Last updated June 2023
Thinking of getting some new ink? Whether it’s your first time or your hundred-and-first, it’s important to find a trusted artist. We asked some beautifully tattooed Capetonians who are some of their favourite artists and compiled a list of some of the best tattoo studios in Cape Town where you’ll find these artists.
They’re diverse in style, so there’s something for everyone. We’ve taken care of finding the right artists. All you need to do is book your session.
Handpoked Human Canvases
Nichole Enslin is the artist behind Handpoked Human Canvases. Enslin started her career in design, but found she missed human connection. A few friends offered up their skin to practice on, and before long people from all over town were contacting her to get their own hand-poked design. She specialises in beautiful, intricate hand-poked designs. Think stippled floral designs, insects, and planets. She also has a penchant for the surreal, creating works with stunning detail. Enslin works from her flat in Vredehoek. She likes the intimacy, which suits the hand-poke technique.
The space is calming and quiet, with loads of plants and stunning views of Lion’s Head.
If gorgeous shading, soft colour, and delicate line are your thing, Chanel Ysel is the artist for you. She’s really versatile and can do pretty much any style, but she’s best known for her floral designs and watercolours. Her work is unusual and has a soft and feminine feel.
The other artists at the studio also come highly recommended.
Location: 4 Hely Hutchinson Avenue, Bakoven, Cape Town
Contact: 079 696 5112 (WhatsApp) | email@example.com
Sinner City Tattoos
Leigh Soulink is a well-known name in South African tattoo circles. He cut his teeth in a studio in Dubai. Today, he’s based in Woodstock and has over seven years experience putting down ink. He works at a large studio with three other artists. Leigh Soulink’s work is all about lines and dots. He’s detailed and meticulous, and his line sketches deserve special mention. He’s also really versatile.
Even if you’re not sure what you want, chances are he can draw the perfect design for you!
Location: The Woodstock Exchange, Woodstock, Cape Town
Contact: 071 504 4125 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Cape Electric Tattoo
Gareth Lloyd was one of the local artists representing at the 2018 South African International Tattoo Convention. His work is bold and striking, and harks back to the style of the 80s and 90s. If you want something big and colourful, Lloyd is your guy. He’s well known for his stylised animals and faces.
Cape Electric Tattoo also regularly hosts guest artists, so check their website to see who’s in town.
Location: 11 Buitensingel Street, Gardens, Cape Town
Metal Machine Tattoo Studio
The oldest tattoo parlour in Cape Town, Metal Machine can do a wide variety of styles and are well-versed in both colour and black-and-grey. With a variety of artists available, they’re open to walk-ins and can hit any brief.
Location: 49 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town
Contact: 021 423 0688
If you’re looking for clean and bold tattooing, you’ll find it at Tomb Tattoo. Book a session with any one of the incredible artists here: Nicholas Mudskipper, Matthew Oldfield, Justus FACEOOZE, Wesley von Blerk or brucethekid. The studio is lovely too, filled with artwork and trinkets, and located in a great part of town.
Location: Unit 16 Gardens Business Village, Wandel Street, Gardens, Cape Town
Contact: 021 461 5218 | email@example.com
PALM BLACK Tattoo Co
Richard Moir, under the needle-name Ninjabreadboy, is another hand-poke artist worth checking out. His work is quirky and often humourous, with a surf/skate and graffiti subculture influence. His designs are graphic and simple, with neat, bold lines.
Location: 16B Kloof Nek Road, Gardens, Cape Town
Contact: 021 461 0622
Dark Horse Society
Dark Horse is run by artist Baden Moir. The shop always has a rocking playlist going, and it’s a nice, relaxed vibe. Moir is versatile in style and can bring pretty much any design to life. His line work is stunning, and he’s great at inky colour.
Location: 218 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town
Contact: 083 324 3463
The Body Architects
With several great artists covering a wide range of styles, The Body Architects are one of the most popular studios in Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs. The shop is located just across the road from popular drinking spot Banana Jam and is well worth a visit.
Location: 166 2nd Avenue, Kenilworth, Cape Town
Contact: 082 226 4065 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Black Cannon Tattoos
Brad Conradie is a versatile artist with a strong history of creating visually memorable pieces. He can tattoo most styles but is especially strong with the Japanese art style. Black Cannon is part of the growing Muizenberg hub of creatives and is a stone’s throw away from the beach.
Location: 120 Main Road, Muizenberg, Cape Town
Contact: 072 732 0482 | email@example.com
Carvel is a bright and fun tattoo and design studio situated in Noordhoek. The owner, Maggie, is inspired by nature, so this the perfect place for all things botanical and natural. Fine lines and delicate details are a specialty.
Location: 65 Beach Road, Chapmans Peak, Cape Town