The article originally appeared on VICE Quebec.
Last week, during a very casual discussion at the VICE Quebec office, one of our colleagues jumped up and shouted, "Oh my god! There's a guy who got a tattoo of the VICE logo!" Thus ensued a discussion in which the entire office weighed in on each others' tattoos ranging from the comical to the regrettable: from a Lenny Face on a hip to a tattoo of Pearl Jam. But we all agreed on one thing: we absolutely had to track down the guy who was branded permanently with our company logo without even having worked here.
After a bit of research, we found him: Miguel de Melo, a 28-year-old tattoo artist from Gatineau, Quebec. We called him up immediately to ask him the burning question on all of our minds: Dude, why?!
VICE: Where did you get the idea of getting a VICE tattoo?
Miguel: Actually, it was quite a simple idea… I've been into VICE for a long time. I've always been pretty much into anything underground, so I was always trying to find copies of the magazine, though in Gatineau, there's definitely not a lot of them in circulation. I'm really into all the subjects that VICE covers, whether it's food, tattoos… my favourite chef is Matty Matheson.
Where's the tattoo?
On my thigh. Actually, the tattoos that represent the important moments or things in my life are on my right leg. Everything that's made a big impression on me is there. I have the Jurassic Park logo, since I'm a huge fan; a skateboard; etc. All the things I love.
Do you have other tattoos of brands or is this the only one?
Actually, yes. I've got the Thrasher logo! But I have a few tattoos that are a bit outdated… like I've got a tattoo of Yolande Ouellet that says "P'tit bum."
What's your dumbest tattoo?
I have a few idiotic things. I have a burger with a tribal tattoo—that's probably the weirdest. Otherwise, I've got others that I don't want my parents to know about, so let's leave it at the tribal burger!
Are you afraid that you'll regret your VICE tattoo one day?
Absolutely not! If I get a tattoo of something, it's because it's important to me, so whatever. Even if it's stupid, at least it makes sense to me. I don't regret any of them. Sure, there's a few that could have been better executed, but that's no big deal.
What's the ugliest or weirdest tattoo that you've had to do on somebody?
Once I tattooed [the word] "blood" on a guy's penis.
Damn, it can't be easy to tattoo somebody's dick…
I pretty much made a deal with him: I would treat it like open-heart surgery. I covered his penis with paper and I left myself just a bit of space with the skin to be tattooed showing.
Does a penis have to be erect to tattoo it?
Yes, usually, but there was no way I'd hold another dude's erect dick! He asked tons of artists, but no one wanted to do it. I wasn't into it either, so I charged him a lot more, and I warned him that even if it was crooked, I don't care—it is what it is!
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