There’s an Offspring song about gettin’ ink done. You know the one, “he asked for a 13 but they drew a 31”? OK, so I’m showing my age here… but hear me out.
When it comes to putting pigment in your skin’s dermis (to be scientific!), you are in safe hands here on the Sunshine Coast. Because there’s no room for shady, rock-song mishaps like that! In fact, we have some of the best tattoo artists in the country.
“Give it to me, baby,” you say? Well here are the best tattooists on the Sunshine Coast:
Sam Clark Tattoos
Ditching Sydney’s busy street shop life, Sam and his wife Polly headed for the tranquility of a secluded Noosa location. Kind of like pure relaxation meets pure pain—or something. They found digs so remote in fact, Sam picks his clients up by boat. Now, if I was in the business for a tattoo that is exactly the way I would like things to roll; with a side of pina colada, please. Thanks to social media teleporting his skills globally, Sam has been able to work around the world with a few side-line commissions for USA multi-national surf label, Hurley. It seems the sky is the limit for this king of body art.
Where: Somewhere (by boat) in Noosa. Get in touch with Sam here to find out.
Arguably one of the best tattooists on the Sunshine Coast, Ink Attack owner and tattooist Damien Wickham travels the world to compete at tattoo conventions against some of the biggest names in the industry. The big man in tattoos has won over 52 first-place trophies world-wide, recently winning Best of Show in Atlantic City, and even put Caloundra on the map with his own successful tattoo convention, featuring international artists. All the tattooists have completed diplomas of art so they kinda know what they’re doing. Which is what you want when someone is squirting permanent ink into your arm, right?
Where: Shop 5/12 Thunderbird Drive, Bokarina
Contact: 07 5493 3355
Mr Ink Tattoo
Lounge This fine tattoo lounge has been inking skin for more than two years with three fully-qualified and licensed artists. Worried about the permanency of your skin art? Fear no more. Mr Ink offers tattoo removal, too—so go wild! Steven Perry and his staff pride themselves on a legion of cheery social media followers, all offering positive feedback. So sit back, relax, and know you are in safe, skin-prodding hands—yikes!
Where: 930 David Low Way, Marcoola
Contact: 07 5457 0140
Ocean St Tattoo
Situated in the Coast’s own hipster village—Ocean Street—this human inking joint is the longest established tattoo shop on the Coast. Formerly known as Grey Ghost Tattoos, new owners took over the business six months ago, re-branding and adding award-winning tattooists to its artistic bow. All work at the shop is carried out in a private and professional manner, and if you’re worried about cleanliness, you can chillax, knowing this place is health department approved—yeow! Let’s have a tattoo party!
Where: Shop 16/9 Ocean Street, Maroochydore
Contact: 07 5479 2884
Another granddaddy in the Coast’s tatt biz, Tattoo Junction has been drawing on limbs, torsos, and everything in between, for 17 years, and has remained in the same spot, beckoning locals and tourists alike. Owner/artist Karl and artist Josh say people love the business for its fair prices, and friendly and welcoming vibe. So come one, come all, for a tattoo with a smile!
Where: Shop 8/28 Sunshine Beach Road, Noosa Heads
Contact: 07 5449 2949
North Shore Tattoo
This open and modern tattoo parlour has had a recent make-over, making way for more rooms, artistry, and of course—ectodermal tissue poking. OK, that just sounds silly, but there’s only so many ways you can say tattoo! Anyhoo, owner Angie says North Shore Tattoo is so well-regarded they have returning visitors from across the globe. And with three talented artisans—all with their own, unique styles—this shop caters to all tastes from realism to traditional. Apparently veteran Trista has been tattooing for 10 years and there isn’t anywhere she hasn’t tattooed yet—eek!
Where: 648 David Low Way, Pacific Paradise
Contact: 07 5450 7755
Make or Break
This cruisy Kuluin tattoo shop is so tough it made headlines when a car went straight through its front window last year! While there have been a few bumps in the road, so to speak, this shop has bounced right back, growing its inking family from two to five in the past year. Hey, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right? Make or Break has proved that and more!
Where: Shop 1/1 Heidi Street, Kuluin
Contact: 07 5309 6892
One of the first tattoo shops to open on the Coast, Tewantin Tattoos also joins the veteran squad, having been open for 20 years. With an extensive collection of designs, clients can bring in their own sketches or work with an artist to create something spesh. Jason specialises in colour, free-hand and new-school designs, while Steven excels in grey wash (think religious tattoos, traditional and oriental). If you prefer jewels to markings, Mick has 15 years experience in body piercing, and the shop boasts an extensive range of body jewellery. So why not go the whole hog?
Where: 113 Poinciana Avenue, Tewantin
Contact: 07 5474 1420
Floating World Tattoo
Prefer a relaxed atmosphere? Situated in Caloundra hinterland, Tadashi, Liam, and Tammy provide many tattoo styles in a chilled out space—for those who wish to float through their world, as they say. So relax, man! Tadashi and Liam focus on traditional Japanese tattoos, while Tammy is a popular henna artist. Their philosophy remains a pursuit of artistic excellence, while facilitating the clients’ vision. They pride themselves on fostering long-term relationships with their clients, with much of their work being large-scale limb projects. Wow, might need to call an engineer! It’s a safe call to say that Floating World Tattoo houses some of the best tattooists on the Sunshine Coast.
Where: 7 Bray Road, Mooloolah Valley
Contact: 07 5337 2551
Old Church Tattoo
This Kawana establishment is a newbie to the Coast’s tatt stage, celebrating its first birthday in February. But while it may only be a fledgling, Old Church Tattoo already has almost 4000 followers on Facebook—that’s some seriously savvy social media play! Owner and tattooist Lance Simpson says it’s the business’s relaxed and inviting atmosphere that attracts customers like a moth to a flame. Offering all styles of tattoos and body piercing, clients feel at home, he says. So put your feet up and let Lance’s team poke, prod and pierce, in the nicest possible way!
Where: Shop 14, 614 Nicklin Way, Wurtulla
Contact: 07 5493 3502
Image Credit: Janneke Storm