Our values - quality work and professionalism. Guided by the principles of alofa (love), tautua (service), fa'aaloalo (respect).
Tyla Vaeau is a tatau practitioner, artist and researcher of Samoan (Sale'a'aumua, Aleipata and Safune, Savai'i) and Pakeha (NZ European) descent. Tyla has long engaged with a variety of art forms, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Elam School of Fine Arts in 2009. More recently she completed a Master or Arts in Art History at the University of Auckland which focused on Samoan tatau and it's development within the Samoan diaspora as a travelling practice.
An ongoing passion for art and cultural heritage has seen Tyla take up the practice of tatau. In 2009 Tyla began tattooing with machine, thanks to the encouragement and guidance of prolific tattoo artist Roger Ingerton of Roger’s Tatoo Art, Wellington. She has gone on to participate in a number of cultural tattoo festivals locally and internationally, including the Traditional Tattoo and World Culture Festival, Mallorca, 2017 and Tatau I Mo'orea Festival, Tahiti, 2018. She is currently based at Karanga Ink, an indigenous tattoo studio in Auckland, Aotearoa.
Tyla has developed a strong knowledge and practice of contemporary Samoan and Pasifika tatau that is rooted in the customary practices of the past. She aims to contribute to the cultural continuum of tatau and is in the process of learning traditional Samoan tatau under the teachings of renowned tufuga tatatau Su’a Sulu’ape Alaiva'a Petelo of Samoa.
Hiram Fa'alia Vaeau is an artist and tattooist of Samoan and Pakeha descent. He has a passion for all forms of graphic art and illustration, graduating with a Bachelor of Design from Auckland University of Technology in 2015. His on-going passion for graphic art and illustration translated into a desire to tattoo, following in the footsteps of his older sister Tyla Vaeau.
Growing up in the urban setting of Central Auckland he was drawn to graffiti and other forms of street art. His own self-taught practice in this area has formed a strong basis for his graphic design and art work. Winning the Pat Hanley Student Membership Award for Fine Arts in 2008 during his senior year of college gave him the confidence to pursue a creative degree at University level. He has completed graphic design and art commissions for a variety of projects including t-shirt design for the Wellington Badminton Association, In-house graphic design for the hip-hop group Supervillains RMC, and published illustration in Debate magazine.
Under the guidance of the crew at Karanga Ink Hiram learned to Tattoo, inspired by the resident artists and the strong cultural heritage that is represented through all their individual styles. He has been tattooing since 2015 and has developed an exceptional skill set. He enjoys all styles of tattoo and works his hardest to ensure that you get the best possible tattoo, custom made to fit you as an individual.