Be Yourself. Be True Blue.
It all started with a line. A line that connects us all, across borders, cultures, religions and professions. Steeped in history, it links us to the past where ink was used as an amulet to safeguard its bearer, to express devotion, to assert social status or to simply wear your heart on your sleeve. It marked us as criminals and announced the miles we have under our belts as sailors, supported by the promise of the swallow, vowing to ensure our safe return home.
It’s a line that preaches authenticity, verve and respect. And no, don’t even dare to judge us. This line took us from who we are to who we are meant to be. We are parents and preachers, surgeons and teachers, butchers, bakers and candlestick makers. Every morning, we roll up our sleeves to work, proud of the stories inked on our skin.
These stories are our stories. We live hard to tell them. And we want to celebrate these unique narratives by honouring our loved ones, celebrating victory over a life-threatening illness or preaching our ethos with ink to passersby and the world.
Sometimes we live colourful like Brett, who threw caution and a flaming cue ball to the wind when he was 18 years old. Today his skin is a comic book collective of Mario mushrooms, palm trees and Lego heroes.
Sometimes we live loud like Jacques. Casino cards and gangsters, Alcatraz and opium dealers speeding away in whitewall tires. Stories of bygone eras declaring a second life on skin, narratives that inspire curiosity of history and its vices.
And sometimes we live nostalgic like Chris and Anso, who promised to have and to hold onto each other during sickness, health, the good times and the bad times. Chris and Anso honoured their commitment, 40 years after making this promise, with their story inked on their skins.
These narratives are the proud work of our storytellers. Raconteurs who transform a thought into a work of art, with each a master of its style. Owner, Meghan Ann Potgieter is our doyenne of realism and colour and Marcel Backer a master of neo-traditional. Resident fine artist Charl Richardson tells stories of life and fantasy, and John Scully, who never speaks, communicates best through anime and styles rich in history.
See, it’s not just a tattoo. It’s an expression of who we are as artists, who you are as an individual, what we stand for and how we live.
At True Blue Tattoos, this is what gets us out of bed every morning. The thought that we can allow you to be yourself, your true self, by telling your story in an extraordinary manner, using a simple line on the skin.
Our artists each created a tattoo design that told a special story and we asked the public to vote for their favourite
It started with a blinking cursor on a blank message.
Out of almost 200 entries, we had five life-changing stories and a lot of work to do.
As tattoo artists and as a part of the greater tattoo community, we see more than simply art worn proudly as a way of expression. Every day in our shop, we are privileged to witness growth, acceptance, healing and celebration through the stories we are entrusted to tell.
The 2018 What’s Your Story contest winner is Natasha Alexis Grudko, with her story designed by John Scully.
We asked the public to vote and the sentiments were unanimous, proof that a love story never gets old. Natasha and John will also be featured in an upcoming episode of True Blue Tattoo Stories where you will be able to see the final result.