The Brisbane tattoo scene has come on a lot over the last few years. Places like Tradition Tattoo have been going strong for a while now, but the city has a bunch of interesting little indie parlours, plus nationally recognised artists like Matt Cunnington and Teneile Napoli (she’s technically in the GC hinterland, but close enough).
Want to get inked in Brisbane? The first step is research. Instagram is your best friend.
Here are 7 of the best tattoo studios in Brisbane.
Who’s up for a drive to Wynnum? Pacifink is a family-run tattoo studio, started by Pappy and Michelle Walters back in 2008. They’re reputation over there is awesome, especially for Japanese, Ta Moko and Kirituhi tattoos. The shop itself is gorgeous. Looks more like a trendy health spa or something. And Wynnum makes a good weekend ink destination: you can get the job done, then go browse the galleries and sip lattes by Moreton Bay. You can check out the studio artists here.
Seventh Circle has been around the traps for a while. Lawrence Hocking started the business in 2009, and it’s developed a rep for housing some of Brisbane’s hottest upcoming artists. There’s 10 on the staff at the moment, operating out of the old Moreton Rubber Building in Woolloongabba (you’ll find the entrance opposite Gate 2 of the Gabba). This place can get a bit pricey, but to be honest, you get what you pay for. Check out the artists here.
If you’re getting your first tattoo, we’d recommend Ink Embassy in Bulimba. It’s got a laid-back, vintage vibe, and the work is always excellent. They specialise in custom tatts, which means most of the artists book out a month or two in advance. They do accept walk-ins, but it’s tough to squeeze in a session unannounced. Chrystal Leigh runs the shop here, and she’s also you go-to artist for anything floral.
Trailer Trash Tattoo
Looking for retro, slightly kitschy, pop bubble-gum-style ink? Mimsy’s Trailer Trash Tattoo in Annerly is your best bet. It’s set inside three vintage caravans, and the crew look like contestants from Ink Master. There’s nothing subtle about Trailer Trash’s style, but that’s kind of why we love it. You can get a geometric mountain range anywhere – you come to Mimsy for something fun. Check out all the current artists on the Trailer Trash insta page.
Wild At Heart
Wild At Heart are pretty much the OG Brisbane parlour. These guys have been inking happy customers since before the internet was invented. You’ve probably walked past their second studio in Queen Street Mall. Wild At Heart is known for versatility, so whether you want a trash polka sleeve, realism or American traditional, the chances are good they have an artist who specialises. We wouldn’t call these guys ‘boutique’ anymore, but they are very reliable. You’ll find clients who’ve been inking there for 20 years, seriously.
The Inker used to be in Kelvin Grove, but they recently moved the shop to Alderley. The old space was a stunner, but owner Dean is really the heart of the business, and he’s still doing his thing up north. Swing by here for vintage leather couches, retro light fixtures, chill vibes and some of the best custom ink in Brisbane. Most styles are catered for, but Dean is the man for anything realism. That guy is a freak with the needle.
Sacred Skin started back in 2005, and owner Tony is still going strong. There’s a tight-knit little group of artists working here, covering everything from realism and watercolour to Japanese and blackwork. Fabio is probably our favourite artist here: he’s developed a solid local rep for realism and smooth colour jobs. If you want a quote, just swing by the studio – they don’t really do quotes online.
Honestly, if we were going to list every good tattoo parlour in Brisbane, we’d be here all day. These guys are still awesome, and well worth some internet research:
- Black Throne Tattoo – A moody Paddington studio with a really solid reputation.
- West Side Tattoo – Your go-to for highly detailed black-and-white jobs. Been going for 20 years.
- Valley Ink – One of the best studios in the Valley. Popular with hipsters.
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Image credit: Allef Vinicius