Sunday, 11 December 2016 16:43

Getting ink on the skin

Tattoo artists Maxi (left) and Mikeyboy Tattoo artists Maxi (left) and Mikeyboy

Rise N Shine is a Limassol tattoo club in a most unlikely location. The bright, airy space is situated in a residential building among doctors’ offices. There, one will meet the heavily-tattooed Mikey, who is Cypriot but grew up in Germany, and Maxi, originally from Argentina. Two fun, down-to-earth guys, passionate about tattooing and happy to share stories about their work.

Asked about the location of their shop, they explain that, with the prevalence of social media, tattoo lovers will find out where they need to go – even if it’s not an actual shop in a busy street. It’s the result that is important, not the venue.

“We wanted a more private location. People find us. And they come back. Often,” says owner Mike, nicknamed Mikeyboy.

“I’d say 90% come back for more. It’s actually very rare for us to see someone who is coming for their first tattoo ever.”

Mike works with Maxi who has been tattooing for 20 years. In fact, Mike used to be an apprentice of Maxi’s in Greece. Today, the two share the Limassol studio whenever they are not travelling.

“Nowadays, people of all ages, backgrounds and professions, from rockers to bankers, come to ‘get inked’,” says Maxi.

Overall, though, the two artists agree that the age of their clients has gone up a lot. The range used to be 18-30 years; now they see more people from 30 to 55 – or even into their 60s. Often, a parent accompanying a teenager – neither Mike nor Maxi tattoo individuals under 18 – will like their work so much, they decide to get a tattoo themselves.

Travelling practitioners

The trade of travelling tattooists is an ancient one, but has been revived – once more with the help of the internet and social media. It has become easy and very common for tattoo artists to connect and work in each others’ shops across the globe as guest artists, and both Mike and Maxi are looking at a busy 2017, with scheduled trips to Italy, Greece, Japan and Argentina.

Naturally, they are well-known in tattooing circles and people book them in advance. Nevertheless, even though they do get requests to copy designs or even tattoos of celebrities, both tattoo artists prefer to come up with their own.

“We take pride in working with our clients,” explains Mike. “People come with an idea and we start drawing to create something really unique that will look good on a given body part.”

A standard ‘long’ session will take around three hours. Prices depend on the size and number of sessions needed, but start at €60. More information on the two artists can be found via their Facebook page, Rise ‘N’ Shine Tattoo Club or on Instagram as mikeyboytatto and maxiespino.

Article as published in The Cyprus Weekly of November 25th 2016 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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