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Published August 10th 2018
Smile with your own tattoo (Andi_Graf / Public Domain)
When the first Europeans sailed into the South Pacific, they marvelled at tattoos adorning Tahitians and Maoris, returning with their own inkex souvenirs. Centuries later, our fascination with body art continues, captured on television with Ink Master and Bondi, LA and Miami Ink.
On those shows, tattoo artists host inking sessions with a dose of psychotherapy to reveal the emotional motivations for the ultimate portable artwork. "Pieces" now adorn millions of Aussie bodies, for religious, family, sporting, gang, artistic or symbolic reasons.
Travel the world with tattoos (TUERTO / CC BY-SA 3.0)
Before putting pen to skin, be prepared with these tips:
1. If you're close to the bone, getting a tattoo will be more painful. The spine, hip, feet, hands, clavicle, knee and elbow will rattle your nerves during the process. If you're brave, the neck, eyebrow and eyelid are also pain points. 2. Fallen in love with an artist's designs? Chat to her/him first. Like any professional relationship, a good rapport will keep you both smiling. Just like the laundry instructions for the latest fashion, follow their advice to for fast healing and no scarring. 3. Scan the studio for cleanliness. It should be sterile and new needles should be used on skin swabbed with alcohol by an artist wearing gloves. 4. Chat with your tatted friends (but only the ones with great tattoos) for word-of-mouth feedback on their favourite artists.
5. Unless it's the hen's/buck's night before your wedding, think on your desired design for weeks or months. Your tastes and values change and the perfect tattoo is never rushed. Just like a failed relationship, breaking up is hard to do (and painful and expensive with tattoo removal procedures).
If you'd love your own tat, choose from one of these studios to "ink" the deal.
Beaconsfield - Hunter and Fox - 422 Botany Road, Beaconsfield, Phone: (02) 9341 2527.
H & F in Beaconsfield employs 9 talented artists, each with their own specialities and styles. The studio has got plenty of praise for their designs, carefully etches to to ease any fears, whether you're a first-timer or a regular adding to your body of work.
Browse the portfolios of the artists to find a match for your tropical, animal, pop-culture or traditional design.
The studio is open from 11 am to 7 pm, Tuesday to Saturday.
LDF's artists have a collective 50 years of tattooing skill, rare in this dynamic industry.
The founder, Les Bowen, won awards as a painter before turning his brushes to the human body, in Scotland and now Sydney. As demand grew, Les's crew grew to 9 male and female artists, working in his Inner West studio to fulfil your artistic desires.
The studio opens 10am 6pm, Monday to Saturday and 12pm 6pm, Sunday.
If you hadn't considered Japanese styles, a look at Lighthouse may change your mind. This custom studio is one of Sydney's best for the distinctive oriental artform. The portfolios of Lighthouse's 11 artists make it easy to picture those magical designs on your own skin.
They can handle more familiar tastes too, with inking skills in the neo-traditional, geometric and portraiture styles.
To create unique, personal pieces, Lighthouse opens for appointments, booked via phone, email or the website contact form.