Canadian brings tattoo craze to Kigali

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Ivy Gowen ( By The New Times)

Ivy Gowen, a Canadian native is tattoo all the way. She has tattoos all over her body; on her back, on her neck, arms, hands, thighs, legs …

According to her each of the tattoos stands for something in her life.

Gowen’s love for this art form extends beyond just being a fan and spotting multiple tattoos on her body. She is a professional tattoo artiste, a job she has done for the last nine years, mostly in her native Canada. Her career has seen her move places and work on clients from across the globe.

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Ivy Gowen shows her tattoo ( By The New Times )

In Africa alone, Gowen has been to Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia, Botswana and Uganda, doing her thing.

Since 2012 she has been in Rwanda working with an orphanage in a place known as Kimisagara.

The thought of starting a tattoo studio in Rwanda came to her last year when she shared it with her friend who found the idea great.

From there “Living Canvas Kigali”, the first professional tattoo studio in Kigali came into existence. The New Times reported.

Her mission in this profession is to provide safe, professional tattoos for Rwandas, expats and to enlighten the public on the responsibility of the client making the right choices.

“You must be able to get a tattoo that is not going to affect your future, to get the tattoo on a part of the body that is appropriate, and a subject matter that is appropriate.” Gowen told The New Times

For her tattoos go beyond just beauty and are therapeutic. She says they are 95% therapeutic- healing either to the mind or body.

She adds that a tattoo should “never be a quick-quick rush because it will forever be on a persons body.

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Tattoo of a flower and a bee on her neck
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Tattoo of a bird on her leg

Gowen’s intention is to train a couple of artistes at Ivuka to become tattoo artistes as well. She tells The New Times that “ It’s for sustainability, but also to create a new art form for the artistes here. It takes a long time to learn it and do professional work, but then they will be able to go anywhere in the world and tattoo.”

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