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 he describes his team members Bradley Hampstead as “neo trad”, Emmet Jace as “neo-trad/Japanese”, Ben Koopman as “trad/black and grey”, David Agostino as “Italian trad” and TJ Day as “trad with a tropical twist”. Walk-ins are welcome. As for those 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.
Appreciate good art? Take a gander at our guide to the best street art in Melbourne.