Artists: Mike LeBlanc
What year did you start tattooing: 1991
Do you have any special training: I do Color and black and grey portraits, japanese traditional and americanized japanese, custom styled, tribals and many other forms and styles of tattooing.
Tell us about the style of your work: I don't stick to one style, as I've ended up having to be as diverse as possible due to the amount and type of clientel i have received over the years. I bounce around through different styles so that i may please a larger audience.
Conventions usually worked: I do not do conventions or rallies very often as i find them to be fairly unsanitary and under prepared places to work. I like to work in fully set up for tattooing environments.
Where did you apprentice?: I've never apprenticed under anyone. I've always picked up on what I've seen others doing and just did it my own way.
What tattoo artist do you most admire: I admire all kinds of tattooers all over the world. I grew through artists like Paul Booth, Guy Aitcheson, Aaron Bell, Filip Leu, and many others over the first 15 years of my career. There are so many Artist's artists out there now, I find it hard to keep track, but anyone who puts out good work, I will study to some extent at least.
Before someone gets a tattoo what advice do you give them?: Shop around. Don't ever settle for the first thing that looks good. Trust the artist you finally settle on if he is good, and spend lots of money getting the work done if he asks for it. Chances are, if he's cheap, the work will be too.
How did you get into tattooing: I wanted a tattoo one day, so i built my own machine, scrounged up some drawing ink, and tattooed myself. Back in the early 90s, tattooing was still tabu. I did not want to do it as a job as i knew the risks of the types of people i would need to deal with. But, i saw a potential to have a steady income, so i pursued the job as a trade.
What inspires you to be an artist: I've drawn since i was 4 years old. I inspired myself, as vain or egotistical as that might sound. Different styles, artists, genres, etc, didn't mean anything to me growing up. I just drew what i saw from wherever i could get it. I had to encouragement doing it, so i had no ability to source out reference material either. I just did it as a means to escape my shitty upbringing.
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing: Realistic Japanese blends. Portraits with cultural history behind them. Anything big and bold with some detail thrown in for good measure.
Is there a tattoo that you haven't done yet that you are dying to do: No. lol