With the rise in popularity of tattoos, it seems more common for people to have a tattoo than not. As our society changes perception on those who have ink, we wanted to promote the amazing quality of work that is available right here in Australia. This is to help people conduct their own research before getting tattooed and to help aware them of the different art styles that tattooists have.
We personally reached out to what we consider the best tattoo artists in Australia, and have collated their responses along with photos of their work that show off their particular styles. We asked them a few simple questions such as, how long they have been tattooing, what influences they’ve had, how they would describe their specific style and if they plan to do any travelling?
So without further ado, hopefully this large list of amazing tattoo artists will help you in your decisions of getting inked or if you’re just keen to follow some new artists on Instagram.
“I’ve just commenced my 2nd year tattooing. My specific style would be “High Contrast Black & Grey Realism”. What has influenced me would have to be creating art on peoples skin that they get to enjoy for the rest of their lives and to see them happy once I have completed a tattoo on them. I do plan on travelling quite a bit in 2017 – Europe, America & Asia – but for now I’ll be keeping focused where I am based and working hard.”
“I went to Art school for four years before starting off in a tattoo studio on the south coast of Australia. Early on I moved up to Sydney at Stone Heart and have been there ever since. Which comes to a total of 3 years of tattooing. My work would fall comfortably into neo-traditional tattooing. I try to keep things big, bold and full – whilst creating interesting dynamics throughout every project.”
21 year old Damon Holleis has been tattooing for one year and is currently working out of a private studio in Sylvania, Sydney. Damon’s tattoo style is black and grey realism, though as you can see he ventures into colour as well. This is another new tattoo artist who is putting out quality work time and time again.
Drew works out of a tattoo shop in the Central coast called STR Tattoo & Art Studio. He specialises in neotraditional tattoos.
Dylan is one of Australia’s top tier artists, specializing in realism in both color and black & grey. At only 24 years old Dylan is making a big name for himself and is only going to continue getting better. His books open in April so get ready to submit your appointments through!
I’ve been tattooing for almost 10 years. There’s too many influential artists to list, but I’ll say my main influences right now are my 2 workmates Liam Alderson & Tater at Old Faithful Tattoo. My “style” is basically realistic black n grey (sometimes colour). Once my beautiful baby son Harper is a little bit older I’ll plan some travel to tattoo in the U.S. And also to Germany I hope.
Kegan Hawkins is one of Australias most popular tattoo artists. Working alongside Harley Kirkwood in Old Faithful, Kegan specialises in colour portraits and realism but he’s no stranger to black and grey either. Sponsored by Inkjecta, stencilstuff, redemption, fusioninks, numbskulled and protat.
Sophia has her own unique style of tattooing, very soft and clean colours. She loves to and regularly travels, working in Australia and overseas. In 2016 she will be heading to the United States, Poland and England – so be sure to get your bookings in while she is still around Sydney.
Owner of @RoyalTatSupplies in Sydney.
Boasting an extremely dark, black and grey realistic style, Drew’s work is one of a kind. Working out of The Tattoo Shop in the Gold Coast, his work is highly sought after.
“My dad has been my biggest influence growing up, I’ve worked with him for 13 years across many different mediums of art where my focus became air-brushing. After doing custom air-brushing for several years it really helped me develop a skill towards recreating photo-realism pieces. I’ve always admired and had passion for tattooing on many levels. An opportunity came up for me when I was gifted a couple of new tattoo machines which helped me really surround myself with the craft of tattooing. My world had changed forever, and the passion I had to teaching myself how to tattoo was unstoppable. I started tattooing in late 2009 and haven’t looked back since. It was a natural progression to go into realism style tattoo work after similar experiences with air-brushing.
I have my own private tattoo studio in Deagon, North Brisbane. It’s an environment that I’ve created where my clients can feel as relaxed as possible and where I can take the time to give every one of my clients the personal attention they deserve – all the way from their initial consultation to the final piece. I’m constantly inspired and influence by so many amazing tattooists from all around the world, I am very lucky to be doing what I love as a career.”
“My name is Jerome Chapman and I made my first tattoo September 2013, so I guess I’ve been tattooing for two and a half years. I’m really influenced by old medieval woodcuts and old scientific illustrations, as well as many other tattoo artists. Duncan x, Liam Sparkes and Guy Le Tatooer changed the way I approach tattooing, as well as reading the book “Forever: The New Tattoo”.
My style would fall under the “blackwork” category, but I try not to get hung up on labels. I just want to do clean, easy to decipher and striking work!
I really want to travel internationally and tattoo but I’ve just moved into the beautiful Black Throne Tattoo studio in Brisbane so I’m going to put more time in here before I leave the country (I’ll make time for guest spots around Australia though!)”
Nashy is part of the Underworld Pro Team. He’s been tattooing for over 8 years and was heavily influenced by Paul Booth, Bob Tyrell and Brandon Bond. Nashy originally specialised in colour, but he moved to Black & Grey realism after a while.
Tattooing for over 11 years, Teneile’s style focuses mainly on the soft contours of the feminine form as well as all areas of black and grey. She opened her own tattoo shop with a partner in 2010 – Garage Ink. She will be visiting the USA very shortly and no doubt plans to travel overseas more.
“I’ve been tattooing since 2013 based in Adelaide. My main influences are the early pioneers of traditional tattoo art and Eastern European tattoo art. I’m not sure exactly how to describe my style, I like doing heavy black work but I also love bold lines and simple shades. I try to be well rounded though, I’m just selective with what I put on the Internet. I would love to travel overseas within the next few years, but I don’t have any set plans just yet.”
“My names Ben Thomas and I work at The Black Mark in Melbourne. I started tattooing at Devious Ink and was there for 3 years, before I made the move to The Black Mark in 2015. I prefer black & grey realism but also do the odd bit of colour. I also like to work with charcoal when im not tattooing.”
“I started tattooing when i was 17 in Perth, Western Australia. I learnt the basics over there before moving to Melbourne when i was 20 to work at Victims of Ink, Port Melbourne. Moving to the east coast to be around top artists is what helped me progress as an artist and person, while refining my techniques. My style is Black & Grey realism. I do colour but prefer B&G. Sponsored by Inkjecta, Ron Meyers, Electrum and Starbrite colors.”
Ben has been tattooing for almost 8 years now and has exploded in popularity over the years. Constantly travelling internationally, he has attended many conventions all across the world. Benjamin has been inspired by fine artists like Caravaggio, Rembrandt and Reni, as well as contemporary artists like Hussar, Kassan and Llewellyn and i’m sure he could go on for days. He admires the tattoo styles of many, including Den Yakovlev, Carlos Torres, Kelly Doty, Nikko Hurtado, Dmitriy Samohin, Carlos Rojas and many more. Benjamin’s’ favourite style to tattoo are realism and portraits.
“I began tattooing in 2005 on the Gold Coast, Australia, apprenticing with Aussie legend Paul Braniff. In My first few years of tattooing I was mainly interested in realism, but as my career went on I began focusing more in illustrative work, now ten years in and Painting a lot of portraits in oils has reignited my interest in realism albeit with a painterly twist.”
Another of Australia’s most popular and renowned tattoo artists, Emily Rose Murray works out of her own private studio just outside of Melbourne. Although she currently has her books closed and no travel plans for the future, the chances of getting work from her are unfortunately quite slim.
“My name is Fabian De Gaillande but FABZ is easier to go by. I was born and raised in Vanuatu a little South Pacific island not far form Australia. This is where I decided to move and started my tattooing career 8 years ago. You can now find me in Melbourne at The Black Mark, a private tattoo studio that I co-own with amazing artists and friends. We inspire each other every day, it feels like being at a convention. I also travel around the globe to attend the most prestigious conventions as well as the cozy little ones. The foundation of my work is based on colour realism. Sometimes I like to stretch that aspect towards neo-traditional or black and grey realism. My future scope is to push the boundaries of realism to a wider horizon so make sure to follow my work on Instagram to see where we can go with it.”
Jake has been tattooing for 4 years and has built up an impressive following in such a short time. He loves to work on large scale pieces and almost exclusively in the neo traditional style, of which he tries to integrate Japenese elements into. Jake plans to travel across Europe in 2016 so be sure to follow his Instagram to keep up to date.
“I started my apprenticeship with WA Ink in Fremantle nearly four years ago. My ‘style’ or my tastes change quite regularly. I’m into stylised realism if you could call that a thing. I am into the heavy contrast a lot of the time.
I’m influenced by a lot of tattooists and people I work with, there are too many to name. I get inspiration from a various outlets like music or astral travel. Travelling is another part of tattooing which excites me. I have done one guest spot with Mark Wosgerau from Sinners Ink in Aarhus, Denmark, which I really enjoyed and would love to do more in the future including conventions which are still new to me.”
Though currently living in the UK, we couldn’t not list Kat Abdy as an Aussie artist. She does plan to come back to Australia so keep an eye on her Instagram to follow her travel dates.
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