I am a visionary artist and tattoo artist, mother and story teller. I also facilitate tattoo journeys and I teach this ancient art form.
The first time I tried my hand at permanent tattooing was in 2004 , the year before my son was born. Ocean Ink was established in 2008 when I opened my first and only tattoo shop on the main road of Plettenberg Bay. Since then I have mainly worked privately from studio spaces in beautiful natural environments. Sometimes this required my clients to travel far into the countryside, and I remain forever grateful for their willingness to do so and for their general ongoing support over the years. I feel blessed to have this amazing skill and tool, which enables me to connect with people from all walks of life and has so far provided for a truly incredible personal life journey.
My love for tattoos has been there since I can remember as I used to draw on my arms and legs all the time during my school days. At high school I was revelling in tattoo magazines while all the other girls were devouring Blush magazines. To my parent’s dismay, I got my first tattoo at the age of 16, which they wanted me to have surgically removed. Needless to say, that was only the beginning.
During my early years I dabbled with jewellery design, textiles, sign writing and painting murals, and along the way I also discovered my love for working with clay and raku firing. My first profession, however, was leatherwork, which involved making a range of products such as sandals, handbags, menu covers, wallets, belts and moccasin sheepskin boots with inlayed patterns. All these art mediums that I explored, eventually led me to the conclusion that it had always been the decorating aspect that excited me the most. I also consider my leatherwork as a huge stepping stone to the start of my tattoo career. (After all, I am still working with skin and needles today!) Then I discovered henna tattooing in Durban, on my way to Ponta do Ouro in Mozambique, where I lived and had a shop for two years doing henna tattoos, piercings and macramé jewellery. Henna was the key that opened the door for me into the tattoo world and really helped me to understand how to work with skin as my canvas, and also how to work hands-on and intimately with others.
Finding someone to teach me permanent tattooing was fruitless, but I did receive great help from Mully Hilton of Electric Eye Tattoo in Umhlanga, Durban. He was kind enough to give me his suppliers’ details and a list of the equipment I’d need to get started. Fortunately I also found a book by famous US tattoo artist Huck Spaulding, called The A to Z on Tattooing, which taught me the foundations of tattooing and I did pick up some more techniques and learned a lot about the business side of things while working at Skinscape and Wildfire, two tattoo shops in Cape Town. But mostly I am self taught and I have been working as a solo artist ever since.
Nature and the ocean is the biggest source of inspiration for my creativity and wellbeing. I am a complete sucker for detail and love doing precision black, gray and white work, sacred geometry, geometric and ornamental-style tattoos, lacework and dot work, often combined with elements of Japanese or water colour tattoo styles, creating an intricate balance of soft and hard, neutral and colourful, and sometimes I’ll even bring in some trash polka vibes as a twist. Animal portraits and spirit animal tattoos are some of my best. After all these years, I am yet to define my own tattoo style, but what I do know for sure is that the most important factor for me is that I resonate with my client’s request – along with a good dose of mutual excitement thrown into the mix. My best and most fulfilling work has always been when clients give me complete freedom to create.
My whole life is a living artwork, and everything I create holds a sense of Spirit and Light. Ultimately, it is my intention to uplift and inspire people and to leave my mark with good, positive energy in their skin, and meaningful and fond memories of the whole experience.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story – I am looking forward to hearing your story and to translate it into your own personal artwork.
All my love,
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