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We go behind-the-scenes at Wildfire Tattoo to show you how you can get inked at this year’s Cape Tattoo Expo

2014-02-19 07:00
manuela,cape tattoo expo
Cape Town – Ahead of the annual Cape Tattoo Expo we went behind-the-scenes to watch the very talented Manuela of Wildfire Tattoos in Long street work her magic.

Having been in the business for 10 years and being the owner of Wildfire Tattoos, Manuela is the organiser of the annual Cape Tattoo Expo which is in its sixth year, and takes place from 28 February to 2 March at Cape Town City Hall.

Boasting a build up to the expo in the form of a gholf day and a ‘tattoo-athon’, the actual expo will feature an art exhibition, a rock show and of course this year it’s all about showcasing South African talent.

"This year we’re kind of part of the Design Indaba, so for me it was important to showcase the South African talent, because we always make such a big thing of the internationals, and it’s like now finally 6 years later, we stand on our own," says Manuela.

cape tattoo expo

While chatting away, Manuela doesn’t skip a beat with doing what she does best: creating art. Having studied art and creating art all her life, that’s exactly the point she wants to get across with the expo.

"Generally the South African population is very conservative. But the age of tattoos being frowned upon is also starting to slowly disappear as you’ve got people like Francois van Coke, who’s father’s a dominee, and he’s covered in tattoos and he’s a singer, you know what I mean, everyone is pushing the boundaries, and that also helps the way it’s like today."

It’s really an honour watching Manuela work. (Oh and we also have to thank Mike Mccrorie for allowing us to intrude in his personal space and take a few pics of him getting tattooed… Thanks Mike!)

cape tattoo expo

And can you go and get a tattoo at the expo?

"Yes, that’s the point, you can book a slot online, you can go to our website and see what artists are coming and visit their websites to see their work. Or you can just come on the day and walk around and see their work. It’s been quite a misconception that it’s just an industry kind of event, but it’s really not, it’s for the public to come and have a look, get tattooed and just to be let into a world that they’re never allowed into really."

We also asked Manuela some burning Tattoo questions:

Any advice for first-timers?

Do your research and your homework, go and look at the different artists that are available to you, see what work you like, get some reference, it’s much better if you bring some ideas with you. Just to make sure you know, it’s hard to say that you’re going to love the same thing forever, but if you stick to a few principles like something that at least have some meaning to you, or it has a reason or a symbolism to you. If you’re copying Angelina Jolie’s tattoo for the sake of it, because you think maybe you’ll look like her if you have it, in a year’s time you’re gonna go like "Why did I do that?" Also do your research as far as sterilisation goes.

What is the most common place to get a tattoo?

There’s no common place really.  I think in a work environment where people aren’t really open to tattoos, obviously you’re looking at places that are under the clothes, but generally today it’s not like everyone has a tramp stamp, people are going to different places now.

What is the most painful place to get a tattoo?

 It also depends, but usually where you’re going to be ticklish and almost where you’ve got meridians of nerves, so you’re inner arm, inner thigh, over the kidney area, places like that. The pain you can only start to compare once you’ve had a few.

What are the tattoo trends at the moment?

We do a lot of writing, you know writing is always going to be popular. Also the very traditional sense of tattoos like the sailor anchor kind of vibe is very popluar. For little ones you’re looking at things like the infinity sign. It’s very hard to come up with something original though as everything has been done before, but you can always interpret it in a different way, that’s where the creativity comes in.

For more information on the Cape Tattoo Expo click here.

Read more on:    cape town  |  tattoos
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