The story of Leo
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 Leo, a 37 years old tattoo artist in Montreal at studio Tattoo Abyss, in Griffintown. He counts himself lucky to be an artist and how becoming a tattoo artist was life-saving for him. His exact words were; ‘’I consider that I started my tattoo career very late in my life but at the same time I am blessed because it saved me from a stressful life and constant depression.’’
Who is Leo?
In Montreal since October 2021, Leonardo is a 37 years old artist from São Paulo, Brazil. Kid of an engineer and a professor, Leo was quickly pushed to go into a field that did not make him happy since any job that is not related to engineering, medicine, or law gets paid enough to pay the bills. He graduated in Electronic Engineering and worked in the field for years, without ever losing his passion for art. Leo loves the city and says that he could live here forever and be happy without a problem.
Did he have any background in arts before starting to tattoo?
Leo has been drawing since he was 10 years old. He mostly drew anime characters he saw on television, principally Saint Seiya, Dragon Balls, Sailor Moon, and Yuyu Hakusho characters. At the age of 12, he knew he wanted to be an artist and had as a goal to be a comic book artist.
What pushed him to become a tattoo artist?
When Leo turned 28, he decided to get his first tattoo. It was at that moment that passion got into him. He researched the field and fell in love instantly. Before getting his first tattoo, Leo was ashamed of his body, that tattoo changed things as he was feeling more confident and wanted to show his tattoo to the world. He decided that he wanted to help people feel that same boost in confidence that a tattoo brings to someone. It was at that moment that his wife decided to get him a beginner tattoo kit as a birthday present and he started to study and practice on fake skins to improve his skills. He worked for 5 years as an apprentice, but he had to keep the office job that he did not like. He ended up leaving them to move to Canada.
What style of tattoo does he do?
Leo’s preferred styles are Neo Traditional, New School, and Black Work. He does not have a preferred theme to tattoo, as long as he enjoys the process with the client!
What type of projects would he like to do more often?
Leo loves to do custom designs. While they are a good challenge, they are the most rewarding to successfully finish.
What inspires him during the process of a tattoo?
Leo takes his inspiration wherever he can. He follows every kind of artist online and he always looks to improve his work to be at the top of it.
What was his first project?
His first tattoo was on one of his friends back home, it was a medium-sized atom. Even tho the result was better than he expected, he now understands that it was not the best choice as a first tattoo due to its complexity. He did two more tattoos at home before starting to look for an apprenticeship, he worked for the firm for 5 years before moving to Canada in October 2021 and started to work at Abyss Tattoo in November 2021.
What’s his latest project?
Leo is currently working on a colored double sleeve, on one arm are all the iconic heroes that the client loves (Batman, Link, Yoda, Wolverine, Spiderman, and more) and on the other one is the villains. To see the updates on the double sleeve, don’t hesitate to visit his Instagram!
What was his favorite project he did?
While he enjoys all the projects he does, his latest project is high up in his favorites because of the level of complexity and how much work goes into it.
If you are interested in a booking with Leo, you can visit our website and book an appointment with him!