Want to keep up with Auckland’s diverse tattoo scene? Where better than Instagram! Instagaram is the perfect solution to boredom and the best place to seek artistic inspiration. There’s nothing we love more than scrolling through our feed for hours on end, observing the current trends and getting inspired by people’s work.
We’ve handpicked the best of local tattoo accounts, so click follow and get your mind blown by the state of current-day tattooing on the daily! Support your favourite artists, look at flash, secure designs and be the first to find out about appointments and competitions!
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Stunning blackwork and elegant placement is what Magali Corpas does best. We just love the bold lines of her ornamental pieces! Designs vary from minimalistic to insanely intricate—always cleanly executed and often featuring geometric elements. Other styles featuring heavily on her page are dotwork, realistic black and grey animal depictions and blackwork traditional.
One of the best tribal artists to ever walk this earth, Tristan Marler sure knows how to pull a straight line! Specialising in blackwork, Tristan is known for geometric designs featuring a lot of repetition and insane precision. His Instagram is full of tribal pieces—from rigid straight-line designs to flowing pieces full of curves and organic shapes. Another style prevalent on Tristan’s Instagram is blackwork landscape set inside geometric borders.
Ryota Fukima is a Japanese native bringing some of the coolest Japanese style tattoos to both Auckland and Instagram. Although his page does feature a lot of koi fish, foodogs, daruma dolls and hannya masks, his work is not exactly your typical irezumi (traditional Japanese tattoo). Rather, it seems to be somewhat of a marriage between Japanese and new school tattoo, with a huge injection of humour. The result? Clean, quirky designs with thick lines and perfectly packed, bright colours with just the right amount of skin breaks.
To be perfectly honest, it’s pretty damn hard to scroll through Ziggy Darkstar’s Instagram without developing somewhat of a crush on the girl. She’s just so damn talented! Her page has a predominantly dark, ‘witchy’ vibe and displays a range of styles—from new school and neo traditional to black and grey and animal portraits. Her linework is clean and her colour blends are on point. The main appeal? Ziggy’s original, erotic designs dealing with the female form. Her girls are seductive, provocative, dark, and a lot of the time a little ‘alienesque’.
When it comes to black and grey realism, Sam Clayton is an absolute god. Majority of his work revolves around greywash flower depictions and human and animal portraiture, although he does successfully dabble with colour realism, too, as well as experiments with the integration of colour accents into black and grey pieces. When it comes to black ink, Sam is far from afraid of the stuff. Sam Clayton packs his work with deep blacks, resulting in high contrast tattoos and amazing texture.
Graeme Allan is a master of old school tattoo and his work is exactly what American traditional should be. Strong, uncomplicated designs with bold, single pass outlines and deep, dark colours of a limited palette. His account contains all the traditional favourites—pin ups, ships and anchors, daggers, hearts, wild cats and roses—sitting atop their wears’ skin with a stark, sticker-like finish.
Steve Wood’s Instagram is full of striking tattoos sitting somewhere between American traditional and neo traditional styles. While his work is traditionally old school at its core, with heavy lines and dark vivid colour-schemes, modern influences shine through in designs a tad more intricate and shading a bit more pronounced than in old school tattoos. His account is full of tough wild cats, cool snakes and most importantly—beautiful lady faces. With seductive looks, flowing hair and rosy cheeks, Steve’s girls are his signature.
Steve Butcher is an internationally recognised tattoo artist specialising in colour realism. His Insta is a collection of ridiculously realistic portraits of all sorts of people and animals. Although Steve’s work is predominantly full colour, he does do black and grey pieces, too. With smooth shading and colour transitions, his work is so perfect it looks like high definition photography rather than tattoo art!
Joesus Chin is an expert in illustrative blackwork. His Instagram showcases some of the best works in the style. Using nothing but black ink, blackwork features bold outlines and shading in the form of dots or crosshatching. The results are delicate and striking. Joesus’ work is big on flower and animal illustration, often with inclusion of ornamental and geometric elements.
Simply put—Amy Trouble is a bloody killer of a tattoo artist. Specialising in new school, her page is full of bright colour, exaggerated forms, pop culture references and good humour. On top of cartoonish pin ups and cute food tattoos typical of the style, Amy also tattoos a shitload of Disney characters (we’re talking the likes of Mickey Mouse, Bambi and the Little Mermaid) as well as those from The Simpsons, Hello Kitty, Pokemon, Adventure Time and just about every other popular animation you can think off.
A strictly blackwork focused artist, Phoebe Hunter does a lot of surrealistic, fine line tattoos. What makes Phoebe’s work compelling is her unique design ability. Ranging from super basic, single line minimalism to extremely complicated design pieces, all her work is quirky and engaging. Phoebe is big on flowers… and face and body fragmentation. Two of her most recognisable styles deal with just that. One depicts split animal heads leaking flowers, the other—human bodies with plants and flowers for heads.
Nicklas Wong is far from a one trick pony. Extremely talented in black and grey portraiture, he’s also well versed in what is probably the complete opposite—full colour new school. His Instagram page features smooth greywash blends and precise realism as well as brightly coloured, super exaggerated cartoons.
A realism expert, Nato’s work revolves around accurate translation of photographic images to skin. Although Nato mainly deals with human portraits and animal depiction, his work also includes inanimate objects like ships and buildings. With extreme attention to detail, one of the most stunning things about his pieces, is the texture he manages to create using contrast—the tattoos look like you could run your finger over them and feel the fur/bumps/wrinkles depicted.
Hannah Nova Dudley
Hannah Nova Dudley works in the style of fine line blackwork. Using a thin liner Hannah creates all sorts of designs—from illustrative flowers to mandalas, landscapes and single line minimalism. Hannah’s placement is on point. Her tattoos often follow the natural curves of the body, highlighting its natural beauty. Either that or they’re placed in completely random, unexpected places—which tends to work just as well! Hannah’s surrealistic minimalism is our favourite. Think morphing faces, queer perspectives and all sorts of unlikely subject matter combinations.
Tritoan Ly is another fine line, dotwork enthusiast, creating elegant pieces with the use of a liner and a pot of black ink. Majority of Tritoan’s work depicts varying flowers encompassed by geometrical shapes, strategically placed on the body. What’s cool is Tritoan is also a professional photographer so all the images on his Instagram are well framed, composed and edited, guaranteeing great viewing.
Jason Baker is an expert in realistic tattooing with a focus on full colour animal portraiture. His Instagram page is full of exquisitely worked, realistic animal tattoos featuring bright colours and lifelike textures as well as high contrast black and grey human portraits.
Josh Paki is a super cool artist dealing with contemporary Maori tattooing. His account is full of extravagant, flowing ta moko, complimenting the shapes and curves of the human body meanwhile telling their wearers’ stories. Josh works with a lot of large-scale patterning, making great use of linework, pattern rhythm and negative space. Some of our favourite works have the ta moko spanning the entire length of the body!
Matt Jordan is one of New Zealand’s most revered portrait artists. His Instagram is full of mad, photorealistic work in both colour and black and grey, as well as the occasional neo traditional piece. Matt’s black and grey portraits are the most famed, showcasing smooth black and grey, precision and perfectly placed highlights injecting life into his subjects.
Tom Tom is really a bit of an all-rounder. Not only does he do some pretty cool Japanese and American traditional tattoos, but he also does the occasional tribal and ornamental piece, too. His page features quite a bit of large scale work as well as smaller, individual designs, too. Some of the highlights include beautifully done geishas, wild cats and hannya masks. The real highlight, though? Tom’s quirky, Japanese ramen noodle bowls, of which there are several takes.
Unicorns, fairies, mermaids, witches and all sorts of crazy animal hybrids is what you will find on Jenny Arcus’ Instagram account. The girl is a a bit of a fantasy freak, reimagining some of our favourite magical creatures and characters in the form of new school tattoos. Jenny’s animal mash ups are a little bit scary but definitely rad, and her new school pin ups with their exaggerated faces—a definite Arcus signature.