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Tattoo Artist Marcelino Pietersen

Banker turned Tattoo Artist, we bring you Marcelino Pietersen (Lino Savage) who tells us his story in our exclusive interview below…
Brought to you by Zappa.

Interview with Tattoo Artist Marcelino Pietersen

Full name: Marcelino Pietersen (Lino Savage)

Shop: Hillside Tattoo Studio

Years tattooing: 1 year

Tattoo style: Black and Grey Realism and 3RL work

Hourly rate: R700

Marcelino Pietersen preparing to tattoo a client at Hillside TattoosMarcelino Pietersen tattooing a client at Hillside Tattoos

Tell us your story of how you became a full time tattoo artists?
Well, I used to work for a major bank for seven years, climbing the corporate ladder where I eventually ended off as a Premier Entrenchment banker before deciding that I was tired of the same routine day in day out. I remember coming to the realisation that if I don’t pursue art and tattooing now, I never will. So I mustered up all the courage I could find, changed my lifestyle and decided to leave the corporate industry and get a tattoo apprenticeship. I managed to land an apprenticeship at a very well-known studio and it was under their mentorship that I learned the basics of tattooing before joining Hillside and learning all I know about the profession.

What does a day in your life usually consist of?
I usually wake up around 7am and get myself and my son ready for work and school before saying goodbye to my wife and heading for work. I carpool with the other artists in the shop so on the way to work I’m either designing or thinking about how I’m going to tackle my project for the day, and have the opportunity to discuss it with the other artists. This also comes with a lot of joking around and casual conversation to get the day started. I get to work and pretty much get right into it.

What first sparked your passion for the trade?
I used to draw a lot in school and since I can remember I’ve always wanted to be a tattoo artist. It might have had something to do with me watching Miami Ink as a kid. I also remember sitting with my group of friends in school and drawing on their arms with a black pen [laughs]. I drew everything from old English script, to dragons, crosses, praying hands etc.

We interview with Tattoo Artist Marcelino PietersenWe talk tattoos with Marcelino Pietersen

What does the tattoo world mean to you?
The tattoo world to me, means absolute freedom. Freedom to create, try new things, change and figure out a new style. A new challenge, daily. Freedom from doing the same thing day in and day out, and freedom to express myself through my art.

Give us some insight into Hillside Tattoo Studio and what clients can expect from the shop and artists?
First and foremost Hillside prides itself on its quality standard, professionalism and it’s vibe. Hillside has a barbershop feel where artists and clients are all part of a safe space to have conversation. Jokes fly around constantly and meaningful discussions are had. Whether it be old or new clients, when you come to Hillside you always leave as part of the Hillside family.

Where would you like to see your tattoo career take you?
I would love to be able to travel. Guest spotting in tattoo studios around the world, meeting other artists and discovering new methods of tattooing. I would love to be able to share my art not only in South Africa but overseas too.

Interview with Marcelino Pietersen of Hillside TattoosMarcelino Pietersen of Hillside Tattoos

Given the opportunity to tattoo any famous person, who would it be and why?
Without question I would definitely love to tattoo Jordan B Peterson. I’d love to sit and pick his brain about political, cultural and social issues. Life, work and passion. Human psychology. That would be one hell of a conversation.

What style of tattoo do you enjoy creating the most and why?
I love doing black and grey realism. The possibilities are endless and it can always be approached in a different and unique way each time.

How do you like to make sure you keep progressing as an artist?
I analyse and experiment. After every tattoo I do, I go back and look at what I could have done better. I watch seminars and I watch other artists tattoo and I’m always experimenting with new methods to improve the quality of my work.

We talks tattoos and more with artist Marcelino PietersenOur weekly tattoo artist interview brought to you by Zappa Sambuca

For anyone wanting to make an appointment with you, what’s the next step?
To make an appointment with me you can drop @hillsidetattoostudio a DM with your tattoo ideas and references, and mention me as your preferred artist for quotes and bookings. You can also WhatsApp us on 068 422 0848 or visit our website to make a booking.

Hillside Tattoo Studio
Contact: 068 422 0848 or
Address: 396 Jan Smuts Avenue, The Valley Center – Shop No2, Craighall Park, Johannesburg.
Facebook Page | Instagram | Website

Tattoos by Marcelino Pietersen

A selection of tattoos done by Marcelino PietersenTattoos done by Marcelino Pietersen

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