Exemplary tattoo artist Faustink reveals the highs and lows of the Parisian tattoo scene

As tattooing isn’t a profession exclusive to men, we met Faustink, a tattoo artist who specializes in blackwork.

A sketching addict, Faustine brings together drawing and an intimate bond with her clients. Her universe is the intersection of fantasy, women’s empowerment, and a great sense of humor.

I met Faustine in Berlin in 2015 at a dinner party. Right away I thought she’s cool, talented and bursting with good humor. 24 hours later, after several puns about the food, and a few lame jokes, I asked Faustine to tattoo my leg.

Since then, I’ve been following her work closely, and today I’ve decided to ask her a few questions about her vision of tattoo and her hometown, Paris.

Faustink by Adlan Mansri

© Adlan Mansri/HEREYOUARE

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Faustine (aka Faustink), a young, mixed up mind, I’m trying to put everything down on paper, on skin, on walls, to work things out in my head. In theory, I’m 24, but really I’m ageless, I live and experiment at the whim of my desires and encounters.

How do you see tattoo culture today?

For me, tattooing has an almost therapeutic purpose. I need to establish a personal relationship with the people I tattoo, so they understand my traumas, my pleasures, my fears, and so I can analyze theirs in order to create something together. In terms of tattoo in general, there’s a bit of everything, for better or for worse, and I like that. There’s a lot of demand and so a lot of offers, that’s the game and it’s great.

How did you end up in the tattoo business?

I’ve always wanted to be a tattoo artist, ever since I was a kid. I started making a living on it when I was 19, it was meant to be, so everything happened fast and pretty naturally.

Faustink by Adlan Mansri

© Adlan Mansri/HEREYOUARE

You have your tattoo parlor, Le Phylactère. Can you tell me how and why you came to open your own parlor?

I opened the shop three years ago. Since I’m very impulsive I wasn’t really into working for other people, I wanted to do what I wanted, when I wanted and how I wanted to do it. I was young, and also a woman, so it wasn’t easy to find my place in the market in Paris. I decided to make my own place. Little by little other artists joined me. Today there are 4 of us: Neal Panda, Ana, Gumo and me, and a weekly guest. The concept, besides tattooing, is for there to be a good vibe of cooperation among the artists, especially with the people who come to work with us, and we are very humble with our clients. The idea is for everyone to be at ease, for the special moment that is getting a tattoo.

As a woman, what is your relationship like with other artists? Other Parisian tattoo parlors? Is it tough?

These days, there’s no issue. There are women everywhere. You just have to be a little ballsey.

Which artists inspire you?

I’m more inspired by life, by emotion, encounters, the shapes of daily life, than other artists. I do like all the artists who work in the Schiele style — Klimt, Rodin, de Vinci, the classics, but also Japanese prints, medieval or biblical etchings, graffiti…

Faustink by Adlan Mansri

© Adlan Mansri/HEREYOUARE

Do you keep up with the work of other tattoo artists?

I follow a lot of tattoo artists, I like the work of many of my friends who I work with already. Otherwise, I could give you an endless list so I’ll name people off the top of my head as they come to me. Rocky Grononos, for the colors and interpretations of shapes. Paul Colli, for the reinvention of classic motifs. Ivan14 for his straight lines haha, but seriously for his concept. Grolou for his psychedelia. Rion and Brindi for the colors, themes and clinical execution. Bouits for the craziness. Matik for the ambiance. And Jah, Lola la sioux, Dino c’est chiant, Toni Taccini, Nowe, Vincent Denis, Paolo Bosson, Violent Codex’s colleagues, Eugenie Kasher, Stephane Devidal, Barbe Rousse, Sad Amish, Johanna Olk, everyone at Purple Sun…basically there are way too many and I love them all, each for different reasons.

What is your relationship to Paris?

It’s been my home since forever, Paris and the surrounding area. I know the city, I feel good here, I like the French culture and the liveliness of Paris. I’m thinking about moving around a bit because I need more space but Paris will always be my hood.

Faustink by Adlan Mansri

© Adlan Mansri/HEREYOUARE

Do you think there’s a tattoo scene in Paris?

I think today there’s a tattoo scene everywhere since tattoo artists are nomads. There’s already a decent tattoo scene, and then it’s a big city, so there’s business. There are many different styles, a lot of different tattoo artists, a lot of different clients…so yeah there’s a good scene.

Do you have other plans besides tattooing?

Yes but it’s kind of a mess right now, so it’s a secret!

Where do you hang out in Paris?

I like it all, the benches, the banks, barges, flea markets, restaurants. Same as before, I’ll give you names off the top of my head, and people can look them up: Le Wonder, Qui plume la Lune, Musée Guimet, Chez Martin, La Java, La Mécanique Ondulatoire, Peonies… is that good? Hahaha.

Le Phylactere

Le Phylactere, Rue Heinrich, Boulogne-Billancourt, France

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WONDER/LIEBERT

WONDER/LIEBERT, 124 Avenue Gallieni, 93170 Bagnolet, France

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Qui plume la lune

Qui plume la lune, 50 Rue Amelot, 75011 Paris, France

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Guimet Museum

Guimet Museum, 6 Place d'Iéna, 75116 Paris, France

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Martin

Martin, 24 Boulevard du Temple, 75011 Paris, France

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La Mécanique Ondulatoire

La mécanique ondulatoire, 8 Passage Thiéré, 75011 Paris, France

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La Java

La Java, 105 Rue du Faubourg du Temple, 75010 Paris, France

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PEONIES

PEONIES, 81 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 75010 Paris

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Follow Faustink on Instagram @faustink

Adlan Mansri is a young Berlin based photographer. Through his lenses, he brings his sight of the world and the humans he meets with a reporter's eye.
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