In this day and age tattoos are no longer just for bikers and Westies. Tattoos have become a symbol for cultural identity, a way to express your personal style and a way to pay homage to something that’s meaningful to you.
It’s a pretty important process really, deciding what to get inked on your skin. It is permanent after all. And, we're sure a few of us have rushed into getting something they now regret *ahem* (tramp stamp?)
We’re absolutely spoilt for choice here in Auckland. With an abundance of tattoo studios, it can be hard to decide what tattoo studio and tattoo artist are best suited for what you’re after. So we’ve done a little research and compiled a list of some of Auckland’s best tattoo studios.
Just to make this lifelong commitment a little bit easier for ya. No pressure or anything. It’s only on your body FOREVER.
Seventh Day Studio
Although they only opened this year, the team behind Seventh Day Studio have already made a name for themselves as being the cool kids. With an array of talent, the various artists are a close-knit bunch with some hella cool ideas. From stippling to watercolours to delicate lines and whimsical pieces, you’ll find some pretty high attention to detail ink.
Sunset Tattoo Studio
After studying tattoo art for ten years, owner Tom McMillan decided to open shop in 2014 and since then he and his team have been killing it. With a focus on traditional Japanese styles, classic Western designs and Maori carvings, these guys are true expects in their fields. Declaring that no job is too big or too small, Sunset Tattoo Studio are on hand to help you achieve your dream tattoo!
Two Hands Tattoo
A popular parlour among many devotees of ink, Two Hands are top dogs of the tattoo game for sure. With guest tattooists alongside the resident, permanent inkers, fans of going under the needle can expect traditional flash tattoo styles alongside a variety of styles and techniques.With a constant stream of Ponsonby’s trendiest tattooed peeps through the door and with some of Auckland’s best artists on hand, it’s safe to say that these guys have nailed it.
Ship Shape Tattoo Studio
Recognised as one of New Zealand’s best portrait and realism tattoo artists, it’s no surprise that Matt Jordan of Ship Shape Tattoo Studio, has an Instagram following of nearly 250,000. Among his showcased work, expect to see detailed pieces—predominantly in black and white—of celebrities, family members and fictional characters. From hands to full, blown back pieces, there is no canvas too big or small for this artist.
The Genuine Hustle Tattoo Shop
Located along Hurstmere Road, The Genuine Hustle Tattoo Shop is a firm favourite in the North Shore tattoo biz. With bright pops of colour as well as traditional flash-style tattoos, the expert artists can transform ideas and bring them to life in an instant! With one-off pieces to be picked up, you won’t have to worry about meeting someone with the same ink. How embarrassing!
White Rabbit Ink
With a message of ‘Don’t follow the crowd, follow the White Rabbit’ you can bet your bottom dollar that these guys pride themselves on their one-off and unique pieces. Not adhering to one style in particular, the team at White Rabbit Ink offer something for everyone. With a pretty-as -punch portfolio of watercolour pieces, this parlour should be your one- stop-shop for this trend.
Sacred Tattoo Shop
Delivering and producing tremendous tats for years and years, owner’s Dan and Dean sure know a thing or two about the art of the ink. With an accomplished team behind them, Sacred Tattoo Shop have really made a name for themselves with Aucklanders. There are many styles on offer and expert advice on hand, you can be assured that you’ll leave looking like a work of art…literally!
Formerly Illicit Tattoo, this studio has been a fixture on K Rd for many years and is one of the most frequented by tattoo enthusiasts. With a team of world class tattoo artists, each specialising in a different style of ink. Entrusting these guys with your next tat means you’ll be in the best hands possible.
Located on Dominion Road, this shop is run by award winning tattoo artist, Paul Peachy. Paul and his team specialise in tribal and cultural pieces. But if you’re wanting Paul himself to ink your skin, you better get in quick as he’s only there once a month for 3 days!
With their mission being “amazingness” you’ll be in good hands at Otautahi tattoo! Situated on K Rd, this studio has a large team of talented artists who all specialise in different styles, from Maori, Polynesian and Japanese to realism, script and classic traditional tattoo.
Black Cat Tattoo
This Kingsland tattoo studio specialises in custom tattoos. They focus on traditional, neo-trad, dot work, black and grey and Americana. And if you’re umming and ahhing about what you want, then pop in to check out their flash wall with one off custom designs!
College Hill Tattoo
A staple shop in the Auckland tattoo scene for many, many years and formerly called Dermagraphic tattoo studio. This is another shop that ranks at the best of the best. If you’re after an absolute beauty of piece then this is the place to go! You will not be disappointed!
Compiled by Nina Franklin and Martha Brooke