Tattoos are exploding in popularity. As more of us get inked, transforming our bodies into art, more tattoo parlours are popping up. From the traditional American style with its bold lines and bright colours, to the more modern fine-line illustrative designs, and abstract pieces that look more like watercolour than ink on skin, plus a huge decline in negative stigma surrounding tattoos in recent years, it’s never been a better time to get inked.
Getting a tattoo is no small decision. Tattoos are at once permanent and deeply personal, so it’s absolutely vital to sort the excellent tattooists from the poor. So, whether you’re out to get your first ever tattoo or to continue a lifetime of commitment to the art of tattooing, you want to find an excellent tattoo studio with a team of talented artists and hygienic practices. But how can you decide which studio is best for you?
In this article, we’ll share some of the most important traits to look out for in a great tattoo studio, as well as a guide to the best tattoo parlours in the Canberra region.
What makes a great tattoo studio?
Keep an eye out for the following traits when sussing out potential tattoo parlours and artists:
- Impressive portfolios. First and foremost, check out the artist’s portfolio before you schedule an appointment with them. Do they tattoo in the style you are looking for? Is their line work clean and crisp? Is their colour saturation bold and clean?
- Compliant with health and safety regulations. Unhygienic tattooing can be dangerous. Look for a studio that complies with all health and safety regulations, such as using all disposable equipment and regular sanitisation of their work spaces.
- A variety of tattoo styles. Different artists specialise in different tattooing styles. From traditional Americana to classic Japanese, new age and fine line, the best studios cater to every personal taste.
- A comprehensive range of services. While you might just be after a tattoo, it’s good to work with a studio that offers related services. This might include piercings and laser tattoo removal.
- Friendly and accommodating artists. Getting a tattoo can be a nerve-racking experience for newbies and ink-junkies alike – a great studio will boast a team of not only talented artists who can cater to your wishes, but who will make sure you feel comfortable in the studio and confident that you are getting exactly what you asked for throughout the whole process.
The best tattoo studios in Canberra
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and maintain a minimum average of 4/5 stars on both Google and Facebook reviews.
The enthusiastic team behind Freestyle Tattoo Studio are custom and specialty tattooing experts. With years of experience and a seriously killer reputation, you know your skin is in safe hands at Canberra’s leading independent studio. The talented artists at Freestyle cover a wide range of styles between them, from the popular fine-lined illustrative designs to watercolour and traditional, all done in vegan ink.
As happy customer Chris Mason writes in their Google review, “I had my first tattoo with Mikaela, and it was an incredible experience! Everyone made me comfortable from the moment I walked through the door. Will be back as soon as I can.”
Owned and operated by married couple George and Jan, this small, independent home-studio in Narrabundah is dedicated to providing comfort and quality to all clients. With decades of experience behind them and able to cater to any kind of style you may wish, from black and grey to full colour and even white ink, at Armani Artspace you can sit back watch some Netflix on their TV while you get tattooed – and maybe have a bit of a cuddle with their little furry mascot, Moet!
Facebook user and satisfied customer Jemma Burridge wrote about their experience at Armani Artspace, “Amazing artist, and so accommodating – cannot wait to go back!”
Tattoo Power is Canberra’s longest established tattoo studio, with a combined experience of over 75 years in the professional tattoo industry, and approval from the ACT Health Department Furthermore, all team members, some of whom are multi award-winning artists, are members of the Professional tattooing Association of Australia – rest assured, whether you’re after custom or flash, you are in more than capable hands here!
As Melinda Cleaver writes in their Facebook review, “Matt did my tattoo today and it is amazing! So happy with the work done. I WILL be back! Absolutely amazing work and fantastic customer service.”
Tattoo Xtreme boasts a team of versatile and friendly artists who have over 22 years of experience between them. With a gallery of happy clients boasting beautifully detailed full-back pieces, sleeves covering entire limbs and equally beautiful fine-line and small pieces, Tattoo Xtreme is able to cater to anyone’s taste and preferences.
Chloe Smith had this to say about their experience getting their first tattoo at Tattoo Xtreme, “Went in yesterday to get my first tattoo from Carbine. The piece is absolutely beautiful, and he was lovely. I can’t help but smile when I see my arm.”
Canberra Ink, who recently re-opened in 2019, are committed to being the best, friendliest and cleanest studio in town. With a team of 6 artists who all believe in the power and beauty in tattoos, as well as their significance (Canberra Ink is teamed up with non-profit Survivors Ink to provide breast cancer survivors with FREE realistic 3D nipple tattooing in Canberra), Canberra Ink is dedicated to making your tattoo experience comfortable and meaningful.
Facebook user Bianca Collier wastes no time in her review of Canberra Ink, “Best tattoo shop in Canberra. Do yourself a favour and get in there!”
Outkast Tattoo Co. is relatively new to the Canberra tattoo scene, located in the heart of Braddon. Their small but capable and talented team of artists can do custom and flash pieces in any style, from black and grey illustrative to bright Americana and everything in between.
See what Facebook user Josh Buckley had to say about their experience at Outkast in this review, “Awesome friendly shop with great artist’s! The atmosphere is always great everyone’s having a good time couldn’t recommend Outkast highly enough!”
If this article was useful to you, you might want to check out our articles the best microblading specialists in Canberra and the best body piercing specialists in Canberra for some more information. Or, if you’re looking to get your tattoo removed, our article on the best laser tattoo removalists in Canberra may be of help to you.
Your experience with tattoo studios in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback, if you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you recently visited any of the studios we listed for your latest tattoo? Tell us about it in the comments!