Luka Lajoie

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Tell us a little about yourself.

I just recently turned 26, and I’m from Montreal, Canada where I own a tattoo shop called Artrock.

How did you get into tattooing?

I watched my big brother get tattooed when I was 12, and I was amazed by the universe of tattooing. I always knew I was good at art in general, so when I was 18-years-old I bought a tattoo kit on eBay to try on my friends and family — just for fun. I did some terrible tattoos on some generous people.

You are most known for amazing colour realism, specifically portraits. What are some other styles that you enjoy doing or would like to do more of?

I’m a huge fan of Nick Baxter, Carlos Torres, and Megan Jean Morris because these guys are able to customize their realism into unique designs. I really admire that art. I feel stuck in reproductions and portraits because that’s my comfort zone. I would like to customize my tattoos in my own way in the future.

You travel to a lot of conventions… What are some of your favourite places that you have visited?

I think I fell in love with San Diego, California. The weather is perfect and people are tattooed, trendy, and chill. I also want to go to Vancouver, but there is an American West Coast vibe that I like. I would love to go to Hawaii’s convention next year — I can tell you in advance, that’s going to be my new favourite place.

Who are some of you favourite artists/influences in your career?

I follow Nikko Hurtado’s work. He’s probably my biggest influence because he’s really dedicated to his art, and it shows in every single piece he does. I’m a big fan of Phil Garcia; he’s a hard worker and he gives everything he’s got in each tattoo. I appreciate how solid and constant his stuff is. Sergio Sanchez, Carlos Torres, and Kegan Hawkins are all insanely talented people who I try to learn from. I’m really influenced by nice people who are respectful, honest, and humble. As long as you say hi and smile at me, I’m a fan of you.

What companies do you work with/are you sponsored by?

I am sponsored by Trinity and, very recently, by Ink Machines. Trinity started the sponsorship a year ago with me and I’m really grateful for that. They make sure I have the best equipment I need to work in the greatest conditions possible to do my job. Trinity is from Montreal, and they supply all over Canada. Ink Machines provides Dragonfly and Stingray products. I had switched to cartridges machines for the convenience the system provides, but I felt my work needed more precision and better attention. I’m 100% happy with Dragonfly and Stingray machines and their regular needles.

I’m proud that companies want to be associated with me, it’s a good way to kick my ass every day to do the best job I can.

Have you tattooed any celebrities?

I tattooed my girlfriend, who is the biggest star of all time. Otherwise, due to high demand, I’m really selective about my projects. I may have inquiries by celebrities, but if the project doesn’t fit the sort of job I’m doing, I try to avoid them!

It’s rare to see someone excel so much in colour realism; it’s a difficult style to master. Who are any other artists that you see that execute this style well?

People like Rember, Dmitry Samohin, Jeff Gogue, Nikko Hurtado, Phil Garcia, and Steve Butcher are some crazy wizards that have more magical powers than I have, but I’m working on it!

What is the tattoo industry/culture like in Quebec? Do you notice differences from other places you have been?

People are really open-minded in Quebec, it’s a melting pot of different cultures and that’s beautiful. People get tattooed like crazy and no one cares about it. I know the situation is not the same everywhere, so I’m happy to live in Montreal.

Do you have any crazy stories from your career? 

There are no big stories that happened while tattooing, but the conventions can be kind of crazy. I can’t explain them all! Once, I almost died of heat exhaustion crossing the desert on motorcycles
in Nevada, I was also pepper-sprayed by a cab driver, and another time I was almost assaulted by a male client… For more info, get an appointment!

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