The Intersection of Light & Ink

The Ink Link is an ongoing project at CN&CO that showcases the diversity of tattoos. One of the great things about a tattoo is that it goes against the commonly-held viewpoint that “what you see is what you get”. There’s a misguided belief in certain quarters that only “some” people get a tattoo. We are putting paid to that perception through the stories showcased in the Ink Link. This month’s InkLink looks at the art of ink in a different light…

Within the rich mosaic of human expression, few forms of art captivate as deeply as the play of light and the application of ink on skin.

At first glance, lighting design and tattoos may seem worlds apart, yet these two forms of art and form share striking parallels. Both are bound by a profound commitment to artistry, mood, and emotion.

In both, a singular gesture can spell the difference between mere representation and resonant impact. For those who’ve felt or seen the application of both ink and illumination, the ties that bind these crafts are undeniably compelling.

Beyond the surface

Tattoos play testimony to personal stories and beliefs, and require careful contemplation and planning. It’s not merely about choosing a design, it’s a deeper exploration into the ‘why’ of the art.

What story do you wish to tell?

Similarly, lighting isn’t about merely placing a lamp in a room. It’s about understanding how that glow will transform the space, sculpt the mood, and craft shadows.

In both realms, the aim is to strike a chord, shaping something deeply personal that echoes widely in collective sentiment.

Tell your story

Every tattoo tells a story, and every light sets the tone for the aesthetic narrative where it is used.

 Just as a singular ink stroke can transform a tattoo from basic to breath-taking, a carefully chosen light can alter the ambiance of an entire room.

Consider, for a moment, how a delicate line under the eye can evoke a tear, or how the soft glow from a pendant light can bring warmth and intimacy to a space. Such is the power of precision.

Striking a balance

Supernova pendant light by DARK (image courtesy of Sonny & Irene & DARK)

Both lighting designers and tattoo artists delve deep into their palettes, understanding that balance is key.

In tattoos, there’s a dance between the bold blacks and the soft, subtle shades, each playing its part to bring a design to life.

In lighting, it’s about balancing brightness and shadow, cool and warm, to achieve the desired effect. Too bold and you risk overwhelming the senses. Too subtle, and the message might get lost.

Light Artistry at Work

Image courtesy of Nico Van Der Meulen Architects & Streamlight

CN&CO client, Streamlight is a pioneer of the lighting industry in South Africa and growing its international footprint.

The team appreciates the depth of emotion and detail in design, as well as the application of lighting design in spaces. For them, it’s not just about illuminating spaces but rather about crafting experiences.

Akin to a master tattoo artist, Streamlight has taken the art of lighting to a realm where it’s more than mere functionality. It entails crafting an experience, personalising spaces, and evoking emotions.

Timeless Reflections

There is also a permanent element in both spheres. A tattoo, once etched, becomes a part of the bearer’s identity.

Similarly, the ambiance crafted by lighting leaves an impression on anyone who experiences the space – once or repeatedly.

Doodle Pendant Light by DARK

The realm of lighting and tattoos, while different in medium, converge in essence. Both are perpetual art forms, deeply personal yet universally impactful.

When executed with planning, personalisation, precision, and passion, they have the power to transform — to illuminate stories, craft moods, and leave lasting impressions.

Just as ink tells a story on the canvas of the skin, light paints its narrative in the theatre of spaces. And in this intricate dance between shadow and light, ink and skin, we find the timeless artistry that defines our human experience.


DISCOVER STREAMLIGHT’s lighting expertise.

Gianluca brings a touch of Italian flair to everything he does. His eye for detail, superior organisational skills and rare ability to nag relentlessly (in the nicest possible way) help to keep the team on track and on target. Say good things to him about Juventus and you’ll have a friend for life.