Tattoo Model Yves Mathieu
Inspiration is his middle name. Yves Mathieu, a tatto and fashion independent supermodel sits down with us to talk about the person that he his today. The interview gets a little emotionally deep, however, we we're proud to learn his story about his 'attempt suicide' days and how his tattoos create a story on everything that his experience throughout his life. [PART TWO COMING SOON]
Travon: The number one thing I wanted to ask you are about your tattoos and piercings. I must say they look really cool on you. How long did you have the tattoos and what made you get them?
Yves: I had my tattoos for about 5 years. I got my first piercings when I was 13 - they were snakebites - the 2 rings I have on my lip. I did it with a safety pin in my bathroom [laughs].
Travon: Ouch. [laughs]
Yves: Not recommended.
Travon: Kids don't try this at home like Yves did. [laughs]
Yves: I knew from a young age that I wanted a lot of tattoos. I used to be really into bands like Good Charlotte, and Blink 182 and I saw they had full sleeves. I knew [from that moment on] I wanted to look like [them] and I wanted [whatever] I decided to get to mean something to me. What made me essentially want to get tattooed was comfortability within myself. I had a rough childhood and I wasn't comfortable in my skin so, wearing my story on my skin made it more comfortable to me. No secrets. Nothing to hide. Yves 2.0.
Travon: What’s your most meaningful tattoo you have?
Yves: Ah! My most meaningful? That's a beautiful question. It's constantly changing, depending on what season I am in my life. On my forehead, it says "the art of losing myself" [tattooed as "theartoflosingmyself"]. It's the first tattoo my eyes go to when I wake up and look in the mirror. It means letting go of me, sacrificing me, for Christ and for others.
Travon: Wow! That is so inspiringly beautiful. I am lost with words.
Yves: And it's in no way a loss, or damaging to me, it's an art, it's the "ART" of losing myself. That line is the opening pre-chorus to a song called "From The Inside Out" by a band named Hillsong. The moment I heard it, I knew it had to be a part of me forever - a reminder of how to live. As of right now, it's one of my most meaningful.
Travon: Does it hurt when you got the tattoos in the face? I’m curious [laughs].
Yves: Ha! [laughs] Yeah! My face tattoos hurt with certain tattoos like the 2 [tattoos] underneath my eyes. The position hurt more than the actual tattoo. In all, tattoos hurt [laughs].
Travon: Even though, you are characterized as a tattoo model, I look at you as not only a tattoo model, but a commercial and fashion model, as well. Your look is beyond exceptional and you have skills of a high-profile model. What made you want to pursue a career in modeling and how has your modeling career affect the audience around you?
Yves: I honestly didn't think at this point I would be getting as much attention or acclaim as I do. It's really humbling and that in itself motivates me even more. My main drive is to pursue modeling because, I want to take a mission trip to pop culture. It sounds really strange and crazy but, the same way people take mission trips to 3rd world countries and feed, clothe, help, and love on others, there are missions right here around us. There's so many people who aren't comfortable with their outward appearance and their inward appearance (yes there's inward appearance) and I want to use my look and my story to change that.
Travon: Alongside modeling, what other creative talents do you have?
Yves: Ha! [laughs] I can dance really well. I auditioned for "So You Think You Can Dance" in January of this year, and made it to the top 40 for the 2nd day of Atlanta Auditions. I didn't get any farther than that. [I'm] not really sure if I wanted to anyways at that point but, it was a beautiful experience that I know I'll never experience again and I'm okay with that. I also write a lot [such as] songs, plays, movies, and musicals. I was accepted into Savannah College of Art & Design in 2012 in the Dramatic Writing program and I also play piano/keyboard. Oh! And if hugging is a talent, put me down for that too! I love to hug people, especially when they have a confused look on their face as to why I'm trying to hug them. [laughs]
Travon: What is the most scariest moment that you had in your lifetime?
Yves: Hmm! The scariest moment of my life occurred twice. [The] 1st [time is] when I was 15 years [when] I tried to commit suicide - [it's] something that a lot of people actually don't know about me. I was afraid to come out to anyone so, I decided to take the "easy" road out. I took about 20 oxy cotton pills, and 20 aspirins. I remember going into the bathroom and my eyes [would be] as red as an apple, and my heart was pulsating through my Adidas hoodie, and I [had] passed out about 20 minutes later waken up in Nassau County Hospital in Long Island, New York. I was then put on a suicide watch, and also given a psychologist and I stayed in a psychiatric evaluation class for like 2 weeks. It was pretty miserable. Due to that situation, I got an eyeball and a mouth tattooed on the tops of my hands meaning "watch what you eat" in reference to me putting loads of pills into my body not really knowing the extensity of what I was doing to myself. So, watch what you do; watch what you eat. [The] 2nd [time it] happened only was last year of October 11th [when] I had a heart attack. I have this heart condition called Bilateral Atrial Enlargement. I was 19 at the time. I'm not sure I've ever been face with situation so great and devastating at the same time. The difference between the 2 events is when I was 15, I was alone and had no one, but with this [the 2nd occurring event] I had God and what seemed to feel like everyone was praying and loving on me all at once. It was scary but, beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
Travon: What do you cherish the most about life?
Yves: What I cherish the most about life is life itself. This world is very, very cold, broken, and lost. But [with] life, life is a gift, and when you almost lose it [life] becomes gold to you. I feel like even if you'd never experienced anything traumatic or life threatening that an appreciation for life should still be a part of your daily thought. If there's air in your lungs, or if even right now, if you're reading this interview that means you have eyes [that are capable to] seeing LIFE, or if your blind and someone is reading this to you, that means you can hear. You can hear LIFE. What I cherish the most about life is life itself.
Travon: The reason why you’re included in our Art Section because we feel that modeling is a form of art. Don’t you agree? Whether you are being dressed by a stylist and being captured by a photographer’s artistic visualization, you are still known as an artist in modeling. What is your intake on that?
Yves: I agree with you 100%. To me, it is art in it's every form. The art of fashion. The art of styling. The art of posing. The art of direction. All these acts happening at once creates a volcanic, artistic, vocal noise. Especially as a model, you won't find a photo that I'm speaking in unless it's a hologram, but I can speak to you with my eyes, or my hands, or with my garment, or with the art on my skin - the same way a song, or a painting speaks to you. Modeling is an art form.
Travon: What is the one thing that you want people to remember you as when you leave this earth? Would you want to leave a legendary for others to follow you by?
Yves: What I want others to remember is that "Yves loved Jesus. Yves loved people. Yves drank a lot of apple juice".
Travon: What college did you go to and how was your experience?
Yves: I attended Savannah College of Art & Design [SCAD]. I feel that college is not for everybody, and I'm one of those people that it's not for. Having a degree is awesome and so admirable in every way but, you don't need a degree to succeed. You need faith and drive.
Travon: Give me one person that you are extremely inspired by and tell me why they are a perfect fit of inspiration for you.
Yves: Again, I'm going to sound crazy but, my main inspiration in the past 3 years has been and always will be Jesus Christ. I feel that sometimes people get bothered with how much I say I love Jesus, or how much I give him credit for everything I'm given but, I don't really care [laughs]. When you're in love with someone or something, you talk about it even when you're not trying to. [I'm] gonna go ahead and quote Meangirls [the movie] but, it's like 'Word Vomit'. He lived the perfect life. More than all of that, he died for his friends, family, and even those who spit on him. I had a woman once spit on me and tell me that I'm going to burn in hell because, I'm tattooed. I had a cop once ask my name, and when I told him, he walked to another car and said, "we have a special kind of nigger here", and call me crazy but, if it came down to it, I would, I repeat, I would die for those people. Why? Because, Christ died for me. He's my inspiration and the love of my life.
Travon: Are you working on any newer projects and if so, please do share.
Yves: I won't go into too much detail because, I love surprising people [smiles]. But, I'm currently stepping into the pool of fashion film, much like the works of Karl Lagerfeld, simple, but engaging. I'm constantly watching fashion shows on YouTube and [reading] different blogs I can find, and the more I watched [and read] them, the more life they bring to the clothes, the scuffs on the shoes, the make up, and the vision. I'm excited to share my mind and heart with you all.
For more information on Yves Mathieu, check out his IG page @the_yvesdropper