As a professional tattooist and tattoo shop owner, we bring you Jake de Gaye in our latest Tattoo Artist feature. Get to know more about him here.
Brought to you by Zappa.
Full name: Jake de Gaye
Shop: Sin on Skin
Years tattooing: 20+
Tattoo style: Black and Great / Traditional / Tribal
Hourly rate: R800
What first attracted you to the tattoo industry and how old were you?
My Stepdad and his best friend owned the first professional shop in Durban, and as a 22 year old looking for a creative career path, it made sense to start an apprenticeship with them.
From there, how did your journey get started into becoming a full time tattoo artist?
I served my apprenticeship under my Stepdad, Lucky, until eventually becoming a partner in the business. After many years of working together, I opened my own shop in Glenwood Village.
Explain your passion for the trade?
Tattooing has given me and taught me so much about creativity, perseverance and old fashioned hard work. There is no better feeling than seeing a customer’s vision come to life on their body, and seeing the smile that comes with that.
What does a day in your life usually consist if?
The day starts with helping to get my two young kids ready for school, then morning coffee with the crew from the shop, then a full day designing and tattooing. Finally it’s home for some family time.
How do you like to make sure you keep progressing as an artist?
By making sure that I surround myself with creative people who push me every day. By staying humble, and always being hungry to learn.
Give us some insight into your shop, Sin on Skin, and the vibe it brings?
I have always wanted to maintain a friendly, welcoming atmosphere at the shop, where absolutely anyone is welcome with their ideas or designs. It’s a fun, relaxed environment, usually with a lot of loud music and laughter. I think sometimes people feel intimidated going into a tattoo shop, and so we try to make people feel comfortable.
How do you see your career and Sin on Skin progressing in the future?
As the owner of the shop I feel it’s important to surround myself with the right people, to help me continue to grow the shop, and myself as an artist.
What style of tattoo do you enjoy doing the most, and why?
I really love doing American Traditional because of the old school tattooing style that goes with it. I also enjoy doing freehand Polynesian work because of the creative freedom it offers me.
How would you best sum up the tattoo scene in Durban, and how it differs to other cities?
There has been a huge explosion in the tattoo scene in Durban and there are some really talented artists around, which is good to see as a born and bred Durbanite. I think because of our beautiful weather and beaches, there is more opportunity to show your tattoos off, and this in turn encourages people to get tattooed.
Which international shop would you most like to guest work at, and why?
Probably Ship Shape Tattoo in Auckland, NZ. I think they have accumulated some of the best artists on the planet, and it would be an amazing environment to work in.
For anyone wanting to book and appointment with you, what’s the next step?
You can contact me on Jaketat2@gmail.com or DM me on @jaketatt2. You can also WhatsApp me on 0837000459 or reach out on Facebook.
Tattoos by Jake de Gaye
Photos by Ballyhoo Agency.