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Best Tattoo Studios in Sydney

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by Barry J (subscribe)
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Published August 10th 2018
Got ink?
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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.

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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).

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A proud Maori (Stuartyeates / CC BY-SA 3.0)


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.

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(image by Hunter and Fox)


Bondi – Kaleidoscope Tattoo - Address: 255 Bondi Road, Bondi, Phone: (02) 9365 0167.

Each of Kaleidoscope's artists have been tattooing for a decade each on average, enticing the body-beautiful locals from the beach and into the studio with their intricate, ocean-friendly designs.

They've won awards at the annual Tattoo Expo for poignant portraits and abstract designs.

Their epic Japanese back pieces, alive with the red glow of a dragon, are truly breathtaking. They also offer piercings to accentuate your look with metal.

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(image by Kaleidoscope Tattoo)


Surry Hills – Authentink Studio - Suite 306 / 4 -14 Buckingham Street, Surry Hills, Phone: (02) 8399 1973.

Heard of a Japanese bodysuit? It's not the latest figure-hugging kimono, but a Japanese-inspired tattoo covering most of body.

Your first look at one, either in a photo or in real-life, will be burnt into your memory, as permanent as the tattoo.

Authentink has local and international talent, including "Horisumi" (his Japanese tattoo name) / Kian Forreal, winner of a Japanese Tattoo Title for his devoted efforts in Japan for over 2 decades.

Visiting the studio is a treat but browse the website too for an insight into the authentic cultural techniques and values which define the art of Japanese tattooes.

Authentink is open from 11am – 7pm, Tuesday – Saturday.

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(image by Authentink Studio)


Newtown, Marrickville – LDF Tattoo - 26 King Street, Newtown, Phone: (02) 9550 6759.

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.

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(image by LDF Tattoo)


Botany – Lighthouse Tattoo - 1 Pemberton Street, Botany, Phone: (02) 9316 4565.

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.

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(image by Lighthouse Tattoo)


These clever twists on the tattoo may help narrow your selection (or not...):



With a brave smile after the art of suffering for your perfect tattoo, which studio and design did you choose? We'd love to hear your comments.


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Why? For permanent, portable art.
When: Anytime!
Where: Throughout Sydney
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