Who I be...
My name is Olivier ROULIN. I was born in May 1976, in Grenoble, France. As I was growing up, I soon came to realise through my days at school that the world of academia was not for me and so began my pursuit of finding an occupation that I would be happy in. So, I ended up in a variety of jobs - a plumber, a salesman, a shop manager, a door-to-door phone seller, a freelance communication agent, a love hotel receptionist, an industrial laundry employee, a bartender, a policeman, a furniture maker, a web designer, a writer, a fast food waiter, a craftsman, a Vietnamese clothes importer… you name it, I probably did it… My passion for drawing throughout this time continued and for a time I was a Commercial Illustrator - designing and illustrating training booklets for various organisations. However, this didn’t really fulfill me creatively as I ultimately wanted…
In 2003, I got my first tattoo. I’d been interested in getting inked for a long time, and it took me even longer to find the first one I'd get, and to create the first trust relationship with a tattooist. I got a Polynesian design on my right calf, at Hannya Tattoo in Brussels, Belgium. Then, it seemed that I couldn't help going on getting more and more ink. Slowly, I got a piece across my back, then on my arm, and then my whole right arm was done - all of them being old school style. In the meantime, I got more and more interested and involved in the whole world of tattooing, spending more and more time in some tattoo studios in Brussels, and reading a bunch of magazines and books about tattooing and related themes.
In June 2009, after my many and varied “careers”, I decided that I would try to go back to the old faithful pursuit of mine. 33 years old, but back to good ol' basics... drawing... But this time mixing it with the creativity and technical approach of tattooing. Already busting my ass working full time in a bar, I found a second job at Blues Tattoo, a tattoo parlor in the centre of Brussels, and prepared designs and sold tattoos for my boss, Jean Mich'...
In February 2010, I went travelling for 6 months in Asia, to open up my view to what other parts of the world had to show me. I visited loads of tattoo shops on my road, and met many tattooed people all across Asia - in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and China. It came to my mind that it would be nice to be able to discover a bit more, digging a bit deeper in this direction… travelling all over the world improving my tattooing skills at the same time, meeting different people, comparing many techniques, investigating about things related to the art of tattooing…
I went back to Belgium in August 2010 with this idea echoing in my mind, and I came up with a plan. I saved a few euros, quit both my jobs, sold all my worldly belongings and in April 2011 I finally stuffed my backpack with all my remaining possessions. Then I flew away to Cambodia to start the adventure… of travelling and tattooing… of staying here a while, moving on, then staying there a while… sucking in the experiences the world has to offer… the excitement of not knowing what life has in store for me… but firmly focused on becoming the "Travelling Tattoo Artist"…
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A short summary
In February 2010, I simply sold everything I had and left for travelling with a backpack, a few clothes, and my tattoo devices... Just find me on the road, and take the opportunity of getting a unique tattoo...
My inspiration comes mainly from old school style, comics style art, Indian and Arabic Mehndi designs, and Polynesian art. I don't work with flash, which means that every single tattoo I do is absolutely unique.
5 great songs I love to listen
"Ring of Fire", Johnny Cash
"If you're gonna be dumb, you've gotta be tough", Roger Alan Wade
"Jarabe Tapatio", any good mariachi band
"Nervous Breakdown", Rise Against
"Rooster", Alice in Chains
5 fantastic movies I enjoy to watch
"Lords of Dogtown", Catherine Hardwicke, 2005
"Jackass the movie I & II", Jeff Tremaine, 2006
"Nacho Libre", Jared Hess, 2006
"The Blues Brothers", John Landis, 1980
"Into the Wild", Sean Penn, 2007
5 cities I like the most
Siem Reap (yeh man!), Cambodia
Hotan, Xinjiang, China
5 random stuff about me
I foiled an armed holdup in one of the shops I managed in 2007
I like playing basketball and skateboarding
I saw Nirvana in concert in Grenoble, in 1992
I play the drums in a rock band
I make a mean tartiflette…