Mat Rule is a 30-year-old French artist who resides and has his studio in Paris. He isn't just a tattoo artist, he's the tattoo artist, as he's well known for what he does. If we were to describe his style in very plain and simple terms, he uses two completely different drawing styles, adds them together, and creates a hybrid out of them.
Usually it involves crossing the realistic plane with the more fantastic one that often stems from cartoons or comics. The cartoon characters have realistic elements to them while still retaining their original qualities; the non-fictional figures become animated and cartoonified. In some instances, the style doesn't shift all that much, but Mat adds a tasteful dash of color to them, both literally and figuratively.
The artist spoke to Bored Panda: “I watched a lot of series, cartoons and movies when I was younger. So, most of the time, I know the characters I tattoo. And when my clients want a character I don't know, it gives me a good reason to watch him. I'm just trying to improve my work every day by trying to do something different.”
Mat told Bored Panda a little more about his background in the arts, and how he got into tattoo art. "I was drawing a bit, but quite basic stuff, honestly. I was more watching my uncle doing some paintings.
I've been tattooing for around 6 years now. I decided to do tattoos when I was living in Shanghai, where I was living just next to a tattoo shop. Like, I was so interested in that, but I only started maybe 2 years after this, when I was back in Paris."
He also shared what artists have influenced his work in the beginning, and what keeps him going today: "I think many artists influenced my work, and still do. Some are so good, it gives me the motivation to always try to do better. But at the beginning I was only focused on Myke Chambers' work and later, I discovered the work of Yogi Barrett and Dzikson. It blew my mind."
Mat Rule gave some words of wisdom to those that want to be tattoo artists like himself: "Work and do your best, one day it will pay off." He shared with us how the pandemic has affected his daily life, too: "I was traveling a lot for work, and now it's a pain in the ass to travel and loads of organization, which I don't have. And I was doing lots of tattoo conventions, so I think I'm like everyone else just waiting for everything to get back to normal, you know?"