Candice & Haris

Published: 08 June, 2010 - Featured in Skin Deep 184, April, 2010

I first met Candice at the London Tattoo convention a few years ago, back when the show was in it’s infancy at the Trueman Building. Candice was modelling with the Suicide Girls and her ink caught my eye with its intricacy and uniqueness.

Candice has since moved on to sunnier climes where she has furthered her tattooing career, after starting off by getting some expert tutelage by her now husband; Andro. The couple have travelled extensively and bring their experiences to their tattooing skills.

Haris is a friend and client of Candice’s and the obvious differing in body sizes makes for a great photographic contrast. We caught up with both for a chat about their very differing lives..

Candice 

Where were you born and what did you enjoy as a child?

I was born in Cape Town, South Africa. As a child I was very sporty, I was a professional gymnast from a young age and a very keen horse rider. Most of my childhood was therefore spent around horses and on the beach.

When was it that you became fascinated with tattoos and tattooing and when did you get the first work done? Who was the artist?

After travelling around Europe at the age of nineteen, I got back to London and decided that I wanted to get a tattoo done. I subsequently visited just about every tattoo studio in Camden before deciding on the former, London Piercing Studio. That was where I met Andro who did my first tattoo and seven years on, we are now married. 

Why did you decide on that particular style of work and how have your tattoos developed over the years?

If you look at my tattoos now, you can clearly see which was my first one. It’s a small tribal design on my lower back with two Kanji symbols. I wanted something small there and the Kanji represents parts of my personality. In retrospect, I would have preferred something else.

When and why did you relocate to England and what did you enjoy about the time you spent here?

I moved to London around 2003, when I was nineteen, after studying for two years at the University Of Cape Town. I soon realised that was not for me, and that I needed to travel. I came to the UK, as my family is English. Travelling has taught me so much and caused me to grow up so quickly and Andro and myself have stayed in Thailand and Mexico as well as in the UK. London is such a diverse place and I love how much I learnt here and the amazing people I have met.

Whilst in London, you began to apprentice with Andro. Tell us about that and about where you are in terms of your abilities as a tattooist.

I suppose getting an apprenticeship with your boyfriend is very helpful, as it enabled me to learn at home as well as at the studio. I do think that when you are teaching your girlfriend, you take more care in instilling every last bit of invaluable knowledge. I am very happy with my progress and where I am with my tattooing now. I got a bit out of practice when we went to stay in Mexico, but I am now working full time in a studio in Cape Town and am doing very well.

I know Andro is sorely missed by some of his regular customers, so tell us what he is up to nowadays.

Andro is doing better than he has ever done, he is working for one of the most established studios in South Africa, Wildfire, situated in Cape Town and he is super busy building a name for himself. I am sure that at some point we will be back in England for a visit but for now, Cape Town is home.  

Aside from tattooing, whilst you were in London you became quite successful as a model and were represented by the infamous Ugly agency. What were the highlights of that aspect of your career and is modelling something you will now continue to do?

Modelling will always be a part of my life as it is something I have wanted to do since I was a small child. There have been so many highlights in my modelling career and Ugly’s certainly looked after me over the years. I suppose some of the highlights would include appearing on the Katie Price and Peter Andre show, being asked to test shoot with Rankin and being involved in the Lloyds Bank and ipod campaigns. Since returning to South Africa, I have joined an agency and am dividing my time between tattooing and going to castings.

So how is it going in S. Africa?

We have been back here for around five months now and we couldn’t be happier with the move. I am currently working at a studio called Young Guns, situated in Observatory, Cape Town. There I tattoo alongside Daniel Lotz and Fabian Gunthel, who is the owner. Andro and myself have formed a close friendship with the guys with whom I work. I’m just busy going to castings and tattooing and Andro couldn’t be happier with the way things are going. 

What else would you like to achieve or aspire to in the future?

I would really like to further myself in the tattooing industry and make a name for myself in South Africa, and I’d like to do the same with my modelling. I would also like to help and be a part in establishing Young Guns along with Fabian and Daniel and making the studio a real success as so far its very new and we have so many ideas and plans…

What else would you like to say?

Please sign up to Young Guns Tattoo Fan page on Facebook, our website details will be up soon. If anyone is interested in contacting me, I can be found via Young Guns Tattoos, Observatory, Cape Town and Andro can be found at Wildfire Tattoos, Canal Walk, Century City, Cape Town. I would also like to thank everyone for the support that I have been given over the years.  

Haris

I was born in Lithuania but relocated to London about 5 years ago when I decided to follow my girlfriend here.

My training and interest in bodybuilding started when I was about nine and has basically continued ever since. I was 16 when I first won the Lithuanian Body Building championship and have won it numerous times since. I have also won the European Championship, came third in the World Championship a few years ago and won the UK title in 2009.

I got my first tattoo at the tender age of sixteen but it has since been covered as a fortune teller told me that the symbolism was evil and would bring me bad luck. I’ve had two other tattoos in the last couple of years; both of these have been done by Candice. I love tattoos and think that they can really enhance the body when they are well designed and placed appropriately. I do like to look different, maybe that’s why I have worked so hard on my body and I think that tattoos help in creating a unique and individual appearance. I am seriously considering getting some facial tattoos as I really do love them, but I have to think very seriously before doing so.

Aside from bodybuilding and tattoos, I’m interested in cars and am currently involved in selling them both here and abroad. I also work as a personal trainer and my ambition is to become a millionaire in the not too distant future!

Credits

Photography & Interview, Ashley

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