Tattoo Lifestyle


& Piercings


Enter the world of body piercing.

RANDPARK RIDGE – When most people think of body piercing, they think of either a belly ring, an ear piercing or nose ring.

But the world of piercing is more than that. Cyber Skin’s resident piercing artist Kimara Griesel takes the Randburg Sun’s readers on an adventure into her world.

For Griesel, body piercing is something that came naturally to her at a young age. She remembers how beautiful it was and that is when her interest in piercing began. She started piercing herself at 12 years old after a botched belly ring piercing and she wanted to fix it herself.

“The belly ring was done professionally by using a gun but it did not look right to me. This is one of the reasons I am against piercing with a gun,” said Griesel.

“I was also one of those girls at school who pierced other girls in the bathroom and also myself. My parents have always been open-minded and just wanted me to be safe. I felt like I really needed to practise on someone who wouldn’t mind so I thought using myself was a good idea. That’s how I went at it and from there I started working at a shop and I got some training.”

Griesel’s love for piercings also comes from a need to be different and while she thought piercings such as nose rings were beautiful, for her it was the less conventional piercings that were really interesting.

“For me, it’s the pursuit of being different so that is why I also have piercings in various places. I’ve been doing this for such a long time and not necessarily in a professional capacity.

So I find that what satisfies me in my job is when every time I pierce someone and see their expression afterwards.

“How happy they are and how I brighten up their day by just putting a piece of jewellery on their face or ear. Everything about it is exhilarating and amazing.”

The most popular type of piercings Cyber Skin does is the helix piercing which is the perforation of the helix or upper ear. The nose and belly piercings are also popular as well as the tragus piercing. A tragus piercing is the perforation of the tragus which is situated in front of the ear canal.

“Girls love their belly rings but don’t realise how hardcore it really is because they don’t heal easily. And we’ve had 16-year-old girls coming in here wanting belly rings. Ears and nose are the most popular.”

One instrument Griesel wants to be banned from the piercing community is the piercing gun and she said it should be made illegal.

This is because without proper instruction, a piercing gun can do a whole lot of damage to an earlobe including infection and disease transmission.

Cyber Skin uses brand new needles for each client and the piercer is able to work according to the customer’s needs.

For Griesel, there is no limit to the number of piercings she plans to have. She has about 20 piercings as well various tattoos.

However, she advises the community that one must conduct thorough research into the piercing they want and what shop they will go to.

“I also ask a lot of questions before I start to make sure they are sure about their decisions. For young girls who always want belly rings, we always try to talk them out of it.

“I’ve heard about piercings that help with migraines and I have had clients who swear by it. Some have come in and ask to have a piercing for that and I always tell them that I don’t guarantee such a thing. It is not medically proven.”

Author -Sonwabile Antonie

Tatoo Tale - Getting a nipple piercing is no child’s play.

Watch Barry Humphries get his second right nipple ring.

A look at the work, life and passion of tattoo artists.

FAIRLAND – Being a tattoo artist has its stereotypes, but there are few who work as hard, long and take their work as seriously – that’s if they are anything like the dedicated artists at Fairland’s Empire Tattoos.

For 17 years, Empire Tattoos has been a family of creatives who change lives, one drop of ink at a time. Many who first visit, end up staying.

Grant Tucker (21), who studied graphic design at Vega School, is one such example. He officially started his apprenticeship to become a tattoo artist this year, but he has been drawn to the shop for much longer.

He said by working at Empire Tattoos, he gets to spend every day with his best friends.

“I have been treated as a family member from the start,” he said. Once he qualifies, which could take anything from two to four years, he will be working alongside Jacques Jacobs, Ryan Ansley, and owner Tie Harris.

Now 37 years old, Harris has been tattooing longer than she hasn’t, as she put it. Back when she started, getting a tattoo was a far from mainstream, as it is today.

“There weren’t a lot of shops around. There was still a negative stereotype attached to tattoos. There was an idea that only people like prisoners, sailors and prostitutes had tattoos. Now, it has become a lot more socially acceptable,” she said.

Ansley started at the shop in 2009 as a manager, but as soon as his drawing skills became apparent, he was offered an apprenticeship. What appealed most to him was having a job where he is merited on the quality of his work, and not on what he looks like.

“Here, I can look how I want and be myself and, therefore, I am a happier person and my work shows it. My dad always said being happy with your job is worth R10 000 on your salary,” he said.

Harris firmly believes that the best way for a tattoo artist to start is through a formal apprenticeship with an artist and at a tattoo parlour that one respects. She is wary of fly-by-night tattoo academies.

“It is a serious thing that we are doing to people. It is permanent and it needs to be given the proper respect it deserves,” she said.

But this does not mean she will give just any tattoo. Anti-religious and hateful tattoos are a no-no. But sometimes, strange requests are made, Harris was asked to tattoo a full body tan onto a client – she declined, because ‘it is physically impossible’.

Harris, like many tattoo artists, has also become a canvas. She even has the first tattoos of her apprentices, as is the tradition. Her favourite piece, however, is a Cheshire cat on her thigh by her personal hero, Paul Booth.

Ansley’s is a tattoo of his daughter and Tuckers’ is an award-winning gypsy for his mom, the tattoo that brought him to the shop, and another on his knee.

Among a wall of awards and certificates, one stands out. Harris, Ansley and two more artists started a world record for the largest tattooing circle in 2015 for getting a tattoo at the same time by one another.

Empire Tattoos currently has a weekly special for any pre-designed tattoo based on a chosen obscure holiday of the week.

Detials: Contact Empire Tattoos on 011 021 8282 or visit their Facebook page

ALSO READ: Third annual Tattoo-a-thon for Childhood Cancer Foundation – Link Below.

Author – Chantelle Fourie


Third annual Tattoo-a-thon for Childhood Cancer Foundation

Watch the video here:



Getting a new tattoo or piercing can be really exciting, but before you let someone permanently change your skin, there are a few things you need to know about common infections and how to have a safe experience. The tattoo or piercing parlour you decide to use should be clean and all of the necessary instruments should be sterilized. Ask to watch a few jobs being done before your decide. Remember that tattoos and piercings take time to heal like any other wound. If you already have a professional tattoo or piercing and are wondering if what you are feeling is normal, it probably is.

These areas do itch, form scabs and do become flaky –  these are all healthy signs of a healing wound. However, if you experience extreme pain, redness, swelling, pus or blisters in a red base – contact your medical practitioner immediately. It is vital that you clean these wounds as instructed by the piercing and tattoo professional. Make sure that once your bandage is removed your tattoo air-dry’s to avoid bacteria contamination, this is also true for a piercing. It is also best to avoid tanning, working out or swimming during this time and rather wait for the healing process to be completed


• Bandage it: leave the bandage on for four to six hours, or for however long your tattoo artist says you should.
• Wash it: once the tattoo stops bleeding, wash your hands and then gently remove the bandage. Wash your tattoo with a mild soap and warm water, using your fingers (not a wash cloth). Pat it dry with a towel (but be careful not to rub).
• Apply lotion: apply a thin layer of unscented body lotion. You can also try a healing ointment such as vitamin E.
• Don’t touch it: while the tattoo heals, it will scab, flake and peel. Don’t pick it! Leave it alone and keep applying lotion to it twice a day (or more if it’s itchy).

• Wear loose clothing: for the first few weeks, make sure that clothing on or near the tattoo is clean and loose.
• Don’t submerge or soak it in water: avoid soaking your tattoo until it has completely healed. This means no swimming pools, lakes, hot tubs or soaks in the tub. Be careful when you’re showering, too.
• Avoid direct sun: keep your tattoo out of the sun for the first few weeks. After that, always cover your tattoo with sunscreen, as sun exposure will fade tattoos.


1. Expect discomfort and don’t irritate it. If you play a sport that requires a helmet, don’t get a piercing on your outer ear cartilage when you will be doing that in the next couple of weeks.

2.Time it right! If your piercing requires shoving wet, salty cotton wool up your nose three times a day, don’t get it when you will have to be at school or work. Make sure you have the free time to keep it clean at least initially – if not a holiday, at least a long weekend.

3. Clean with saline. Soak piercings in some cheap, plentiful warm salt water when cleaning.

4. Watch your piercing progress. Your piercing will, in most cases, develop a ‘crust’. It will in all likelihood also ooze white liquid and occasionally bleed. This is normal.

5. When removing crust, soak, don’t pick. It will come off easily once saturated and don’t play with your peircing while it’s ‘crusty’. This could damage the edges of the healing wound.

6. Patience. Wait until the correct healing time has elapsed before even thinking about changing jewelry, especially lower-grade jewelry.

Vox Pop: What inspired you to get a tattoo?

JOBURG– Tattoos are a fun way of expressing your individuality artistically in any design imaginable.

Although the idea of getting tattoos may be exciting and endearing, the physical pain and permanent marking is something people take into consideration. Whether you get it done as a rebellious teen or to signal a new beginning, whichever way you look at it, tattoos are here to stay.

Here is what people had to say …

MERCIA HEYSTEK: I love tattoo artistry and self-expression. All my favourite tattoos don’ have any particular meaning, they just cool to look at such as my crocodile tattoo.

PAMELA SIMPSON: I got my first tattoo when I was 20 for different reasons. The tattoo on my back symbolises balance which I got done after a soul-searching trip around the world.

KRILL EFIMOV: I had these tattoos done as an art form, 10 years ago. My tattoos all have a deeper meaning which I use to express myself.

SHAYNE TRAVISS: This is my first tattoo which symbolises courage. I picked this design because I recently walked among lions at the Kruger National Park. It was one of the most courageous things I’ve ever done.

MAPULE MASHEGO: The first tattoo I got was of my late father’s name and my second one was of my mother and sibling’s name. I wanted to do something special for them to remember them by.

TARYN NISSEN: As a tattoo artist I got these tattoos done to see what works and lasts the longest. All my tattoos where done by different tattoo artists.

SHARLENE MANLEY: My friend encouraged me to get my first tattoo. It represents peace, love and unity which I believe society should live by.

KALIM DU PLESSIS: I got my first tattoos at a young age as a form of self-expression. All my tattoos have a theme and are inspired by something.

RUAN HAASBROEK: I grew up conservative so as a way to feel a sense of freedom I got tattoos.  In total, I have over 20 tattoos. All of them don’t have any particular meaning, I just like how they look.

MICHAEL BERRIMAN: I have about 20 tattoos. I believe naked skin is boring, tattoos are artistic and a form of self-expression.

KEREN ONAY: I wanted to have a reminder of a certain period in my life and where I am right now documented in the form of tattoos.

NATASHA MOOLMAN: I have about 21 tattoos which I got done as a way to express myself. All of them make me who I am and have personal meanings.

DEAN POZNIAK: All my tattoos are geometrical, which I find unique.

BUZZ TATTOO  –  Tattoo . Piercing . Vapery  011 462 1778



NORTHWOLD – Permanent body art such as a piercing or tattoo requires much thought, deliberation and a long-term plan.

This according to Victoria Sutherland-Dadds, a tattoo artist based in Northwold, who places emphasis in choosing a piece that one will be happy with years later. “Tattoos are permanent. It helps to choose a piece that has some meaning,” she said.

“I have often seen clients make the mistake of being influenced by other people when choosing a piece, most times regretting it when it’s too late.”

More often than not, when regret sets in, it’s usually time for a cover-up.

Cover-up tattoos are designed to rejuvenate old work, to camouflage shoddy art or to get rid of unwanted pieces.

Owner of Tattoos By Tory, Sutherland-Dadds believes all cover-ups present different challenges. However, the difficulty is usually determined by the size and colour of the original. “A bigger, darker tattoo is most times more difficult to cover up than a smaller, lighter one.

“A cover-up will usually need to be a fair size larger than the original tattoo, which is important to keep in mind.”

Victoria Sutherland - Dadds owner of Tattoos by Troy has been in the business for nine years.
AFTER: Magic complete on an unwanted tattoo.

With nine years of experience in the business, Sutherland-Dadds says, as discouraging as it might sound, there is always a solution to that unwanted regrettable tattoo.

“If one artist says it can’t be done, move on and get another opinion.”

If you’ve been considering getting your first, she recommends that you conduct thorough research on your chosen artist to avoid disappointments and the possibility of a cover-up.

“You wouldn’t get a house painter to paint a family portrait for you, and the same applies to tattoos, she said.

“While there are some artists who are very good all rounders, most have a specialty.” These specialities vary from fine lines, small detail, bold and simpler styles.

Whether it be a first tattoo or a cover-up, Sutherland-Dadds recommends that you follow your artist’s aftercare guidelines to prevent any infection. “Aftercare is as important as the actual tattoo process, and it is always worth putting the effort in.”

Author – Lethu Nxumalo

Tattoo for a good cause

SANDTON – Ten tattoo studios across Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Bloemfontein will raise funds for autism awareness on 7 April.

The upmarket tattoo studio in ParkhurstFallen Heroes together with several other tattoo studios, will host an Ink-A-Thon to raise funds for autism on 7 April.

This is the first Ink-A-Thon and the beneficiary this year is the Puzzle Foundation SA. The foundation is dedicated to raising public awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families and society.

Melody Kaye, marketing manager at Fallen Heroes, said the founders of the Puzzle Foundation SA are tattoo lovers with a personal reason for starting their foundation, as their own family has been touched by the day-to-day costs of having a child that falls in the spectrum.

Kaye commented that throughout the year they were approached by various causes in order to raise funds, using their resources and artistic abilities. “We always want to help everyone, however, we don’t always get to everyone we would like to, but with the Ink-A-Thon, we are able to cover a different charity every year.


“The studios involved are all successful studios with incredibly talented artists, and so The Ink-A-Thon was born from a need to give back using our art.

Autism in South Africa is still shrouded in misconceptions and for the most part not supported by government organisations, and medical aids can very rarely provide the comprehensive cover that families require. Finding schools and therapists can be costly, difficult and daunting for families.”

She said by raising awareness around how broad the spectrum is, and what falls on the spectrum, is vital in helping families cope.

On the day there will be 12 artists from Fallen Heroes alone, and there are 10 studios across Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Bloemfontein who will be in full force. Two Sandton-based tattoo studios, Sally Mustang and Dakota Lee in Kramerville, Dainfern and Kyalami will also take part on the day.

Kaye said they should be able to tattoo 108 people at Fallen Heroes.

The cost of a palm-sized piece is R900. “A small amount will be used to cover basic consumable costs and the balance will be donated to The Puzzle Foundation.

“Choose something simple that can be achieved and executed well in 30 to 40 minutes. Your artist will guide you in your choice.

“There are 10 studios involved, so if one is fully booked, please do chat with an alternate studio.”

Kaye said there is an amazing vibe in each studio and the day is quite fast-paced so the energy is different to the regular day.

“We are hoping to raise over R100 000 for the charity and I have a feeling we might just do it,” ended Kaye.

Details: Visit to see which studio is closest to you to make a booking.

Have you booked your spot for the Ink-A-Thon? Share your tattoo stories and pics on the Sandton Chronicle Facebook page.

Piercing Inspiration

Surface, Facial, Ears etc.

EMERALD RAIN TATTOOS  –  Custom Designed Tattoo  073 580 4842

Tattoo Inspiration

Beautiful Line

Dark Grunge

Tastefully Dainty

Black & White

Splash of Colour

Creative Surreal


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