With a knack for illustrative and sketchy styled tattoos, we bring your Roxy Rose as our featured Tattoo Artists. We get to know more about her journey into becoming a full time artist as well as her style of work…
Full name: Roxy Rose
Shop: Fallen Heroes
Years tattooing: 6
Tattoo style: Illustrative
Hourly rate: R1300
Give us some insight into your journey of becoming a tattoo artist?
I studied graphic design and went on to work as an illustrator at a Johannesburg agency, after a while I decided the agency life wasn’t for me and I sought out an apprenticeship with Brent Goudie, who was tattooing me at the time. I apprenticed under Brent for about a year and then continued to work with him as a junior tattooer. He was an amazing mentor and definitely gave me a solid foundation to become the artist I am today.
What first attracted you to the industry and when did you know that this is what you wanted to take up as a career?
I’ve loved tattoos for as long as I can remember and I always knew that at some point I would translate my love for art into a tattooing career. Initially I was attracted to the industry and really started considering it as a career when I started getting tattooed. I loved the atmosphere and the people at the shop, and I could just see myself becoming a part of it.
What were some of the hardest things to learn when you first started out?
Patience was a big one. I had to really learn to take my time to learn another new skill, after just having left university and a full time agency job. I was also very introverted at the time and had to learn to be more of a people person as having a good relationship with your clients is a very important part of being a good tattooer.
How do you like to make sure you keep progressing as an artist?
I try my best to stay involved in the local art and illustration community by taking part in and attending exhibitions. We have an amazing art scene in South Africa. I draw something every day (even if it’s small or silly) and still keep sketch books. Trying out new and different mediums also helps push me in new directions. There is always always something new to learn or explore.
When not working and tattooing, what do you like to do with your free time?
I read a lot, buy a lot of plants and hang out with my family and my two adorable cats. Other than that I spend most of my free time (which isn’t much to be honest) drawing and painting at my studio at home.
How would you best explain the vibe and experience of working out of Fallen Heroes?
We are all really good friends and sometimes my favourite part of the day is when we are all hanging out outside in the mornings having coffee, getting designs and stencils ready for the day. The owners, Jen and Thys, are also constantly trying to push us to get involved in other ventures that may help us progress as artists and tattooers. We’ve had a couple of rad events and exhibitions at the shop. The atmosphere is a great one to be creative in.
If you could guest work out of any international tattoo shop, which would it be and why?
I would love to guest spot at Niteowl Tattoo in Massachusetts. They have some amazing new school and illustrative artists there like Lindsay Baker and Timmy B and I’m definitely drawn to those styles. They also do a lot of painting and exhibitions from their shop, which is definitely up my alley. To be honest though, there are too many shops to mention, I’m hoping to travel around Europe soon and guest spot at as many rad shops as I can.
Which local and international artists do you draw inspiration from, and why?
Emily Rose Murray and Hannah Flowers are both amazing artists and tattooers. I draw a lot of inspiration from how well they translate their own unique art styles into tattoos. I also love the more quirky cute style of Hugo K from Seoul. It inspires me how well developed his style is in such a clean and simple way. Locally there are also too many to mention, Tamar Thorn inspires me a lot, all the artists I work with at Fallen heroes, the guys at 1933 all have such unique styles. There are so many hardworking and talented local artists and that in itself is inspiring.
What style of tattoo do you enjoy doing the most and why?
Anything illustrative or sketchy. I love drawing and tattooing subject matter involving flowers, girls and animals, cats especially [laughs]. I prefer doing mostly black work but colour every now and then is also a fun time.
Explain one of the pieces you are most proud of creating?
I try to take pride in every tattoo I do. Even the smaller pieces like walk ins or script. You’re only as good as your last tattoo.
What advice would you give someone looking to get their first tattoo?
Be sure to do extensive research into the style of tattoo you are looking for and then research and choose your artist accordingly. Try stay away from trend tattoos, with all the amazing talent at your disposal rather look at getting a piece of art that is unique to you.
For anyone wanting to make a booking with you, what’s the next step?
You can email my lovely booking manager, Melody at email@example.com and she will set up a consultation for you.
Tattoos by Roxy Rose
Photos by Alexander Wolf Photography.