TERY DO • TATTOO ARTIST
Tery Do, is a French tattoo artists based in Vietnam. In the past few years, I met him at several tattoo conventions, where over time I had the chance to admire and learn more about his unique tattoo style. He belongs to the really first generation of professional tattoo artist in Vietnam and I was very pleased to welcome Tery into the World Tattoo Events ProTeam early this year.
For readers who do not know you, can you give us a brief overview of yourself?
I’ve been drawing since I was very young and I started tattooing in 2009 in Blagnac (France) where I opened my first shop.
I am currently based in Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) where I opened my tattoo parlor in 2011 in the backpacker district.
Since then, I have also been training many young tattoo apprenticeships to initiate them into the art of tattooing and hygiene procedures following French standards, thus improving the professional level in Vietnam.
My favorite field is the realistic Asian style with a Biomechanical twist. I work mostly in black and gray but sometimes also in color. I also work a lot “free hand”.
How did you learn to tattoo?
Well I learned the basics of tattooing on YouTube. After a while I’ve bought a traditional coil machine to practice on volunteers skin. It didn’t take long before I opened my first tattoo parlor back in 2009.
What is your definition of art?
My definition of art is the goal of expressing something in a form that we can see, more or less concrete.
We can translate illusions, ideas, thoughts … through the art of drawing, engraving, or any other form of realization. We create a work from the thought and we make it real on a support.
How would you define your tattoo style?
My style is Japanese Asian, with a touch of realism and Biomechanics which I adore to tattoo directly on skin. I like to create pieces in my style and give life to everything. Working on contrast and light, I put more volume and depth.
What kind of approach do you have with your clients?
I am rather open to all proposal. I like to keep a very easy approach and I’m always listening to my customers.
What kind of tattoos or projects do you really like to do at conventions?
I like to do make tattoos without tracing or drawing like Biomechanical because it gives me a very particular adrenaline in a mundane environment.
Do you think you make better tattoos at the studio or at a tattoo convention?
I think that in a convention the conditions are more difficult to make a really perfect piece. Conventions are often very noisy, with a big number of people, passing by…. talking, watching, taking pictures. So yes there is somehow a lack of comfort and above all we are not into our regular working environment. So it’s definitely tougher to tattoo at conventions but I always stay very focused and do my very best to achieve the best possible results.
Do you remember the first tattoo convention you worked at?
Yes my first convention was in Toulouse. I felt very small!
Is there a country or region of the world that you prefer when you attend conventions?
Not really. But more conventions allow us to discover more new cities and new countries.
Did win any contest prize so far?
Yes, I won a few prizes:
- I won the best of day at the convention of Saigon in 2014, 1st in big piece black and gray.
- 2nd place big black and gray Asian piece in 2016 at the convention of Saigon.
- 1st place a big piece black and gray at Salon de tatouage du Revest-les-Eaux in France.
Which prize are you most proud of?
I am most proud of 1st place in black and gray at the Saigon Tattoo Convention in 2014. I realized a leg in Biomechanics on site without design and without tracing.
What is your favorite tattoo convention so far? And why?
The convention I like the most is in Aix en Provence: the “Cezanne Tattoo Ink”
It is a very beautiful and big convention (more than 300 artists together) and many great tattoo artists from around the world. I always make beautiful encounters during this event. The organizer is also a friend and this puts us at ease every time. Furthermore the convention is very well organized and really takes into account the need of the exhibitors and artists.
What is your main reason for attending a tattoo convention?
My main reason for participating at conventions is to meet with customers which we can develop an interesting piece to then present at the event contest and public. When making this projects at event, I try to keep the price reasonable but not free as we face a significant amount of expenses as well (flights, hotels, travel days etc).
How many tattoo conventions do you visit each year?
On average I do 2 or 3 convention in Asia, and 2 conventions in Europe.
What’s the most interesting trend between Asian and European conventions?
Well there a couple of big differences between Europe and Asia. In Asia we like the contests which are often the main subject of a convention. So we see a lot of tattoo artists tattooing for free on a model just to present their piece.
In Europe it’s different, we tattoo to work and earn money. The contest is a side activity. Also in Europe people are used being tattooed by a foreign artist. Which is not really the case in Asia yet, although it begins to come as well.
What do you think of competitions?
The competitions are essential in a convention, because it gives motivation to the young tattoo artist to be recognized by their talent and to be noticed by the sponsor or magazine. They are a very effective means for the artists reputation. Sometime there are also good prizes for the winners. It motivates tattooers to do like their idols: persevere to be noticed in the big yard!
In terms of events organization, what is the most important aspect for you?
For me the most important at a convention is to properly supervise the arriving artists to settle and meet all their professional needs as far as possible. As a little extra, a meal or drink the day before the opening of the convention would be nice as well. So that all the exhibitors can meet and get to know each other in a relaxed mood. During and after the convention is otherwise mostly impossible to do so.
What is the best way to book a convention?
Just send me an email or message on Facebook Messenger, explain your project with an image, the location and the approximate size so that I can make a price estimate. After validation and deposit payment I will proceed to the creation of the design. Then we agree on the design and it remains only to wait for the special day.
Do you usually prefer to schedule an appointment before the convention or are you open to work on site?
Not necessarily, I do not work much email or Messenger, sometimes without even meeting my client, we agree by email, then when the convention is passed al act, if there are things to change I would at the very moment, I am above all a draftsman!
Who are the people you admire most in this industry?
Usually I admire the most the people at the contest jury. Most of the time it’s so hard to decide which tattoo artist will be ranked first.
Which celebrity would you really like to tattoo? And what would you do?
I never thought about it, celebrity or not for me everyone is the same. I care mostly about pleasing mys customer and I never tattoo what I want but always according to his wishes. I really try to avoid the situation where one day one of my tattoo is covered .. by regret!
What do you think of tattoo seminars?
The seminars are a very good event to share the know-how, style, technique and vision of things in the artistic tattoo and it helps enormously young tattoo artists to better evolve, understand and improve.
How do you see the tattoo world today and what do you think the future?
The tattoo world has evolved very quickly from innovation to equipment, disposables and ink, so the new and young tattoo artist is taking advantage of new technology to perfect his art. This is something we did not have 15 years or 20 years ago (needle cartridge, rotating machine, vegan ink …..). In the near future this evolution will probably be even faster as there will be more and more tattoo artists!
What do you think of regulations? Do we need more or less controls on tattooing methodologies?
Regulations are definitely necessary but in some countries like France the standards are probably a bit excessive!
Does your family support your profession?
Yes of course!! At 100%. Everyone has followed my tattoo career since the beginning and they know how far I came today!
Which skin care product would you recommend?
Currently I work with a range of French products made by For My Tattoo.
Do you want to say something else to our readers?
If you like my style and want a piece 100% artwork you can contact me very easily by email or Facebook. I am very open to all proposals. You are also more than welcome into my tattoo parlor in Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) to make for example a complete arm in 3 or 4 days.
I also offer a taxi service to my customers wishing to do large scale work by me.
Thank you for reading, hoping to see you again soon.