I’m David Côté, and This Is How I Tattoo

The young Canadian tattoo artist has quickly become a name in the industry.

Tattoofilter in Interviews
© David Côté

Côté's psychedelic style tattoos mix bright and dark colors, making them look like they are taken from a dream, which makes perfect sense: David feels his creativity reaches its peak activity just before going to bed, and he is also a lucid dreamer, so he always keeps a sketchbook next to his bed to either sketch or write down the ideas. If you love his style and want to be an ideal customer for David, allow him to do whatever he wants on your skin. You won’t regret.

  • Located in: Montreal
  • Style: Surrealism / Abstract / Pop Art
  • Tattooing career: Since 2012
  • Waiting list at present: 4 months
  • Hourly rate: Charge by piece

What is art?


Describe how you work in one word.


How did you start as a tattoo artist?

I was a graphic designer thirsty for something more than computer work.

Which tattoo artists have influenced your work?

Alban Bachand. His work was a revelation to my style. He taught me everything i know today in tattooing.

Tell us a bit about what a typical day is like for David.

Wake up, eat something quick, walk to work while listening to an album (mostly old soul music), arrive at work, meet the clients, draw their tattoos, show them/tattoo them, walk home (listening to another album), get home, write music or paint, then sleep.

Has there been some turning point in your life/career?

When I started travelling and meeting the people i know now.

What are the apps, software or tools without which you couldn’t live?

Pencils, paper and music.

What is your workspace like?

Very messy, yet very organized for my brain. The only thing I keep organized is my 400 bottles of ink placed in a rainbow gradient.

How do you organize your working calendar?

I work from Tuesday to Saturday, mostly with 2 to 3 tattoos a day.

Do you have any techniques, tricks or secrets that you could share?

Working hard. Some people think that you wake up successful in life… It’ll never happen if you don’t work hard and take risk.

Mountain View

Is there anything that makes you stand out above the rest?

My taste in clothes. I dress like a clown sometimes.

How do you see the world of the tattoo in ten years’ time?

Almost dead. I think trends will kill the tattoo scene we know right now.

Are you reading anything at the moment?

Not really. I wish I had time for that.

What do you do to recharge your batteries?

Play or record music.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Stay humble.

If you could get tattooed by any artist living or non-living, who would you choose? What would you get?

Amund Dietzel. I’d get the classic Dietzel masked girl by the master himself.

Which artist would you have us do this interview with?

Florian Santus.

Is there anything you would like to add that might be interesting for our readers?

I’d love to thank them all for all the support they give to this growing scene. It means a lot to us, tattooers.

Interview number II of the How I tattoo interview series.

The How I Tattoo series asks the best tattoo artists to share how they tattoo. Every few days we’ll feature a new tattoo artist and the workspaces, routines, gadgets, apps, tips, and tricks that they use. Have someone you’d like to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? Email us to info@tattoofilter.com.

How I Tattoo interview series is inspired by Lifehacker’s How I Work series.

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