I’ve never been the most courageous when it comes to pain; when I stub my toe I tend to howl in pain cursing at whatever gets in the way of me and my big toe.

But, tattoos have always been a point of marvel to me. To be able to carry your stories on your body with pride and express your inner-most feelings to the world seems quite courageous and wonderful to me.

So, to commemorate my 25 years of walking this planet, I decided to bite the bullet by getting inked. Having done my research and asking my tattooed friends about the best tattoo places in Cape Town, I made my booking at The Tattoo Lounge in Fish Hoek.

Co-founded by owner Sam Artooist Cluer, The Tattoo Lounge is Fish Hoek’s sole tattoo parlor where Capetonians (including myself) will travel far distances to get good quality body art. The team of tattoo artists are a close-knit family dedicated to what they do and have a burning passion for the art form.

Upon entering the nondescript parlor, I am greeted with a warm smile by a woman with big, bold, auburn hair. She welcomes me to the tattoo family and tells me to take a seat while my tattoo artist adds the finishing touches to my tattoo design. I soon meet Tristan who’s brought to life the design I had envisioned in my mind, his talents are seemingly endless.  And then, the fun starts.

I’ve been told you never forget the initial buzzing sound of a tattoo machine as it pierces your skin and the pain that accompanies it, and to that I concur. While the level of pain you experience depends on your threshold and the placement of your tattoo, you are guaranteed to feel anything from tingling to the sensation of someone scratching around an open wound, or it can feel as if you’re being constantly stung by an angry wasp. And while it’s not the most pleasant feeling, the outcome is certainly worth the pain.

After you’re done your tattoo will be tightly wrapped in cling wrap with the instruction to leave it on for four hours. It’s best to heed this advice as you don’t want dirty clumps sticking to your fresh tattoo. The pain mostly dissipates but you can expect some stinging equivalent to a bad sunburn.

For the next couple of days, tattoo care is crucial. Be sure to apply pea-sized amounts of fragrance-free lotion to your tattoo. Treat your tattoo as you would a wound, it will look iffy for a while, but whatever you do don’t tear off the flakes or pick the scabs as this may compromise the tattoo. After a few weeks, you’ll be left with a majestic artwork imprinted on your skin that screams ‘I am a teeny bit of a badass’.



Where Nieuport Building, Corner 1st Avenue and Recreation Road, Fish Hoek
When Tuesday- Sunday 9 am – 6 pm
Cost Varies
Contact +27 81 869 5600, [email protected]

Photography The Tattoo Lounge

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