Paris born where he got a degree in Graphic Design and 3D animation, Tomas has been living there forever. Free-lance artist first, the sharp rules and constraints of that industry quickly led him to use ink as his main material. As Tomas has been tattooing professionally since June 2013 along with illustrating for Landscape RockShop, you certainly saw part of his work spreading on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. His graphical universe can be described as slender and devoid of colored artifices which makes his work unique and truly contrasted, mostly caused by the strong influence of using the « Dot » technique that can be easily noticed when wandering through his artwork. Tomas Pegaz is a self-educated inker who earned his place with his creativity and amazing personality, which will certainly make him rise in the in- dustry as a super-talented prodigy. Toma’s artwork is shown during several events - release of The Tattoorialist, launching of the “Nordic Pack” for Starrow – it wouldn’t surprise us if you need to wait months to get inked by that dude in a very near future.
Jacker / You did Illustration studies, why did you start a career in tattooing ?
Toma Pegaz / The artistic orientation of my education allowed me to acquire many techniques, and a sharpened view on the image composition. In the past, I was often told that I should start tattooing although I was not a fan of carving human skins at the time. Hand drawing is way simpler, it’s just you, a pen, an eraser and a shitload of white papers. Before that, I used to work as a graphic designer as a freelancer, but it was not my cup of tea. It’s tiring and overwhelmingly controlled. Therefore, I dropped my computer to seriously get back to paper drawings. Then, step-by-step I felt ready. So I started gathering my work in a book and went to visit several shops in Paris. I got dumped a few times (he laughs), however, for some reasons it did not work out that well. But I never gave up. Surprisingly, my friends opened a tattoo shop right at that time. It was the perfect opportunity for me to buy all the tools that were necessary and jump right back to drawing tattoos, and so I did. Homies are always down for helping in that kind of situation (he laughs), carving my friends skins was a funny experience that allowed myself to improve and get to know new techniques. There is no better way of learning, I actually enjoyed going through the rookie stage. In this domain, I am able to raise my voice, people trust me and come to me. It is truly gratifying. These days, my customers come from all around France. That is a blessing, knowing the fact I come from nowhere.
J / You share a lot of your sketches on your social medias, we can see thin lines and a lot of dotting, is that what you like to tattoo ?
T / Details have always been my thing. When I got introduced to the art of tattooing, specializing in one domain seemed like the best direction to take. Therefore, without really thinking, I headed to what I could do best. To my eyes, it is the only way to make yourself name in this game. Fineness is what drives me and it helps acquiring rigor, which is capital. I learned the dot technique a while ago and directly associated it to tattooing. Although, staying on this graphic path does not fit my need at the moment, I simply enjoy taking my time going through various techniques.
J / Why did you choose not to use colours ?
T / Everybody does that... And I do not like being a sheep (he laughs). Nah, actually it is purely aesthetic. The least colour there is, the more harmonious. Moreover, I am not a huge fan of using colours either, it looks messed up. Going to the essential is what I love doing. No need for useless elements.
J /You said that colour makes it messy as colours fade with time ? Japanese style tattoos are beautiful though...
T / When there is too much color, a tattoo cannot breathe. I might think it is pretty but it is a question of taste. I love Japanese art, Wendy Pham’s artwork is amazing by the way. However, this is not what I am personally looking for. I love it harmoniously drawn with the core, and to my eyes that goes through including little color in the sketch.
J / And how would you define your style ?
T / I would define it as truly graphic, sometimes comics or illustration oriented. As I draw every day, tattooing helps defining myself as an artist.
J / You certainly have tattoos? Have you tattooed yourself ?
T / Tattoos are all over my body, it started off in 2009 with Sacha from Mistery Tattoo Club, then I got my own pieces tattooed by an artist and friend who works for Horror Tattoo in the French city “Ermont Eaubonne”. I have never been into tattooing myself, it does not get me tripping. I would rather trust another artist.
J /Your inspirations, artists, admired tattoo artists ?
T / My sources of inspiration come from whatever gets in my sight. That could be a movie, a song, a souvenir or something I noticed in the street, on the web or in magazines. As a toddler I learn how to draw by tracing Dragon Ball stuff and Saint Seiya. I am a big fan of Japanese culture and I admire Akira Toriyama and also Miyazaki. In what concerns my favourite tattoo artists, you can check it out by stalking my instagram account [Tomapegaz, ndlr], (laughs) there aren’t that many.
J / After which occasion did you and the Parisian brand ‘Wasted’ decided to make a collab ?
T / My man Fab from Landscape told them about me. They were enough curious to take a look at my artwork and got in touch with me later on. We met and started collaborating pretty quickly. Working with them is dope, I got quite a wide artistic freedom which made it a relaxed environment. We try to relax and reflect on the ideas we have in order to properly do our things. That is how we roll.
J / Talk to us about your online website where we can buy your artwork ?
T / It’s been ages since I first thought about developing a website showing my artwork and the different ideas I had in mind. Unfortunately, BigCartel was mainly created because there was no other support allowing people to check up my artwork. But I had nothing to make it accessible to everyone. And thus I decided to make a Bigcartel website.
J / Tell us what are your future projects/collabs ?
T / Two collaborations are going to be released soon, one of them is a cooperation with Wasted and will be out in October. This time, the project is different from my previous collaboration with those guys as the scope is on my work. I was waiting for my visuals to come out for a long time now, however, creating a brand requires an important involvement which is at the moment, impossible. Other than that, I am testing out a new way of supporting my illustrations. People will be surprised, I’m starting it soon actually !
J / Any tips for our readers aspiring to be tattoo artists ?
T / I do not stand for impulsive decisions when it comes to tattoos, except if the idea is truly dope. Therefore, like many artists, I would advise to reflect before acting. Finally, what is capital to me is not to lend your skin to whoever considers himself a tattooist.