I was honored when Mr. Mike Ledoux took time to sit with me at the Live Free or Die Convention a few weeks back, and I will say this; I am a better artist because of the time that was spent with this man.
We all may have a familiar sounding story; Mike copied a dragon out of the wonderful pages of Dungeons and Dragons when he was in fourth grade. He didn’t trace it, he copied it. And it was awesome. He showed everyone he could and it was met with rave reviews. Some people are just born with it they say. He is one of the “some”. Now that’s not to say he didn’t put a lot of heart and soul into his drawing career by any means. He put so much into it in fact that he became an art teacher!
When you start your scholastic career in becoming a teacher of arts you get many different art backgrounds, all of which Mike feels made him a better tattoo artist down the road. Even his sculpting class, in hindsight, brought a different level of depth to his pieces that would not be there otherwise. And it gave him a different edge when he finally picked up a machine.
Yeah, he didn’t start tattooing until about 9 years ago and even then he did it for some extra cash. He was and is a middle/high school art teacher and as we’ve seen in this country of late, teachers are getting a pretty short stick. So tattooing seemed like a natural thing. He never really thought about it before but he took to it well. And it’s a good thing he started because he now works for one of the finest shops in the land.
PowerLine Tattoo in Cranston Rhode Island. I’ve seen them in action at conventions and the trophies build up quickly on their table. With the support of Evan Olin (shop owner and tattoo magician in his own right), Jay Blackburn, Jessica Brennan and Shane Baker, Mike has become better than ever and owes it to the PowerLine family.
Although he has only been with them for about a year and half, the openness of the shop and the communication between artists flows like water. There are no “secrets” here. If one figures out a new technique, everyone will know it by the end of the day. And because of that interaction they have formed an award winning shop with no end in sight.
The best quote I’ve heard in my existence is this, “I love being the worst artist at Powerline Tattoo.” Who says that?! Someone who never wants to stop learning that’s who. The competitions he makes for himself make him strive and work that much harder to obtain his goals. I think with an outlook like Mikes you can’t help but become something bigger than you already are.
So now the nuts, Mike uses Next Gen Orion Full Coil Shaders, Soba Mini Rusto Liners (although he does admit that the Hyper V3 from Stigma Rotary’s is pretty bad ass) and ink wise he sticks with good ole Eternal.
Please stop by PowerLine Tattoo if you’re ever in the Cranston area or check them out at http://www.powerlinetattoo.com/ they would love to meet you and create a piece of art that you will absolutely cherish for the rest of existence.