PEOPLE, normally of the non-tattooed variety, often comment: “Aren’t tattoos addictive?” My answer is usually that they are not, but I must confess to something of a compulsion.
I’ve been collecting ink for many years, from different artists and countries I have visited, planning and booking appointments with specific designs and ideas in mind. One of the places I go to is Good Things Tattoo Company in Salt River, the second studio opened in Cape Town by Tamar Thorn (the other being The Body Architects in Claremont).
Securing a tattoo by Tamar has to be done months in advance – my next sitting with her is in October because that’s how in demand she is – but she was at the Truth Coffee Roasting Vintage Market last week, where junior artist Alex Steiger was doing quick, simple flash pieces. It didn’t take much convincing for me to agree to have a new little something added to my arm.
Alex has been working with Tamar for three years, and tattooing for almost one of those, following her apprenticeship. For me, it’s not just about the end result, but the whole experience, and this one was lovely. Along with her fine and steady line work, Alex is gentle, maybe even more so than Tam, and in this case I can answer the another common question: “Does it hurt?” with an emphatic “Not at all.”
No wonder people were queueing up to get ink of their own that night.
After spending so many years agonising over tattoos – the artwork, the placement, the size – it’s wonderful (and a little amusing) that I have reached a place where I can get one on a whim, and also know I haven’t lost the ability to be spontaneous, which is a relief. The piece I chose depicts two burning matches. And here’s another question: “What do your tattoos mean?” For this one, I’m not changing my answer; they are personal, and always should be. Yes, I have my reasons, but almost all of them will remain my little secrets.
For more information about Good Things Tattoo Co, call 021 447 4904 or go to www.goodthingstattoo.com
The Body Architects can be contacted on 082 226 4065 or go to www.thebodyarchitects.com