Meet Lara Brindamour: a young tattoo artist from Canada who caught my attention on Instagram with her simple, clean, and extremely evocative style. I looked for information on her online, but this girl would seem to be quite reserved (something of a virtue in this day and age). So I decided to contact her for her first interview ever! I was dying to get to know her and find out more. And this is the result of our virtual chat. To be honest, I wouldn’t mind taking a trip to Montreal (by all accounts a vibrant, happening city that’s definitely on my bucket list) to book myself a session with her.
Hi Lara! I really love what you do and I’m delighted to get the chance to get to know you better. I wasn’t able to find much information about you on the web. So would you like to start this interview by introducing yourself to me and our readers?
Hi! I’m a 26 year old queer artist based in Montreal. I am a plant and cat lover. I guess you didn’t find much information about me because I mostly only post stuff about my job. I generally like to keep a distance between my work and my personal life. It is my first interview, and I’m excited to share a bit more with you guys!
When did you start tattooing? What did you study and what was your job before starting this career?
I started when I was 19. I was just finishing cinema studies, and I was going to university to study Art history. The last day it was possible to cancel the semester without a fee, I received a call from a tattoo studio to come for an apprenticeship. I cancelled all my classes right away to devote myself to tattoo full time.
How did you choose your style? And what about the choice of total black?
When I started, it was wiser to be versatile and able to adapt to customers’ demands, whatever the style. So I tried a lot of techniques before I stopped and said to myself, hey, being a tattoo artist is such an awesome job, I should focus above all on what makes me happy. I chose all black because I’ve drawn with HB pencilsl since day one. I find it interesting to work with one colour and find the solution to a good balance of contrast, with shading, packing and empty spaces, while keeping a minimalist touch.
Talking about techniques: is there any rule you follow in order to make a good tattoo?
Except for the fact that I only use Dynamic black, I try to vary my techniques. What I like to do most are the long whip shading and sharp lines.
I’d say your tattoos have traditional roots, but with an amazing contemporary twist: where do you find inspiration for your subjects?
I try to find inspiration in all aspects of art that I come into contact with. I am kind of obsessed with vintage furniture, especially chairs… but apart from that, I try to get some ideas from movies, books, art exhibitions, well pretty much everything that I can experience by seeing.
And what are your favourite subjects?
As long as there is a bit of weirdness, surrealism in it, I’m all in! I am inspired by the LGBTQ culture and my main subject at the moment is female figures. I like to describe women who are strong and more fierce rather than posing them in a sexual way, as we often see.
What about your shop? Who do you work with?
I’ve worked with Hans Deslauriers for about a year now. We opened our private studio called Les Chochottes this summer, a collaborative space with plants, good vibes and an open mind policy. Our goal with this studio is to offer a safe space for tattoo artists and customers. It is a non-lucrative space and we want to offer the possibility for other artists to come work with us at a low cost. That give us the chance to meet great people. Fun fact, the name Les Chochottes came up from a gathering with friends where each Sunday, we play horror video games together cause we are too scared to play alone.
This night is all about being afraid in good company, everybody hiding behind a cushion. We started calling this event Le chochotte club, which means something like the wimp club.
What’s the tattoo scene like in Canada?
I love it! There are so many great artists and interesting people. I am more familiar with the Montreal scene, which is just astounding. It’s a big pool of interesting styles. The population is also very open and aware of new practices. So many people are getting tattooed nowadays. Going to a tattoo artist in Montreal seems to me to be like an appointment to take care of yourself.
Do you also draw and paint? What do you like to do in your spare time? Do you travel, do you listen to music, do you read?
I’ve painted for most of my life. I am now more focused on screen printing and architectural photography. I really like to read, especially classic sci-fi books, dystopian worlds inspire me a lot. Otherwise, eating is one of my favourite thing to do, especially while travelling.
Do you attend any tattoo conventions?
I’ve done conventions around Montreal for a number of years. I would love to go to the Calgary convention next year. I prefer guest spots though for the personal approach. This way I feel I can get the time to know the people around me.
… Are you tattooed and who tattooed you?
Yes, I got tattooed a couple of times by Muriel de Mai. I also have some pieces by Erica Cyr, Evan Affeldt, Victor Vaclav and Pari Corbitt.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan to travel more for my work. It is such a great advantage to be able to see different parts of the world while doing something that I love and have the chance to meet people from all over the world. I can’t afford to miss out on that chance. Although I love tattooing, I would like to add some strings to my bow and develop different professional skills through art.
Is there anything you would like to add before we say goodbye?
Just a big thank you for being interested in what I do and to all my customers… I couldn’t do it without you guys!