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A growing list of the best tattoo artists in Melbourne

PHOTOGRAPHY BY IMOGEN WILSON FOR COCO STAR

WORDS BY IZZY WIGHT

Your tattoo soulmate awaits.

A tattoo is an undoubtedly large decision and one that can, like all decisions, be made with rapid-fire impulsivity, or painstaking consideration (sometimes a little bit of both). Speaking from experience, I can say the outcome tends to be better when you take the latter approach. Understanding and trusting your artist can make the tattoo experience truly transformative, instead of the one you later cry about in the bathroom mirror.


Interested to hear how others navigate the world? Head to our Life section.


With the diverse range of talented artists and inclusive studios in Melbourne, you’re guaranteed to find your tattoo soulmate – all it takes is a little research. To help your search along, we’ve put together a growing list of the best tattoo artists across the city.

Coco Star Sims

 

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Flowers and butterflies and stars, oh my! Based out of the Alterations studio from Monday to Friday, Coco Star is the pink-haired angel adorning arms, collarbones and ankles (plus more) with original designs. Think abstract floral bouquets, dancing ribbons and delicate daisy chains.

@cocostar._

Harley Jones


Moving between Melbourne, Sydney and their hometown of New Zealand, Harley Jones is an artist in many forms: graphic design, drawing, painting and (of course) tattooing. Harley’s work is characterised by clean lines, fine details and the subtle glint of sparkles. His work is a favourite of Swedish-born artist Tove Lo, who collaborated with him for her 2019 album, Sunshine Kitty.

@harleyjonesinternet

Really Nice Poke

 

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Hailing from New Zealand, Really Nice Poke (aka Katie) is a stick and poke artist now based out of the Alterations studio here in Melbourne. Whether you’re wanting a cherub, butterfly or a cute little clown (yes, they exist), Katie’s whimsical flash is guaranteed to spark tattoo inspiration. And have no fear – her pieces look just as incredible healed as they do freshly-poked.

@reallynicepoke

Ugly Pearl

 

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Pearl is another talented artist working out of Alterations, with an additional residency at The Corner Store Studio. Their sharp line work and artful placements are perfect for large-scale, intricate pieces (like the tramp stamp of your dreams).

@vg1yp34r1

Lazy Tattoos

 

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Lazy is a queer Latinx artist tattooing all manner of chains, flowers, cherubs and baby devils out of the Alterations studio. Their signature cartoonish style lends itself to adorable portrait work – think angels, rabbits and ducks wearing little petal hats.

@lazytattoos 

Emma-Lou


Based out of Inky’s Tattoo Parlour in Carlton, Emma-Lou is an artist who specialises in detailed black-and-grey designs, super-clean linework and artful shading. Her flash offers everything from ear adornments to Vivienne Westwood and Chrome Hearts charms, so you’re sure to find inspiration for your next piece.

@emmaloutattoo

Christina Pereira


Christina is another wonderful artist working out of The Corner Store Studio in Malvern East. Christina’s style spans realism, fine line work and cartoon-esque designs, so they can help bring all sorts of tattoo fantasies to life. Their religious iconography – churches, crosses and crying Marys – is particularly beautiful.

@waljorem

Ichikawalee


Every piece Naarm-based artist Lee Ichikawa inks is completely one-off and customised to fit your body, so you won’t see the same spiky design twice. As a multi-disciplinary artist and incredibly talented tattooist, you’ll often see Lee’s work scattered around the torsos, arms and ankles of the city’s creative set.

@ichikawalee

Egg Lemon

 

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Jude is both a tattoo artist and a fashion designer, which is simply a winning combination. Their pieces have a beautiful whimsical element about them, with Jude specialising in dancing elves, teddy bears and fantastical animals (like a lion with pink hair and fairy wings). They work out of the Alterations studio and you can email or DM them to book.

@egg.lemon

Femme Fresh

From butterflies and hearts to spiders, fairies and devils, Louisa is the tattoo artist behind Femme Fresh. Operating out of Little Gold Studios and Brunswick Fruit Shop, the hand-poked tattoo artist has the cutest flash designs to decorate your body with. 

@femme__fresh

Eva Cornelisse

 

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With a modern, abstract take on traditional tattoo styles, Eva Cornelisse will ink your dream piece at Crucible Tattoo Co in Naarm. Just look at this skeleton cowgirl!

@toughsticker

Lily Gloria

 

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If you’re looking to adorn your body with whimsical symbols and shapes, book in with Lily Gloria at Studio Baby in Toorak. Her delicate designs are characterised by clean linework.

@lily_gloria_tattoo

For more tips on getting your next tattoo, head here.

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