We regard Thys Uys as one of the most talented tattoo artists in the country, always progressing and pushing the boundaries of his work and the industry. Working out of his self-owned Fallen Heroes studio, we had the privilege of getting some work done by Thys and are now proud to bring you this interview and some of his work in our Tattoo Artist of the Week feature.
Full name: Thys Uys
Shop: Fallen Heroes
Years tattooing: 6
Tattoo style: Realism and art stuff
Rate per hour: R1000
Tell us your story of how you got into the industry and how you became a tattoo artist?
I started drawing designs at a shop in Pretoria (Keep it Real) and things got serious from there.
What was your apprenticeship like and how long did it last before you became a full time artist?
It was a lot of work and crazy nights out. It took me about 6 months before I started earning money.
How many shops did you work in and how many years had you been in the industry before opening Fallen Heroes?
I worked in two shops and then Jen (Thys’s wife) and I started FH.
Give us some insight into Fallen Heroes?
Well it was a little crazy at first. I got sick and realised that there is no such thing as “one day I’m going to…”, so Fallen Heroes was born. It took me and Jen about three months of working from home and not knowing what the future would hold before we found a (Nightmare on elm street) house in Pankhurst. We soon turned it into a dream and the Ink started flowing. It took us a lot of sweat and tears to create a tattoo studio with a feeling of home, but it all worked out in the end.
What is your vision and goals for Fallen Heroes?
To be a shop where you can enjoy quality and feel at home.
You have quite the skilled team of artists at Fallen Heroes. Elaborate?
Wow, I think we all help each other to get better and the main thing is that you have to love the Art and Lifestyle. The other stuff comes naturally.
What is the vibe like at Fallen Heroes, in general and between the staff?
Someone once described it like “Empire Records”, that was a cool feeling.
Congrats on becoming a dad. What has the experience been like for your and how has it changed your life?
Little sleep, but it is the best feeling in the world. It’s like Happiness amplified!
When it comes to tattooing, what do you do to ensure you’re on top of your game?
I always try my best and think out of the box. Patience is a big part of it.
What type of tattoos do you enjoy doing the most?
I think I go through stages because at the moment I enjoy realism and art nouveau but a lot of my own art as well.
Which have been some of your grand creations?
Your arm Mr. Van der Spuy [lauhgs]. Everything is a brand new challenge.
If you got the opportunity to collaborate with any Tattoo Artist in the world, who would it be?
Which tattoo artists do you aspire to, both locally and internationally?
I have a few; Bryan du Rand, Rasty, Sean Perrins, Brent Goudi, Nick Taljaard, Victor Portugal, Jeff Gogue, Nikko Hurtardo and the list goes on.
Where do you see tattoos and the industry heading in the next 10 years?
Just bigger and better.
What steps should someone wanting to get tattooed by you take?
Get a great idea and think of it as a project. Bigger is always better and keep in mind that each limb and body part should be considered in its entirety.
If you would like to organise a booking with Thys, get hold of Fallen Heroes on 011 028 0994 or email them on email@example.com.
Address: 53, 6th Street, Parkhurst, Johannesburg
For more info visit the Fallen Heroes Facebook Page and Website.