MTL Tattoo
By Jacques Bérubé

From Mother to Son

William Gauthier's mother liked the alternative scene. After working in several bars, she delved into piercing and soon discovered the world of tattooing, which at the time, was still in its infancy. In 1997, when William was eight, she opened a shop on Saint-Denis, near Ontario. There's been a queue forming at the door ever since!

These days, most people who want a tattoo are looking for exclusive artwork that will highlight their individuality through a distinctive design or aesthetic. "Our tattoo artists are creating more and more graphic compositions impossible to do by hand," says William, who is now the manager and administrator of MTL Tattoo. "They use Photoshop to achieve this."

MTL Tattoo has always been at the forefront of the tattoo industry, able to offer standard designs or customized artwork made only once for a single client. Attitudes have changed over the years and tattoos, once reserved for the underground, bikers and punks, have become more socially acceptable. "I grew up in an environment where everyone was tattooed; it just became normal," says William.

I grew up in an environment where everyone was tattooed; it just became normal. - William Gauthier, manager and administrator
William Gauthier is the manager at MTL Tattoo.

"Inked" on Social Networks

MTL Tattoo uses the web to promote its business and communicate with customers. William uses social media to publicize new drawings by his tattoo artists. "Tattooing is going on, on social media. Being active on Instagram is vital for us," he says. "Our artists are followed by 30,000 people. That's a lot of people. We have one tattoo artist who has appointments a year and a half in advance," he points out.

Thanks to the web, customers can see the artists' work, discover their styles and choose the work they like. William tries to respond within 24 hours to all emails received by MTL Tattoo. He invites interested clients to a free consultation with the artist of their choice. "Then we'll really advise the clients to do something original, something that they'll love and that they won't regret in 10 years."

All the artists at MTL Tattoo have at least five years' experience, and each specializes in a particular style.

Service in the Skin

Fourteen tattoo artists, some of whom also do piercings, and the occasional guest artist forms the MTL Tattoo team. All the artists have at least five years' experience, and each specializes in a particular style: neo tribal, traditional, realistic, Japanese, graphic, blackwork or dotwork.

MTL Tattoo artists will do a touch-up of their work upon a client's request and if they have to remove a tattoo a client finds outdated, they use a laser technique that shatters the pigmentation, which is then removed naturally by the body.

Fourteen tattoo artists form the team at MTL Tattoo.

MTL Tattoo Events

"We do exhibitions, barbecues, usually we have a band. We try to bring together all of the tattoo community," says William. On Flash Day, which happens once a year, clients can get a discount on a tattoo of a drawing that's prepared in advance. During its artists' exhibitions, MTL Tattoo donates the profits from the sale of artwork to a social cause.

Tattoo art has finally escaped from the clutches of marginality and continues to rise in popularity, where so many creative and new artistic trends are born.

The exterior of MTL Tattoo, a tattoo shop that offers unique, customized tattoos — neo-trad styles, realistic, Japanese, graphic, dotwork — as well as piercing.
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