We’re excited to introduce Bronwyn Washer as our first featured Tattoo Artist of 2019. Working our of Canvas Cultique in Parkhurst, we get to know Bronwyn, her lifestyle within the tattoo industry and her creations.
Full name:Bronwyn Washer
Years tattooing:Almost 5 years including my apprenticeship
Tattoo style:Black work and colour/ black and grey illustrative style
Hourly rate:R850 /hr
Give us a quick introduction to Bronwyn and how you got into the tattoo industry?
I am a free spirited and passionate person from the south of Johannesburg. I love nature and my family and friends, I have two pets, a pug, Mahina, and a kitten, Maui. It all started when I got my first tattoo, I fell in love with the culture immediately and made friends with the artists and asked for an apprenticeship. When I finished school I started apprenticing under Spence (@spencevadertattoo) at Dark Side Tattoo Collective, then moved on to Canvas Cultique. it’s been an amazing journey so far I am truly grateful for all my opportunities!
What does the tattoo lifestyle and being an artist mean to you?
The industry and lifestyle means everything to me, it gives both the artist and client freedom of expression without constraints, it’s a lifestyle that accepts any and everyone. Being able to help someone express themselves and tell their story by giving them a permanent piece of art is the most rewarding feeling in the world.
What was the defining moment in you becoming a full time tattoo artist?
When I was growing up I spent a lot of time with my mom in tattoo studios and around creatives and I think that lit a spark. But, I would say definitely when I got my first tattoo, I knew for sure that it was what I wanted to do and the industry I wanted to be apart of.
How would you best explain the experience of tattooing someone for the first time?
The first time I tattooed a person it was myself and it was very scary. I can hardly remember it. I’m sure I blocked it out [laughs]. As far as tattooing someone other than myself, it was an A4 size piece on my mom and it was terrifying, luckily it was my mom so she has to love me either way, she doesn’t have a choice… love you mom [laughs].
Where do you see the industry in 10 years time?
Wow, who knows. I’m sure it will be rad just looking at how much it has grown and evolved in style, and artists pushing the boundaries is amazing. Thanks to tattoo suppliers we have access to the best machines and ink etc, and now that we also have access to conventions and seminars bringing in international artists I think tattooing in South Africa will continue to grow, get better and reach the same platform as the artists overseas, which is great for us.
Explain the vibe in the shop Canvas Cultique?
The Vibe here at Canvas Cultique is amazing, we are all so driven and focused on creating great art, that we’re constantly helping and pushing each other. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t laugh, someone will always change a bad day to a good one. I’m lucky enough to work in a studio where we have almost everything under one roof from tattoos, piercings and body modification to an art gallery. So inspiration is everywhere, also the coffee is great [laughs].
What style of tattoo would you say you specialise in and?
I wouldn’t say I specialise in a specific style, I try stay as versatile as possible, but I do really enjoy black work and the illustrative style because it allows me to draw, be creative and add my own twist on things which is always fun.
What do you do to make sure you keep progressing as an artist?
I definitely try my best to stay inspired and to push myself by surrounding myself with other creatives from photographers, painters, designers, even makeup artists, just to get a new perspective on things. There’s always something to learn and I believe that one is ever good enough to stop learning. I also make sure I have other creative outlets just to keep those creative juices flowing.
Which local and international artist’s work do you aspire to?
Locally I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by great artists at Canvas Cultique and at other surrounding studios, but I love Rocio’s (@rocio_todisco) and Phill’s (@philtatooist) work. Internationally there’s a few but @mattwmurray, @sad_amish_tattooer, @mikestockingsand @lydiamadriidare amazing.
Which tattoo reality show do you despise the most?
Uhhhm [laughs], well reality television is just that, and there for the entertainment factor. They have both their pros and cons, we get to see what other artists are doing which is always rad, but I do feel they can also set unrealistic expectations on both the artist and client’s side, you know, especially regarding time frames etc. Not all tattoo artists can finish a full sleeve in 12 or so hours, and not all clients can sit for 12 hours.
Take us through a day in the working life of Bronwyn?
I usually get woken up by Mahina and Maui, have coffee, play with the fur babies then rush to get ready for work by 9am. Have my second cup of coffee at the studio and get prepared for the day ahead, after a day of creating and doing what we do best I get home spend more time with Mahina and Maui, then go to yoga. When I get home I eat and do designs if needed while watching whatever I’m binge watching at that moment, then finally sleep, and repeat 6 times a week.
What do you like do with your off days?
I get bored really quickly, so unless I’m too tired to human on my off days, I make sure I spend time with the people closest to me where I can. Otherwise whatever grabs my attention for the day I suppose, whether it be an adventure, trying something new or just hanging out.
For anyone wanting to book an appointment with you, what’s the next step?
I do prefer a face to face consultation just so we can get to know each other, otherwise you can DM me @bronwynmagwasher or the next best thing is to contact the studio, let’s make something amazing together!
Tattoos by Bronwyn Washer
Photos by Alexander Wolf Photography.