Your body is a temple. But there’s nothing wrong with a little graffiti

 

There’s nothing quite like the trust we place in tattoo artists. Mistakes are permanent. The result irrevocably changes the identity of the subject, for better or worse. Lifelong inkster and tattoo machinist Moog ‘Mushroom’ Muller believes that the connection between artist and tool is the most important part of the process. So he makes machines that are unique to their owners.

Muller entered the body graffiti scene young. He was managing a store in Hillbrow by 21. His next venture was a shop in Norwood, where he tattooed soldiers and navy officers. But although he flourished as an artist, he didn’t enjoy working with the generic, bulk-made tattooing machines from abroad. They had no feel. No soul. So Muller began experimenting with coil machines, tweaking them to his preference. He found that customising his machines gave him more control over his tattoos.

The feeling that the best is not necessarily from abroad has permeated the industry around Muller, who now creates coil machines for other artists. Each one is different, embodying the personal style of its owner. Ink-bearers strive to set themselves apart by seeking out one-of-a-kind designs, and artists using tailored machinery are all the more equipped to deliver. Muller’s innovation is a revolutionary step in the South African tattooing landscape. Local is not only competitive – it’s better.