Studio feature: Shadowline tattoos

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If you are looking for an authentic, hardcore tattoo studio, take a step into Shadowline tattoos in Krugersdorp. Here you will find Willem, the tattoo artist who is a man of few words but whose art speaks for him, and Melanie, the shop manager who makes sure everything runs smoothly.

Melanie is basically a live portfolio for some of Willem’s great art. Here you will see a few images that she has graciously sponsored for this blog post.

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Willem has been a die hard Tattoo Addict since we started out, so let’s see what he has been up to and find out what makes this silent man tick.

How long has he been tattooing?

He has been tattooing for 17 years now. He started tattooing by succumbing to peer pressure when his friends put a tattoo machine in his hands.

How did he get an apprenticeship?

He did his apprenticeship through the post (yes, old-school), under the guidance of a tattooer in Canada.

What did he do before?

Willem used to do electrical work, and he believes this aids him in maintaining his own equipment.

What is his background in art?

He has been drawing since he can remember, and he used to do design work for large companies before he started creating permanent body art. He only got drawn to the tattoo world after his friends motivated him to start tattooing.

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How would he describe his style, has it changed?

His style is very focused on realism and portrait-work, whether it is black and grey or colour. Learning is a very important component when it comes to his style, so he tries to improve on his work every day, to make sure he is happy with his art while also satisfying the customer.

What inspires him? Does he admire any other artists?

Willem says that he not as such admire other artists, but he does respect them. He just focuses on improving his own work. If he learns a certain technique from another artist that is great, but he really only wants to be happy with his own work to feel inspired to achieve more.

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What’s a typical day like for him?

Seeing as Willem is the only artist at his studio, he quite literally works his fingers to the bone. He opens shop every day at 9:00 (on Sundays at 10:00, a man needs a break sometimes), and works into the dark hours of the night. He has even left the studio at 2:00 or 3:00 in the early morning.

Tell us about his tattoos?

His first tattoo was a little skull on his arm. Willem says that most of the visible tattoos he has are stuff he wouldn’t even get today, but he had to practice on something.

What is the first thing he always adds to his Tattoo Addict shopping cart?

Definitely Tattoo Addict aftercare, along with the essentials needed for the next month or so.

He has worked hard over the years, and his knowledge and years of experience shows in his art. As a rule, he always tries to improve his work. Willem is a Tattoo Addict Aftercare sponsored artist, and for good reason. He never sends a client out of the door without a tube of Tattoo Addict Aftercare in their hands.

Check out his work on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shadowlinetattoos/

Instagram: @shadowlinetattoos