Maxime Plescia-Buchi Interview

Virtual Interview

Interviewer: Jinnan (Yichun) Xie

Interviewee: Maxime Plescia-Buchi

Date: 21st May

Note: The interview was for research purpose only. The transcripts were recorded and put together by the interviewer.

Q:

Do you think tattoo artists have the responsibility to guide their clients about how to prepare for a tattoo decision mentally?

A:

In the world of tattooing, I don't want to say there's a responsibility, more or whatever, to all tattooists, because what makes tattooing so amazing is its diversity. What your duty is, to be honest. Be honest to yourself, and honest to the people around you. The only duty would be to allow other people to do their thing. Tattooing is not a culture. It's a practice.

It's a tool [tattooing]. It's a thing people do. And people have done that, through history, in different countries, with no link to each other's, like music. You can't say that music is a culture. But there're a lot of cultural movements cultural coherence coaches that use music as a base, as a sort of banding element. And this is what tattooing is as well. So, to answer the question more precisely would we have to define, are we talking about China, are we talking about England, are we talking about you? What kind of scale we're working on? And then, what kind of tattoo is that we're talking about.

In my opinion, everyone needs to just identify how they would like to work. And at the end of the day, work towards that basic sort of resetting of their own. The idea is to set your own prerogatives your own moral duties for yourself, based on what you would like to achieve.

If the way you're able to do tattoos that are meaningful to yourself is by being very old school about it. Be old school about it. Tell people this is what tattooing is, this is what your tattooing is. But this is the tattooing you will be doing and be honest about it. Don't try to sell it to people who will not connect with that. Be honest.

I don't think that all tattooists have a duty to educate people. You know, they might want the opposite, they want people who come very ignorant to the thing. And other people might want to work to be standing the frame of reference tattooing and to bring more people to appreciate tattooing, which might be your case which is definitely my case. Then yes, a little bit of education can be helpful. But I am never going to judge someone who does not feel that they have that duty because that might be the right thing for them.

So, now moving on to the second sort of part of my answer. I think that there's something happening in the tattoo world. Tattooing is now getting more and more mainstream attention and interest worldwide.

But the tattoo industry never really bothered to deal with, you know, making itself more accepted or more official. It exists de facto, but people never care because things were going well.

If this situation (Covid-19 lockdown) happened 50 years ago, tattooists might just have kept working because they were living in the parallel world, in the underground. But it's not 50 years ago, it's today, so the tattoo industry was hit really bad by the current situation.

If we want the tattoo industry to keep growing and thriving, then that kind of prosperity comes of some sorts of responsibilities, at least exposure that will make you more vulnerable. We are not off the radar anymore. Good for them if that's what you want. If you're enjoying raising your prices and make a lot of good clients, being on big on Instagram, then you're mainstream. Whether you think tattooing is an underground thing or not. That's another question but, in fact, the people you tattoo every day, they are normal people. And you're a person, offering a service for them. The tattoo industry will suffer even more in the future if we don't start updating the perception that we have of the tattoo industry.