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Artist Feature: Lou Jacque


Lou Jacque is a native New Englander who has been quietly carving out a place for himself among some of the most talented black and gray and realism artists in the industry.


Lou Jacque is a native New Englander who has been quietly carving out a place for himself among some of the most talented black and gray and realism artists in the industry. Currently operating out of ‘Transcend Tattoo’ in Branford, Connecticut, Lou has had to balance his love of tattooing with his other passion for playing music. An accomplished musician, he has found a way to integrate his two interests and blend the worlds of music and tattooing to create something truly special. Lou’s designs have earned him international recognition and allowed him to collaborate with some of the biggest names in the business. A devoted husband and father, Lou has decide to shun the festival and convention circuit and prefers to spend the majority of his time working out of his shop and with his family in New Haven, Connecticut.

Born in 1974 in Northampton, Massachusetts, Lou was interested in both art and music from a very young age and got his first taste of art by watching his older brother Ryan. He found outlets for his creative talent by playing in bands during his youth and completing sketches for friends. After graduating high school he decided against college and signed up for an apprenticeship at ‘Body Graphics Tattoo’ in South Windsor. Three years later he joined ‘Darkside Tattoo’ in East Haven, where he spent the next eight years among an assortment of talented artists. Throughout his career he has continued to play music and is now an accomplished bassist, guitarist, and drummer. He is currently performing tattoos at his studio alongside respected artists Anthony Plaza, George Carter, and Jeff Mansolf to name a few.

Lou’s work is characterized by an incredible attention to detail and firm understanding of lighting, tone, and texture. Many of his designs have an emotional quality that lends each piece its own individual beauty. His black and gray portrait of Spiderman (above) shows the Marvel character in deep contemplation and is a unique representation of the usually bold cartoon character. The graduated shading in this piece is expertly done and the lighting gives the character an ethereal appearance. 

His talent for black and gray realism is shown once again in his portrait of two deer surrounded by a forest setting. This design is based on a sketch by his older brother Ryan Jacque who is himself a talented artist specialising in wildlife and animal portraits. The carefully graduated shading in this piece gives a 3 dimensional effect and could easily be mistaken for the actual sketch.

Lou’s love of music and art is brought together in the spectacular musical themed full leg sleeve. Full of color and detail, this tattoo is a masterpiece and would take the viewer a full five minutes to fully appreciate each individual element. The music tattoo design features a guitar player, keyboardist, gold record, and old style microphone all blended together in a whirlpool of color and lightening. Combining his two passions has allowed Lou to create something amazing and he has still managed to infuse the piece with his own individual style.

There has always been a connection between tattooing and music that has existed for hundreds of years. From ancient ceremonies to heavy metal rock concerts, tattooing has always been a huge part of the music culture and many fans wish to pay tribute to their favourite bands by wearing them permanently on their skin. The frighteningly realistic depiction of nu metal band Slipknot on a client’s leg shows the nine members in all their gruesome glory. Wearing their trademark horror masks, the band are shown in incredible detail surrounded by an organic, swirling background consisting of many different textures and tones. Realistic black and gray portraiture work is a difficult feat in itself, but to be able to add to that the raw spirit and blistering energy of a heavy metal band like Slipknot is an impressive accomplishment.

In regards to self-promotion Lou can be considered a relatively low-key guy. As possibly the last person on earth to not have a Facebook or MySpace page he has chosen to publicise only his work and keep his private life to himself. As well as tattooist and musician, Lou can add painter, illustrator and sculptor to his list of occupations. He also designs t shirts and album covers for musicians and creates impressive digital artwork. Anyone wishing to contact Lou can do so through his website to request a tattoo appointment or commission a piece of original artwork.

For such a multi-talented and unique person to choose to keep away from the limelight is a refreshing change in this fame obsessed society. Quietly performing his artwork and inking spectacular tattoos in the daytime, Lou spends his evenings with his wife Sarah, and daughter, Emma. Quite often the most extremely talented people will choose to live their lives privately without the need for constant attention, and Lou Jacque definitely falls into this category.


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