Tattoo parlours in Melbourne
The wise journeymen and women of ink know that doing their homework is prudent.
Blue Lady Tattoo
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 their dream client is “a person who understands tattoos and their strengths and limitations”. àapartment 1, Lvl 1, 67 Hardware Ln, Melbourne 3000. 03 9972 3371. www. blueladymelbourne.com. Daily 11am-7pm.
Co-founder Andrew Mcleod describes the 22-year-old shop’s overall style as “a classic street shop”. Actually, it’s so popular that while they’ll make time for walk-ins, there’s often a six-week wait for custom work. There are currently 11 artists specialising in traditional work, but as Mcleod says, “We pride ourselves on being versatile. Everyone at the shop is pretty much able to handle anything from classic, to black and grey, tribal, watercolour, you name it.” à155 Chapel St, Windsor 3181. 03 9521 1202. www.chapeltattoo.com. Mon-sat 11am-6pm.
Welcome to Melbourne’s first queer-owned tattoo studio, est 2015. It’s a safe space where everyone can feel comfortable regardless of their gender, sexuality and race, and it’s wheelchair and walker accessible. The tattoo process can even be made vegan. Artist and founder Zero’s style ranges from minimal line work/black work to abstract and Western trad. Adam likes contemporary line-based tattoos, often featuring queer male subject matter. Brody’s style is mostly influenced by Western traditional, combined with colour realism; and Teddy’s work combines Western traditional with Japanese in flu en ces.à 309 Racecourse Rd, Kensington 3031. 03 9376 1585. crucibletattooco.com.au. Mon-sat 11am-6pm.
Trevor Mcstay set up Dynamic Tattoo in 1991, and it’s the essence of a timeless tattoo studio. It’s his love of Japanese style – also favoured by Daryl Lasken and Matt Collins – that dominates; however, artists Zach Hart and Shane Wilcox excel at American trad tattoos. Olivia Brumen loves explosions of colour, with her style ranging from huge Disney pieces to floral, cheeky cartoon work. à71 Swan St, Richmond 3121. 03 9428 0444. www.dynamictattoo.com. Mon-fri 11am-6pm; Sat 11am-5pm.
Weir’s style is a “pop culture glitter bomb”
Good Luck is very much an old-school street shop – a simple, rectangular space ready for walk-ins. There’s no overarching tattooing style here. Alexander Tyrrell specialises in black, red and white Western trad; Jake does modern abstract; Ben Fraser’s version of Western trad employs bold, black strokes; Daniel Octoriver has a colourful take on trad Western style; Kirk Jones’ trad Western style is heavy on the detail and perfect for larger pieces; and Nat G is more across feminine hearts, flowers and kitsch objects.
à454 Church St, Richmond 3121. 03 9429 9996. goodlucktattoo.com.au. Mon-sat 11am-6pm.
The vibe of Hot Copper, says tattooist Clare Hampshire, is “tropical greenhouse meets Scandinavian kitsch”. Sometimes there are sameday walk-ins, but only if you call first. Hampshire specialises in “post-modern Tropicana” – think palm trees, cocktails and flamingos; and of the team, she says Lauren Fenlon favours “stylised abstract realism”; Brittany Kilsby goes for “bright botanical bonanza”; Kat Weir’s style could be described as “pop culture glitterbomb”; and Amanda Brooks offers a “traditional Kawaii mishmash”. àby appointment only, Coburg. hotcopperstudio.com. 03 9350 1108.
Melbourne Tattoo Co.
Opened in 2013 by Zoe and Matt Wisdom, Melbourne Tattoo Co. sits above the Captains of Industry café. It’s “a little sneaky”, says Zoe. “You have to come up a dark stairwell. It means people don’t wander in for a stickybeak, ask 27 questions and walk off.” Don’t worry – genuine customers are made at home the moment they walk into the warehouse space, with its window seat and skateboards on the walls. The eightstrong team welcome walk-ins. àlvl 2, 2 Somerset Pl, Melbourne 3000. melbournetattoocompany.com. Daily 11am-6pm. ■