The Thursday Q&A with tattoo artist Julian Garner

Julian Garner Tattoo artist Ottawa art Gallery Five cents studio

Julian Garner. Photo by Bruno Schlumberger/Ottawa Citizen


Julian Garner started his career as an artist and animator. He worked for a couple of studios he wishes to keep nameless before getting tired of the “corporate” decisions being made about creative endeavours. Eight years ago, a friend offered him the opportunity to learn tattooing and he tried it out. “I’m definitely doing it now,” Garner said with a laugh. He opened his shop, which also has a gallery attached, seven years ago. He serves as the curator of the gallery, which allows him to show the art he likes. He spoke with reporter Adam Feibel to answer our many questions.







Ottawa Citizen Style: Who are your tattoo and art icons?

Julian Garner: As far as tattooing, I’d have to say Steve Moore, Dave Knight, Dave Cummings – painting would be Joe Sorren.

OCS: What’s on your bedside table?

JG: Right now I’m reading about Frank Lloyd Wright. It’s essays on and about his work and his life.

OCS: Best home accessory?

JG: My mini-ramp, (for) skateboarding.

OCS: Best recent fashion find?

JG: I’m not really a fashion person, so I couldn’t tell you.

OCS: Who would you invite for dinner, if you could choose anyone in the world?

JG: That’s a good one.  Living or dead? Probably… Jesus.

OCS: What’s the earliest memory that you have?

JG: Knocking my teeth out while riding a bicycle. I would’ve been four. That’s as early as I remember.

OCS: What’s the biggest fashion faux-pas for you?

JG: There’s a lot of them. Those Puma ballet slipper-looking things, I guess?

OCS: What’s your proudest moment in life?

JG: The day my daughter was born.

OCS: Favourite piece of furniture?

JG: I’d have to say my bed. It’s just a queen, and it’s nothing special, but I like lying in it.

OCS: What qualities do you most admire in a person?

JG: Passion, drive, integrity. Basically, doing what they want to do and not caring what anybody thinks.

OCS: What do you want to be remembered for?  What do you want on your tombstone?

JG: I’d like to be remembered as a good father, more than anything. And I would hope my work is worthy of being remembered.

OCS: If you could tattoo anyone, who would you tattoo?

JG: Anyone and everyone — it’s all good.

OCS: Describe a perfect day off, anywhere in the world.

JG: Skateboarding with my friends, just about anywhere.

OCS: Who’s your favourite local artist?

JG: I’d have to say probably Heath Cairns. He’s now a graphic designer in Montreal, but he’s from Ottawa.

OCS: Best book you’ve read in the past year?

JG: War and Remembrance (by Herman Wouk)

OCS: Favourite food?

JG: Bread. Just bread. Good bread.

OCS: Most often-played song on your iPod?

JG: Anything off of Black Dots by Bad Brains.

OCS: Wine, beer or both?

JG: Beer, definitely. Any kind.

OCS: Mac or PC?

JG: Mac.

OCS: Fine dining or diner diving?

JG: I like good food, but I don’t think it has to be fine dining. I think I’d prefer not to pay out the ass, so probably diner.

OCS: Favourite restaurant in Ottawa?

JG: Oz. It’s on Elgin Street. Town as well, which is also on Elgin.

OCS: What’s the person, place or thing that makes you proudest/happiest?

JG: My daughter.

OCS: Favourite blog or website?

JG: I don’t know if I have one. Probably… Thrasher Skateboard Magazine.

OCS: Facebook, Twitter or both?

JG: Twitter.

OCS: What’s your guilty pleasure?

JG: Justin Timberlake. I think he’s great. Everything about him is awesome.

OCS: What’s your favourite place?

JG: I’d have to say my favourite place in Ottawa would be probably my friend Richard’s backyard (he has a pool for skateboarding). My favourite place anywhere that I’ve been would be Outer Banks, North Carolina.

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