We had the good fortune of connecting with Lenny “Naboy” Mathé and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lenny “Naboy”, what’s the most important thing you’ve done for your children?
I would say, to make a living from my passion and stop compromising. We spend too much time working in our lives to do something we don’t really love. I have done many different jobs and i have never been as happy as I am now. Since I choose to dedicate myself to art my life totally changed. My son is 11 years old and maybe doesn’t fully realize it but I think that seeing your parents happy and doing a work they love is one of the most important thing in your everyday life.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Art is a way of communicating emotions and ideas, for me it is even therapeutic. I like the idea of democratizing it, to get out of the elitism in which it is too often found. My aim to communicate to as many people as possible. That’s why I often use a simple visual language and primary colors like children do when they draw. My path was not easy, I am a self-taught person who never went to school. I was not made to sit in a classroom and listen to someone talk about subjects that did not interest me. I quickly left school and searched for my path for a long time, I did dozens of different jobs to earn a living until the day I finally decided to dedicate myself to creation. I always knew I was a creative mind but I didn’t dare to invest myself completely and I suffered from it. Not doing anything else but painting or tattooing made me feel fulfilled. It changed my life at 36 years old! I am proud of this decision. Proud to have finally privileged my well being rather than my financial security because from the moment I invested myself, everything fell into place. I want to keep on developing and diversify my work. At the moment I am trying to collaborate with other artists and craftsmen to get out of my comfort zone and discover new techniques. It is by sharing that I learn the best.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live in Brussels, Belgium next to the beautiful park Duden, I would bring them there to lay down in the grass surrounded by nature and birds, when it is not too crowded you can also see foxes and squirrels walking around. In the morning i would bring them to the flea market at the “Jeu de balle square”, it is open everyday and all around the area there are some antique and second hands shops where you can find a lot of treasures. We would have a coffee and a piece of pie at “Lucifer leaves coffee” ( a vegan place that I love). As I love music we would probably walk around the city to dig some vinyls in “Crevette records”, “Veals & Geeks” or “Caroline Music” my fav records shops. Then we would visit museums like the “Mima”, The “Kanal”, “Bozart” and “Art & Marges”. to get out of the city for a couple hours we would visit the botanical garden of Meise with its beautiful castle and woods. I would bring them to some natural wine bars around the city as “Jane”, “Rebel wine bar” or the “cave coop” if we want to take away a bootle to drink it in the peaceful garden of La Cambre abbey. To have a taste of the diversity of beers you can find in Belgium i’ll bring them to the “Moeder Lambic” and the “Dynamo” bar. We would have a pizza at “Nona”, a Japanese menu made by an Italian chef at “Toki Doki”, a classic Belgian meal at “Fin de siècle” and some special vegan street food at “Liu Lin”. During the summer there are a lot of open stages in the city center and the parks of Brussels, Dj’s and bands perform in the afternoon and it is the perfect place to hang out when the sky is sunny. I am not a nightclub guy but if my friend ask me for the best place to dance at night i would definitely bring them to “C12”.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are many people who gave me support, love and encouragement along the road, it would be too long to give all the names but one of the most important, who has always pushed me forward and helped me to find answers when I was stucked is my aunt Fabienne. Shoutout to her! And shoutout to my friend Léonie who drove me around Turkey for a spiritual magical journey a few years ago. It was the start of a new life for me.
Instagram: @naboy_tattoo @lenny_mathe
Lenny Mathé Tina Alloncle