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Durban Bites: An Ode to Lola Malone by Louis de Villiers (aka Skullboy)

 Our next little snippet from Durban is by Louis de Villiers about a very specific place. Louis is a damn talented illustrator and designer (and artist under the alias Skullboy).   

It’s never been one of my life’s ambitions to spend a lot of time in tattoo shops – but somehow I’ve managed to. Hours, days, weeks spent at various parlours in either pain or good conversation. What I’ve learnt from these times is that a surefire way to test a shop of it’s worth is to note if you spend more time there shooting the shit than actually getting tattoo’d. When I first started going to Lola Malone, I was a young grasshopper with half a sleeve, the linework of a chest piece and a moustache on my finger. Fast forward 2 years and I’ve probably clocked in about 70 hours of getting tattoo’d by these fuckers and many, many more simply hanging out, catching up with old friends, arguing about tattoos, dreaming up the next ones and sunning myself in the patio sunlight, beer in one hand, smoke in the other.


Putting aside that it’s a great place to burn a couple hours, they’re also damn good at what they do and a quick scan of the latest work on their website will show you just that. Nic heads up the realistic black n grey department and Doc is fast becoming The Great White Asian Master – and both these dudes can pull some new school lines and colour that can only leave ‘duuuuuude’ as a response. Luke on the other hand can bust script that makes the name ‘Darren Scott’ even look cool and he’s also the reason why my legs are covered in traditional pieces. Throw in perpetually-stoked shop manager, Tarzan (“Fuck you Louis, buy your own damn coffee”) and you’ve pretty much got the tattoo version of the A-team (but without Mr T… or a rad van). What’s more, whether you’re coming in for your first or 50th tattoo, they’ll treat you with the same level of respect, attentiveness and kiff every damn time.

So do it already – it’s walk-in Wednesday every week and whether they’re busy or not, they’ll definitely try make a plan to fit you in and leave you better than you were a tattoo ago. So fuck the rest: if you’re getting tattoo’d in Durban, there’s only one place to go and it’s Lola Malone. I might burn a few bridges with that statement but fuck it – I don’t like hanging out at those other shops anyways.

11116677_1406184009699846_588624362_ndoc 1Doc

Doc at work

doc 2Luke_2

Luke’s sketches 


Nic at work


Words and gif by Louis de Villiers.

See more of his design work on his Behance and website:

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