In recent years, tattoos have become increasingly common, with men and women from all walks of life investing in the art. But it’s as important as ever to take the time to investigate the many parlours and artists that are around, to discover which ones suit your unique tastes and needs. Here, we take a look at some of Melbourne’s best tattoo parlours, from the mysterious Black Mark whose location is kept secret, to the institution that is Chapel Tattoo.
Opened in 1994, Chapel Tattoo has become one of Australia’s most trusted and respected tattoo parlours. Perhaps their commitment to quality has something to do with it being owned and run by three phenomenal artists: Jane Laver, Andrew McLeod and Dave McAleese. With about a dozen full-time versatile artists, Chapel caters to a broad range of clients and their individual quirks, specializing in traditional American, Japanese, and high-detail work like realistic portraits. Windsor
Boasting a line-up of Australia’s most talented tattoo artists, including Mike Squires, Kitty Dearest, and Benjamin Laukis, The Black Mark is renowned in the global tattoo community. Their warm and eclectic studio space is testament to their high taste levels, filled with beautiful antique curiosities and artworks and natural light. But if you want to know where it is, you’ll need to give them a call. The address is secret, unless you’re one of their lucky clients. Melbourne
Hot Copper Studio’s Clare Hampshire has a distinctly quirky and idiosyncratic style. Check her out on Instagram (@clareclarity) and you’ll see what we mean. Looking to immortalize your beloved pet in ink, or celebrate your love of dinosaurs or flamingos or tortoises? Clare’s your woman. She’s even created designs featuring Leia and Han, Kramer and George Costanza, Steve Buscemi, and other pop culture icons, all in the bright and unexpected colours that have come to signify her style. Coburg
Third Eye Tattoo specialize in classic designs across a variety of styles, like water-colour, geometric, mystical, Japanese, traditional and sacred art. Opened in 2007, they’ve quickly built a brand synonymous with quality and reliability. Follow them on Instagram (@third_eye_tattoo) to get an idea of their work, which while at the more classic end of the tattoo spectrum does have some unexpected one-offs — like Kim Kardashian’s very recent and infamous nude selfie immortalized in crude black outline on a client’s arm.
It’s not often a tattoo parlour is this spacious and filled with natural light. Based in an airy renovated loft warehouse in Rankins Lane, Blue Lady Tattoo specializes in simply perfect traditional and retro tattoos. Their services come with a strict warning — if you’re having your feet or ankles inked, they best be clean when you arrive. Otherwise, they’ll ask you to take a footbath with mentholated spirits. We’re sure there’s a very good story behind why they’ve taken the time to place that warning so prominently on their website. Melbourne
Melbourne Tattoo Company is the place most Australian tattoo artists will recommend to you. Their highly experienced artists — Zoe Dennis, Matt Wisdom, Fegus Simms, Karl Willmann, Josh Sutterby, and Rob Abell — set the standard for excellence in tattoo design and execution, each exemplify a different style, meaning they cater to a broad range of tastes. Follow them on tumblr (melbournetattooco.tumblr.com) to keep abreast of their latest artworks, and to find inspiration for your own designs. Chinatown