Manuela Gray is one of South Africa’s best-known and most sought-after tattoo artists.
Born in Jozi, Manuela moved to Cape Town over 20 years ago where her love of surfing and all things sea-like has kept her ever since.
Throughout her career, Manuela has been a trailblazer in raising the appreciation of tattoo art in the public eye. In addition, her dedication to her craft has played a huge role in elevating the artistry of many tattooists in South Africa. She is the creator of the Cape Tattoo Expo, an annual international festival which draws some of the world’s best tattoo artists to South Africa's shores. And many of the country’s best artists have learned their trade under her watchful eye.
It is perhaps the contradictory nature of tattooing that has kept her so devoted for so many years. To dedicate all of one’s energy and focus creating such permanent art pieces, only to have to let them go when they’re completed — this appeals to Manuela’s Zen sensibilities (and, not incidentally, her own contradictory nature).
Manuela lives in Kalk Bay with her husband Allan and her completely awesome 13 year-old daughter Tallulah.