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A guide to some up-and-coming tattoo artists in South Africa.

Discovering the perfect tattoo studio can be akin to finding a hidden gem in a bustling city. Fortunately, South Africa boasts an array of talented artists and eclectic studios that cater to diverse tastes and styles. From the coastal city of Gqeberha to the vibrant metropolises of Cape Town and Johannesburg, here are some notable tattoo studios and artists worth keeping an eye on:

Text and Images by Amy Gajjar

Location: Port Elizabeth / Gqeberha

In Good Hands Tattoos

Nestled in the heart of Gqeberha, In Good Hands Tattoos is a haven for ink enthusiasts. Under the skilful hands of Ethan Gunn and Basil McCabe, this studio exudes creativity and passion. With a personal endorsement from many clients, including myself, their phenomenal work speaks volumes. In Good Hands Tattoos is undoubtedly an up-and-coming studio to watch in the GQ area.

Location: Cape Town

Monarch Tattoo Co

For those seeking an artistic experience led by a female powerhouse team, Monarch Tattoo Co in Cape Town is a must-visit. With a diverse team of talented artists, this studio offers a wide range of styles to choose from, ensuring every client’s vision is brought to life with precision and flair.

Location: Cape Town / Johannesburg

Lehla Faiths Tattoos

Hailing from Johannesburg, Lehla Faith is an artist whose distinctive style captivates the eye. Her use of vibrant colours and meticulous attention to detail create tattoos that are as beautiful as they are unique. Cape Town tatoo enthusiasts will be delighted to know that Lehla is now available for bookings in the Mother City, offering an opportunity to adorn oneself with her stunning creations.

Location: Johannesburg

True Love Tattoo

In the heart of Johannesburg lies True Love Tattoo, a studio renowned for its diverse portfolio and exceptional talent. Specialising in a variety of styles including fine line, traditional, and Japanese, their artists showcase unparalleled skill and creativity. Additionally, True Love Tattoo’s contribution to the 2024 Tattoo Convention in Cape Town is a testament to their influence within the industry.

Location: Johannesburg

Marigold Tattoos

Highly recommended by many, Marigold Tattoos epitomises artistry and innovation. Based in the female-owned Luna Black Studio, Marigold’s use of bold colours and intricate designs sets her apart in the tattoo community. Her distinct style, characterised by striking red and black hues, offers a fresh perspective that captivates the imagination.

Location: Cape Town

Matthew Oldfield | Tomb Tattoo

At Tomb Tattoo in Cape Town, Michael Oldfield emerges as a versatile artist whose work transcends conventional boundaries. From intricate designs to bold statements, Michael’s tattoo portfolio reflects a unique blend of artistic vision and technical mastery. With a reputation that precedes him, Michael is a sought-after talent within the local tattoo scene.

Location: Cape Town

Sean Smuts | Good Things Tattoo

Situated in Woodstock, Good Things Tattoo is home to Sean Smuts, a master of anime and fine-line tattooing. Sean’s expertise and attention to detail ensure that each tattoo is a true work of art, reflecting both the client’s desires and his own creative flair.

The South African tattoo scene is thriving, with a wealth of talent and creativity waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re in Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, or Johannesburg, these studios and artists offer an unparalleled opportunity to adorn yourself with stunning works of art that will stand the test of time.

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