Robin Hernandez AKA LilB Tattoo – is a french tattoo artist who grew up in Bordeaux southwest of France. At the age of 18 he moved to California with his best friend and was there for 5 years. “I learned tattooing there and recently moved back to France to start a new journey which consists of tattooing on the road and creating pop up shops around the world.”
LilB made art his profession because he could never picture himself having a job with rules. As far as the memories of him wanting to be an artist – he never really had any because he never wanted or planned to be an artist, he was just doing graffiti growing up because it made him feel good. Through the art of tattooing, LilB’s life has changed in many positive ways as he continues to travel and tattoo around the globe. His style is unique with strong bold outlines and detailed shading, adding a stone like aspect of dimension on his client’s skin.
Through your recent years of traveling and tattooing, what has inspired you most and influenced your art of tattooing?
I think nature is what influences me the most. Then my first love was skateboarding and growing up I was always in the streets tagging or skating or doing both at the same time haha. So I will say that in order for me to get inspired I got to be able to go for hikes and be in the action in the street. Kind of a street culture/ outdoor type thing.
You work exclusively in black-and-grey, how did you first fall in love with that style?
Well, I just always thought that black and grey looked more harmonious and blended better on skin than color. That’s why I directed myself towards it. I really liked the simplicity of it. These days I am considering starting to add color to some of my work. So far it is just a though but one never knows…
What draws you to that specific technique each time you tattoo. (thick bold outlines/ detailed shading)
I think I started doing this style because of my graffiti days. back then I was doing a lot of tagging in the streets. All I wanted was my letters to stand out and be very clear and simple to understand. I use to do bold ass outlines around my letter just so it could stand out. As far as tattooing I was attracted by realism black and grey work but at some point it started to get boring and I felt it was missing style so I just started to play around with different elements to try to make it more impacting visually. I also like the concept of contrast. Very fine line detailed in opposition with bulky graphic elements such as bold lines. It make things stand out and more interesting.
When you sit down to start a composition of a drawing or sketch for a client – what is your creative process from beginning to end. How has your process evolved over time?
I don’t really have a process. I just go with the flow. I don’t like to plan too far ahead and try to keep everything as spontaneous as possible. When you’re constantly traveling your routine is never the same and you often have to get out of your comfort zone which makes things more interesting.
What sets you apart from other tattoo artists?
Haha I don’t really know. I guess it will be a question that someone that follows a lot of artist and knows my work could answer to.
What other mediums do you work in?
I like to draw with any types of pen, pencils etc.. And I like to paint on canvas and of course when I have the opportunity I love to hit up some walls hehe.
Tell us more about your video journey- “the Show” and what made you start documenting your journey?
The Show is a vlog that my friends and I post on youtube every Monday. My friend Sergio is basically videotaping, editing and posting whatever goes down during our week. It’s all about sharing positive energy and showing our vision of life/ art. You know in this tattoo game I just felt like I never fit in. My approach and the way I moved was always different to what I was exposed to when I was learning to tattoo. Also my situation of being an illegal immigrant when I was living in USA made things very complicated at times. The fact to don’t belong to a certain crowd was frustrating but afterwords I realised that it was my strength and that we had something going on for ourselfs. Something that was worth sharing with other people that might have feel the same way. We also started The Show just to have fun. We never really took it as something very serious but things picked up and we ran with it.