Working out of Stay Gold Tattoo Co, we bring you Christo Kleynhans as our featured Tattoo Artist.
Brought to you by Zappa.
Full name: Christo Kleynhans
Shop: Stay Gold Tattoo Co
Years tattooing: 6 years
Tattoo style: All styles
Hourly rate: R900.00
Give us some background into your journey to becoming a full time Tattoo Artist?
Since as far back as I can remember, I was always drawing and later on I got involved in graffiti art, something I think I’ll never loose interest or love for. I then came across tattooing which caught my attention regarding the difficulty of the medium and how personal/ intimate the art could be for both the client and artist. After working in the design industry for many years, I decided to pursue tattooing full time as the motivation for the artwork in design was lacking substance in terms of purpose and permanent nature of it.
How long did you apprentice for and under which artist?
After starting off self taught, I was given an opportunity to join a shop and take it seriously apprenticing with Daron Gregor, and eventually working alongside him. In my opinion I don’t think an artist will ever stop learning and refining skills as an artist. You can pick up a little something from every artist out there.
What attracted you to the tattoo industry?
I think it was the allure of pursuing a new craft, a new medium. I could create art hand drawn instead of using a PC day in and day out. Something that meant more to a person as opposed to manipulating the consumer into buying from, or supporting the ‘corporate’.
What does the tattoo industry mean to you?
Tattooing to me is a personal experience. Something that can’t be franchised, something that can’t easily be exploited.
Where do you see the industry in five years time?
The industry has exploded worldwide and is really cool to see. I’m sure it will be going stronger than ever with bigger and better conventions where artists can socialise and grow the art.
What was it like doing your first ever tattoo on a client, and how did it turn out?
It was a huge learning curve, I don’t think there’s many more nerve wrecking moments I’ve had in my experiences, but confidence is key. I’d like to think it came out pretty rad as I’m still tattooing those same people today.
How do you make sure you keep progressing as an artist?
As much as I believe it’s good to keep an eye on as much reference as possible to develop and understand, but at the same time I try not get too involved and get to a point where I’m loosing touch my with own style.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Music, all kinds of visual art, nature… I suppose the usual suspects. Mostly a good consultation with a client where we can get on the same page and equally hyped about a rad piece!
What style of tattoo do you enjoy doing the most?
I love script, realism, Chicano vibes… mostly just tattooing in general. If I had to choose one I’d say script. I believe it to be an important piece of culture/ history that seems to be on its way out. It would be sad the see the art die.
If you had the opportunity to guest appear in any international tattoo shop, which would it be and why?
Love Letters Tattoo, or any other big lettering shops. The dudes are reinventing and keep it alive.
For anyone wanting to book and appointment with you, what’s the next step?
Drop me an email or contact me via the details below.
Tattoos by Christo Kleynhans
Photos by Alexander Wolf Photography.