Who is Anna Mazas?
I’m Anna, 27 yo, I live in Paris but I was born and raised near Versailles, in a small, boring town with a huge mall called Vélizy-Villacoublay. I grew up with philanthropic parents, my father is a landscape architect and an Intellectual, and my mother is a secretary fond of Art History and drawing. My young sister, Madeleine, is a nurse. After 2 years of preparatory class in litterature & philosophy, I went to college, graduated in Philosophy then entered Le CELSA (a communication and journalism school that belongs to La Sorbonne). I started working as a marketing coordinator in charge of music and other cultural content @MySpace France, when they opened their office around 2006/2007. I’ve always been into drawing and writing, and started to write a bit as a freelancer for different publications when I started my working life.
What's her job?
I’m actually working for a very cool start-up, Peopleforcinema, which deals with what we, marketing barbarians, call “crowdfunding”. We make people participate in the distribution of films in France, and earn money (or not) if the movie is a success. It’s a different industry, different world, but it is still my media, internet. That’s my day job. At night, I work on all types of projects, generally around tattooing, my true passion.
|Anna Mazas by Thibaut de Saint-Chamas|
Since when have you discovered your passion for the art of tattooing?
As I said earlier, I’ve always been into art, drawing, museums, creativity in general. But I wasn’t into tattooing at all until a good friend of mine showed me his tattoos and sent me links with tattooer’s websites .. i discovered Lea Nahon’s work, and I immediately fell in love with it. She had the same “background” and love for artists such as Klimt or Schiele, so I immediately felt close to her tattooing. I just discovered, quite basically, that i could have on myself what i could have on the walls of my appartment. True art on my body ! So I met her, and we started working together a few months after that. Somehow it changed my life. Since then I never stopped, and even if i got tattooed by other excellent artists (and friends) she was how I got into it and as every first time, you cannot forget it !
|Nakona by Chris Coppola|
I was 23.
You just released "Life under my skin", a book dedicated to the world of tattoos and the people gravitating in it. How exactly was this project born?
I’ve been working on portraits of tattooed people for a few years with Diesel Parfums International as a sponsor. I started working for their online gallery, Diesel Fragrance Factory, doing basically what I wanted : so i asked my friends with tattoos and my friends who take good pictures to work with me, and that’s how the “life under my skin” portraits were born. After a few months, we realised how cool it was and i told myself : it’s a great family portrait ! I had so many different personalities, different tattoo styles, etc.. that i immediately thought about gathering them in a book. My luck was that one of my best friends runs a publishing company and that Diesel was very interested in doing the book with me. So thats how the project was born. Quite simply, really.
|Renzo Rosso by Thibaut de Saint-Chamas|
What were the first reactions you got from tattooists and editors when you told them about your project?
I never had to ask any editor since the idea of the book itself was born within the dialogue I had with my friend Mikael, from Conti Editions. So i never had to look anywhere else. As for tattooists and tattooed people, they were all excited ! I guess in a way it was a way for tattooers to have their work featured and promoted – which is always cool for them. And for tattooed people, it was also a way to talk about their tattooist and talk about themself, which is something human kind likes to do. I think ..
How did you select the personalities shown in the book?
I didn’t have a specific methodology... i guess it had something to do with “feeling” and honesty. People who have an honest relation with tattooing and a collection that is actually coherent with their personalities, that is not just a t-shirt they wear for fashion purpose. I guess that is something i tried to identify when i was doing my selection ... but its kind of vague, i admit it !
Was it you or the guest tattooists/personalities who selected the pieces/tattoos shown in the book?
Me and my editor ; sometimes it was because some of the tattoos were more interesting than others, but very often just because we couldn’t show everything (between 2 and 6 pages per portrait) so we had to make a selection ; sometimes it also had something to do with the global lay out...
|Didier & Veronique by Julien Lachaussée|
I am very happy yes. But i am happier with the fact that the book got so many positive echoes, from very different types of readers and throughout the globe, than with the book as a result, the book itself. I really wanted to do something that could speak to everyone, tattoo fans and tattoo virgins .. and i think i kind of made it, with the support of MANY talented and understanding people. So im happy yes !
How is "Life under my skin" distributed and where can I get a copy?
Its distributed in France, mainly, through every good library and the internet (fnac.com, amazon, etc...) in Belgium also, and for other countries you can place orders via my editor’s website through this link : HERE
A little blue bird told me you're working on a second book. Are you staying in the theme or working on something totally different?
I want to continue these kind of portraits, with more people, as different as possible, but especially more international portraits. I want to travel more to explore the differences and similarities between tattooed people throughout the globe... its a loooong road, going to take a lot of time, but i’m ready !
|L'ain by Thibaut de Saint-Chamas|
Have you discovered anything you'd like to share with us during your stay in Brussels?
Everytime i go to Brussels, i go to the flea market in Place du Jeu de Balles, have a soup or a sandwich in one of the brasserie of the Place itself, have a beer or two (or more) in St Gilles, and have a veggie burger at this burger place, Houtsiplou, place Rouppe.
Any "place to be"?
DNA Café whenever there’s a cool gig !
Plattesteen 18-20 1000 Brussels
Any "place to eat"?
9, place Rouppe 1000 Brussels
Last but not least, do you have other news you'd like to share with us?
Im currently working on a tattoomentary ☺ more infos to come soon !
Buy the book here !
Interview by Klodia Vanloo