We sit down with Sean Pengilly of Sally Mustang Tattoos to chat about his his life as a Tattoo Artist, how he got into the industry, his style and more…
Full name: Sean Pengilly
Shop: Sally Mustang Tattoos
Years tattooing: 3
Tattoo Style: Fantasy realism
Hourly Rate: Around R1300
Take us through your background into becoming a tattoo artist?
Well this was not my plan from the start. I have a degree in Industrial Design and have been working as this for the roughly 10 years now. It all started when I was creating tattoo art pieces for friends of mine and then got to chatting with Jono Engelbrecht from Durandts Ink, the artist that would become my mentor. From there I started working weekends at the shop learning the ropes
How long did you apprentice for and under which artist?
For about three months with Jono.
What as one of the hardest thing for you to learn and master as a junior tattoo artist?
I would say it would be the soft smooth shading, well at least anything close to what Jono is able to do.
What does a day in the life of Sean consist of?
I try to get going early in the morning, grab some coffee and a rusk, if available, and head to my studio where I prep for the day. Check bookings and make sure I have all the designs I need. Shoot to the shop on my bike for the days grind. I end my day off winding down with a nice dinner with my wife, jamming games or drawing up designs for next day.
How would you best sum up the vibe of Sally Mustang Tattoos?
A welcoming warm bag of nuts…truth [laughs]. No, it’s a killer vibe at the shop and we’re really everyday mates who are passionate artists that push the norm of what tattooing is about.
What does the world of tattooing mean to you?
Tattoos are many things to different people but the underlying meaning to me is expression of self and experience through physical change. I guess now we can know more about people by the covers of their books, but never judged [laughs]
What style of tattoo do you enjoy doing the most and why?
I really have not had many opportunity’s to do all styles, but if I were to choose it would be fantasy realism. A mixture between my brain and reality [laughs], clean lines fun/ fantasy style art with a sense of realism to it.
Would you say that you specialize in that style?
I would say that I enjoy that style a lot, but I enjoy all styles of tattooing. Being at Sally M, I have been influenced by amazing artists and their styles, and that’s what it’s about.
How do you make sure you keep progressing as an artist?
Steal with the eye, create with the soul.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I have a few artists I follow and social media is great tool for finding inspiration. My main inspiration comes from when I’m sitting speaking with the client, where you are able to become apart of their experience and create something unique together.
When not tattooing, what do you like to get up to?
I always find time to kill with friends and family, having braais, going to music festivals, enjoying the African bush or even just sitting listening to jams, writing and drawing.
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you?
That I’m not really Batman.
If you how the opportunity to be tattooed by your favourite artist, who would it be?
It would be with Arlo DiCristina, just because this man’s art and tattoo work is unbelievable and I need to see how he does it man!
For anyone wanting a consultation or to make a booking with you, what’s the next step?
They can contact the shop directly or drop me a mail (details below).
Also follow my social accounts:
Tattoos by Sean Pengilly
Photos by Alexander Wolf.