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Brad Pretorius

Brad Pretorius

Tattoo Artist: Brad Pretorius

Tattoo Shop: Royal Ink Collective Tattoo Studio

What first attracted you to the tattoo industry?

I’ve always had a passion for art and I love tattoos, I have always been mesmerised with how beautiful some tattoos looked, especially portraits, if done correctly, they truly are a work of art.

What have been some of the highlights of your career so far?

Looking back, the journey as a whole! Gaining recognition, meeting new people, tattooing a number of celebs and seeing my client’s smiles from ear to ear already discussing their next tattoo as they walk out the door. I’m still very humbled by the fact that people are willing to wear my art, it’s a bonus that they pay me for it.

What style of tattoo do you enjoy creating the most, and why?

I enjoy a number of various styles. Namely realism, neo-trad, colour work, portraits, Japanese and geometric and always looking out for something different.

Social Handles:

Tattoo Artist – @b_radtattooartist

Tattoo Shop Instagram – @royalink_sa

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Romi Ding

Romi Ding

Tattoo Artist: Romi Ding

Tattoo Shop: Outcast Tattoos 818

What first attracted you to the tattoo industry?

Self expression. It was this safe place to be you. Be you completely, authentically and without judgement.

Where do you draw your inspiration from? 

I’m inspired by strong female artists. Although our industry is no longer as male dominated as it was, there are still challenges we as female artists face each day. I follow local and international female artists closely and find their approach, client interaction and their work ethic inspiring.

What style of tattoo do you enjoy creating the most, and why?

Handpokes! They are so much fun to create as it’s the ultimate labour of love. It’s amazing what can be achieved without the machine. Give me anything with fine details or bold lines and I’m happy.

Social Handles:

Tattoo Artist – @romiding

Tattoo Shop Facebook – Outcast Tattoos 818

Tattoo Shop Instagram – @outcasttattoos818

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Larnelle Pienaar

Tattoo Artist: Larnelle Pienaar

Tattoo Shop: Outcast Tattoos 818

What first attracted you to the tattoo industry?

Miami Ink (TV show) caught my attention whilst I was still in school, and then just the aspect that it is an art-form that can change someone’s life forever.

What do you do to ensure you keep progressing as an artist?

Always challenge yourself! There’s always room for growth, never get comfortable. Always find ways to make what you’re pushing out, better than the last.

What style of tattoo do you enjoy creating the most, and why?

Black and Grey Realism, because there is no limit to how real you can make something appear on skin. I’m pushing to get to a point where my tattoos look so real that they can even talk back [laughs], not possible, but you get my point.

Social Handles:

Tattoo Artist – @larnell.art

Tattoo Shop Facebook – Outcast Tattoos 818

Tattoo Shop Instagram – @outcasttattoos818

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Ting Thorne

Ting Thorne

Tattoo Artist: Ting Thorne

Tattoo Shop: Ting’s Tattoo Studio

What have been some of the highlights of successfully running your own shop?

Running your own business definitely isn’t easy. It’s a 24hr job and my day starts at 5:30am most days. The absolute best highlights have been the people we get to meet and the other artists we have worked with. I have lots of hilarious memories and trinkets that have been gifted to me over the years.

What about the tattoo industry attracts you to it and inspires you?

I love the freedom of allowing people to express their feelings and emotions through a tattoo and it’s a really cool thing to be able to give someone. I continue to get inspired by the stories behind tattoos and the great ideas people come up with. Everyday it’s something new and exciting.

What style of tattoo would you say you specialise in, and why?

I love anything botanical or floral. I love pet portraits and basically anything with finer details. I also really enjoy tattoos that look more like paintings than anything else.

Social Handles:

Tattoo Artist – @ting_tattoo

Tattoo Shop Facebook – Ting’s Tattoo Studio

Tattoo Shop Instagram – @tingstattoo_studio

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Nathan Ferreira

Tattoo Artist: Nathan Ferreira

Tattoo Shop: Ting’s Tattoo Studio

When did you first know that you wanted to become a Tattoo Artist?

I only realised after I had done my first tattoo that I wanted to pursue a career in tattooing, it’s a dream job that I never knew I wanted. I have always tried to pursue creative fields in my life but never seriously contemplated tattooing.

How do you like to make sure you keep progressing as an artist?

Practice is always a good way to progress as an artist and luckily, I get loads of it. If I am not tattooing I always have some sort of design work that needs to be done. I find it especially important as a tattoo artist to familiarise yourself with drawing design elements such as flowers, skulls, shapes, etc. Being able to draw out your head, instead of tracing, becomes very valuable when tattooing especially if something goes wrong while tattooing such as a stencil that doesn’t transfer well or gets wiped away while tattooing.

What style of tattoo would you say you specialise in, and why?

I enjoy the look of neo-traditional pieces. I like how the bold lines and simple colours hold very well over time. The designs are usually simple and to the point and are quite striking to look at. Whilst I love Neo-traditional tattoos, I am becoming more and more drawn to black work tattoos. I think this style more accurately represents my natural artistic abilities.

Social Handles:

Tattoo Artist – @natedawg_tattoo

Tattoo Shop Facebook – Ting’s Tattoo Studio

Tattoo Shop Instagram – @tingstattoo_studio

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Lloyd John

Tattoo Artist: Lloyd John

Tattoo Shop: Mr Hats Tattoo

Give us some insight into how you became a full time tattoo artist?

I had admired the tattoo world and everything that went with it from when I started getting tattooed in 2007, and so I left a seven year career in advertising working as a graphic designer/ art director to scratch a persisting itch. I headed in person to my nearest and most preferred tattoo studio, Rising Dragon, where I met the owner and founder and sold him my story. He took me on, taught me, and the rest is history.

How do you like to make sure you keep progressing as an artist?

Adapt, try new styles, invent, re-invent, learn and take inspiration from the global scene, be patient and try not to follow trends.

What style of tattoo would you say you specialise in, and why?

I’ve found myself mostly enjoying blackwork, the use of only using black ink. Varied line weights, spit shading, strong contrast and dotwork. When used carefully you can imitate light tones, textures and make a tattoo that is bold and unique and will still look good in 20 years time.

Social Handles:

Tattoo Artist – @mrhats_tattoo

Tattoo Shop Facebook – Mr Hats Tattoo

Tattoo Shop Instagram – @mrhats_tattoo

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Megan Fourie

Megan Fourie

Tattoo Artist: Megan Fourie

Tattoo Shop: Ting’s Tattoo Studio

Give us some insight into how you became a full time tattoo artist?

I went to get a tattoo done by Ting, of something I had designed, and she asked me if I had ever thought about doing an apprenticeship. That thought stuck with me for a while so I decided to give it a shot. I wanted to apprentice at Ting’s but they already had an apprentice at the time, so I did my apprenticeship at a different studio. I always wanted to work at Ting’s, fortunately I got the opportunity to and I couldn’t be happier here.

How do you like to make sure you keep progressing as an artist?

I think a good way to stay fresh as an artist is to take criticism on the chin and use that to grow your style. It’s important to be willing to learn. There are so many amazing artists out there that it’s really tough not to find inspiration to grow.

What style of tattoo would you say you specialise in, and why?

I enjoy fine line and soft shaded tattoos. I enjoy many styles but flowers and foliage related tattoos are my favourite. I think they’re timeless and look beautiful.

Social Handles:

Tattoo Artist – @megan.magnolia

Ting’s Tattoo Studio Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TingsTattoos

Ting’s Tattoo Studio Instagram – @tingstattoo_studio

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Sheldon Shaw

Tattoo Artist: Sheldon Shaw

Tattoo Shop: Fine Line Tattoo and Piercing Studio

Give us some insight into how you became a full time tattoo artist?

After school I would hang out at Little Shop of Horrors Tattoo and Piercing Studio, make coffee for the staff and clients, and slowly started learning the basics. I became an apprentice and the rest is history. I studied Fine Art at Wits while doing my apprenticeship, which was about four years before I picked up a tattoo machine.

What advice would you give someone wanting to get their first tattoo?

Take your time, really think about it. Do your research on the studio/s and the artist/s. Make sure you feel welcomed and comfortable with the artist and ask to see their portfolio, do not be shy about that. And, just have a blast, have a laugh, and have the best experience while getting a great tattoo.

What style of tattoo would you say you specialise in, and why?

I can’t choose one. I love so many different styles but my favourite styles are black and grey realism, trash polka, watercolour, and geometry/mandala.

Social Handles:

Tattoo Artist – @sheldonshaw14

Fine Line Tattoo and Piercing https://www.facebook.com/finelinetattooandpiercing

Tattoo Shop Instagram – @finelinetattooandpiercing

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Bryan Du Rand

Bryan Du Rand

Tattoo Artist: Bryan Du Rand

Tattoo Shop: Fallen Heroes

Give us some insight into how you became a full time tattoo artist?

I started it as a hobby teaching myself using the internet as my guide and then people just started paying me for it. I definitely don’t recommend this method if you’re considering tattooing as a career. Get an apprenticeship it’s much easier and faster.

How do you like to make sure you keep progressing as an artist?

You have to care. When you stop caring, that’s when you stop progressing. I also make sure to take regular breaks from tattooing.

What style of tattoo would you say you specialise in, and why?

I’m fascinated with Japanese culture and Japanese tattoos. I also enjoy realism. It keeps me balanced, well rounded and challenged.

Social Handles:

Tattoo Artist – @tattoosbybryan

Fallen Heroes  https://www.facebook.com/Fallenheroestattoo

Tattoo Shop Instagram – @fallenheros

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Roxy Rose

Roxy Rose

Tattoo Artist: Roxy Rose

Tattoo Shop: fallen Heroes

Give us some insight into how you became a full time tattoo artist?

I  was working as an illustrator at a Johannesburg agency, I decided the agency life wasn’t for me and I sought out an apprenticeship with Brent Goudie, who was tattooing me at the time. I apprenticed under Brent for about a year and then continued to work with him as a junior tattooer. He was an amazing mentor and definitely gave me a solid foundation to become the artist I am today.

What were some of the hardest things to learn when you first started out?

Patience was a big one. I had to really learn to take my time to learn another new skill. I was also very introverted at the time and had to learn to be more of a people person as having a good relationship with your clients is a very important part of being a good tattooer.

Which style of tattoo to you enjoy creating?

Anything illustrative or sketchy. I love drawing and tattooing subject matter involving flowers, girls and animals, cats especially. I prefer doing mostly black work but colour every now and then is also a fun time.

Social Handles:

Tattoo Artist – @_roxy_rose

Fallen Heroes  https://www.facebook.com/Fallenheroestattoo

Tattoo Shop Instagram – @fallenheros

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