a while, teaching her a side of art before becoming an artist.
When did she start to tattoo?
Gen started by practicing for a few months on fake skin, it was in September 2021 that she officially began tattooing people.
What style of tattoo does she do?
Anything that touches illustration. She particularly likes to do characters, objects, and accessories. You can see Gen’s tattoos on her Instagram!
What type of projects would she like to do more often?
Characters! She specializes in character and character design in her illustration work. That’s really what she has the most fun with.
What inspires her during the process of a tattoo?
While everything helps her to be inspired (pop, culture, photographs, etc), Gen uses her background in illustration to make her tattoos. Treating each piece as an illustration, she simplifies some details to make sure the design will look good as a tattoo and will age well.
What was her first project?
A small heart surrounded by a wreath of laurel kind of foliage.
What’s her latest project?
Her latest project is a girl in a space suit. It was one of her flashes.
What was her favorite project she did?
Her favorite project was the first time she tattooed one of her characters on someone. It was the head of a girl with big bangs and symbols in a phylactery.
What project was the biggest challenge she had to overcome?
While she cannot pick her biggest challenge, she mentions that one of her most elaborate pieces to date was an Oni mask coming out on an omamori. After being unable to finish all the lining in the first session, she had to re-stencil the client for the second session, it took a lot of time to have everything fit at the right place again.
If you are interested in a booking with Gen, you can visit our website and book an appointment with her!