Mully the owner of Electric Eye Tattoo parlours in Durban is a legend in the tattooing world! He has been tattooing for well over 25 years and is the mentor to all of his tattoo artists. He has won numerous awards for his high class of work including Mullanesian (Polynesian) with a Mully twist, to portraits, Japanese; old school…the list is endless…. We met up with Mully at their Umhlanga branch to chat about tattoos, his career and find out more about him.
Tell me a bit about yourself?
I am a born and bred Durbanite. I have 3 kids and love spending my free time with them. I can come across rude to some people because I am straightforward and very honest with my clients. After all, tattoos last forever!
Did you always want to be a tattoo artist?
No, I grew up thinking that tattoos were only for scum bags. I went to a traditional school and really enjoyed art but I didn’t know how to pursue this passion of mine until I got my first few tattoos. I would design my own tattoos and went regularly to this tattoo artist. He one day said that I have a real talent and I should consider becoming a tattoo artist myself. The rest is history…
What was your first tattoo?
This one on my arm. It is an emblem of my family’s crests and star signs.
What is your advice some about getting a tattoo?
Don’t get a girlfriend/spouses name! People change and shit happens. Get blood relatives like your children/parents or people that have passed away.
Your style is quite unique, how did your style come about?
I spent some time in Hawaii and Miami. The Polynesian style tattoos were really in fashion there. This style has so much meaning and history. The style really appealed to me. In order to make it more authentic I decided to combine the Polynesian style with an African style and it just works.
Do you think tattoos are addictive?
I don’t think so. It is funny you asked that though because I had Carte Blanch here a few months ago doing a documentation on this topic.
Do you have a specific cliental?
Yes, my cliental is predominately guys with muscles and enjoy having their skin on display. I get many Cage Fighters/MMA fighters.
What’s the best and worst part of been a tattoo artist?
The worst thing is the stupid questions like… Is it sore to get a tattoo? How much would it cost to get a butterfly on my arm?
The reasons for getting a tattoo are sometimes really interesting and healing for people.
The best part is when I tattoo someone with a meaningful tattoo. And I when I finish it looks awesome and they are so thankful, the smile on their face is just priceless.
Shop 34, Gateway Shopping Centre
Umhlanga Ridge, Durban
Shop 5, 11 McCausland Crescent