You don’t get much more central Melbourne than Hardware Lane, but the décor of Blue Lady Tattoo is all New York loft. Tattooist Mike Tea’s personal style is "party tropical/traditional”, and his team covers a range of styles including neo trad, tropical and blackwork. Walk-ins are welcome, but you can also schedule a consultation if you're seeking custom work. Tea says Blue Lady's dream client is “a person who understands tattoos and their strengths and limitations… We enjoy a chat with our clients."
In recent years, tattoos have become increasingly common, with people 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 shops and some of the inspiration behind the work.