I like most young wanna be “hip” people of today I have considered a tattoo at some point in my teens. However, unlike my braver counterparts, I never went through with it. What I did do was get piercings because, well, when you change your mind about them down the line it’s as easy as removing them. Tattoos however are permanent and serious thought has to be put into getting them….at least that’s my opinion. Now that I’m a little older, if I do eventually get one, it will be after much thought and consideration.
The most important part about getting a tattoo is choosing the right tattoo artist. There are many “backpack” artists locally which forces most people to cross the border to get a professionally done tattoo. After all, if something goes wrong you want to be able to hold someone accountable and if they are not located in a specific place that may be difficult. There are very few well known good tattoo artists in Botswana and actually, I only know of one. Samara Lubbe is a professionally trained tattoo artist that has a tattoo studio here in Gaborone. If you are looking to get inked, she is the person to see.
Being a naturally artistic person, what arts are you drawn to most or do you do a bit of everything?
I am personally very drawn to drawing, sculpture, mixed media, illustration/cartoons/anime and body art in general (henna/airbrushing/tattooing). Figurative art intrigues me specially, whether it is old school, contemporary or animated. I enjoy drawing, as well as sculpting with different medium the most, I love mixing it up as it holds the challenge of new discoveries.
How did your love of art draw you to tattoo art specifically?
The art of tattooing has always fascinated me; I believe it started when I got my first tattoo when I was 15. I can’t say I would have ever thought I’d be able to learn the skill let alone be part of the industry. After having done a year in Foundation in Fine Arts in London, England, I was able to determine more clearly what direction I would see myself going. And so the journey toward becoming a tattoo artist began.
Where did you do you tattoo art training?
What is your favourite part about being a tattoo artist?
The challenge that comes with every piece, whether it’s small or big. There are so many different aspects to the actual process; Consultation, finding the right design, or designing it for the client, placement on body and then the actual inking. Every part of it is contributes to my growing. As well as this, it is always an honor to be able to be a part of another person’s journey, even if it is just something small.
What types of tattooing techniques do you do and which ones are you still learning?
There are still ample of techniques to be learnt, as the Tattoo industry is constantly developing. I have only been in the trade for two years so definitely still have plenty to learn. At the moment I try not to restrict my self to a certain technique, due to the market in Botswana as well as leaving room for continuous growth. However, I do love Grayscale (shading pieces).
Which tattoo styles are your favorite to do?
Again, I wouldn’t call it a favorite, but my preference lies in Black and white (Grayscale) I also enjoy text, and Dot work (stippling)
Do people usually bring their own designs or do they prefer to let you take the creative lead?
Both, some people bring their own designs, and others have a certain idea and I will assist them as best I can in creating it for them on paper.
Most people think tattoos are just a trend or results of childish phases. What are the reasons most people give when getting tattoos?
It differs with every individual, some get tattoos because of aesthetic reasons, others because it is to remind them of a personal journey or memory. I do have to say, there are the odd ones, that just get one for the sake of having a tattoo.
How many tattoos do you have, which is your favourite and when did you get your first?
I have about 15 so far. I don’t have a favourite, each one reminds me of a time in my life or is a reminder to myself of who I am, I see them more like a journey. My first tattoo I Got when I was 15 years, In Cape Town.
Do you plan to get more or do you think you are done? I am told it’s addictive…. 🙂
Indeed, people do say that. I will definitely be getting more, but I’m not in a hurry, I would like to have particular pieces done by artists that have inspired me and I have followed their work. My next piece will be a chest piece which will be done by an artist in Cape Town, who continues to inspire me with her work.
What advice would you give to anyone who is thinking of getting a tattoo in terms of preparation and really knowing whether to get it or not?
I’d encourage people to take time to choose what to get, as well as give it some thought. See it as an Investment and not as something that will come and go. Look at different artists works, get references, research a little bit and really decide on something you will be happy getting and that will be worth getting at the end of the day.
Are there any particular tattoo artists that have influenced your work and skills?
There are a number of tattoo artist that Inspire, Influence and fascinate me. Some of the following; Carlos Torres, Tamar Thor, Zhuo Danting, Jacob Pedersen, Kat Von D, Bob Tyrell, and the list continues.
A big thank you to Samara for her time! If you want to get inked her contact details are below. Check out more of her work on the Skin Deep Ink Facebook page as well, link below.
Contact Info :
Cell Phone: (+267)71499604
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/inksamara