Underneath the busy Jomo Zuma road in Pretoria district, an unlikely group of businessmen in the tattooing industry are planning to change the way Africans view tattoos while developing improved tattooing customs. As the foremost tattoo shop in Pretoria, Lindon Hastrup‚ a South African who manages Lindhast Tattoos‚ and Jonas Lively‚ a Zimbabwean, are combining their knowledge of tattooing on white and black skin in an effort to deliver expert artwork to those detailing their life experiences on their bodies.
Lively who has for the most part tattooed on dark skin said he frequently covers up “jail tattoos” or leftovers finished with home-made machines.
Pointing to Lively’s sleeve, Hastrup clarifies that tattoos that are too deep cause damage to the skin as well as raised scar tissue. Cutting edge tattoo machines puncture the dermis at a steady depth‚ decreasing the likelihood of a blow-out, a point at which the ink enters too deeply, bleeding out and distorting the lines.
It is possible to tattoo colour on black skin‚ however lighter tones such as pink and yellow won’t appear against a darker pigment. Due to the influence of toxicologists and biochemists who are at the forefront of developing ink that is safer, brighter, and long-lasting, there is a marked improvement in the quality of tattoo ink.
The expert tattooists said the people of the black community approach every now and again to request tattoos of the African continent‚ flying stars, bible verses‚ names and pictures of relatives, and ID numbers.
Lively said that subsequent to opening his tattoo shop in Pretoria he, in the beginning, had problems tattooing African skin‚ as he couldn’t see the needle piercing the dermis. In the wake of being told he is being controlled by demons‚ Lively said his desire is to change that view as well.