Top 15 Tattoo Artists in Cape Town

Contemplating on how you can get the best ink? No matter it’s your first time or your hundred-and-first, it’s essential to look for a committed tattooist. We demanded some wonderfully inked Capetonians what they conceive, and came up with a listing of professionals and their famous studios in Cape Town that locals prefer. They’re distinct in technique, so there’s something for everyone. We have certainly taken over the responsibility of finding the right artist for you.

Cape Town is a residence for some of the best tattoo illustrators in South Africa, and so, the city is the best place for you to get a tattoo that will remind you of the unique place and its amazing culture. Cape Town will welcome their visitors and tourists all year round for good ink.  It is a city teeming with amazing artists and beautiful vibes. No matter if it is just an inspiration that you are looking for or you have everything settled already, it is important to take your time out to do some research on the best tattoo parlors in the city. Here are some other ways in which you can determine the best of the bests.

First and foremost, friends can be a great source of inspiration to you. If you have a friend who loves a good tattoo, the probability is that he might be aware of the places which make the greatest tattoos. You can probably find more about the certain tattoo shop and the process of the artist. Many people are supportive of their tattoo artists and would promote them too.

The next thing you can do is read reviews of people if you do not have any friends interested in tattoos. Or just go about the shops to check out for yourself. Easier yet, you can just go through this list of the amazing tattoo artist and make up your mind in a jiffy! Read ahead to know more:

1. Nichole Enslin- Handpoked Human Canvases

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Nichole Enslin is the senior artist at  Hand poked Human Canvases. Enslin began her career in design but needed that human connection. A few friends offered to experiment on them but her designs were too good that the word spread out pretty easily. She was rushed with clients. Her specialty lies in hand-poked designs, intricate designs, florals, inspect, flowers, and anything inspired by nature. She also likes surreal works that have some nice detailing work. She worked from her apartment for some time because she liked the privacy that is suited better to the hand poke technique. She loves a stunning view with some plants around her especially when she works.

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Nichole is another artist at Hand poked Human Canvases who loves to do various kinds of designs but her favorite is definitely hand poke style. In her own words, “I spend my days livin’ on the bright side of life – making, moving and hand poke tattooing. Freelancing from the heart of magical Cape Town, I specialize in visual communications, branding, design, illustration, art direction, tattoos, and murals. I love working with rad humans and their visions to create imagery for their brands, their walls, and even their skin. I hope you enjoy exploring my visual world.”

2. Derek Baker- Metal Machine Tattoo Studio

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Founded in 1993, the Metal Machine is definitely one of the best tattoo studios in Cape Town. It is a custom tattoo studio that the artist prides themselves on. They have a long waiting line and all their resident artist are pretty skilled and have traveled abroad to improve their tattoo techniques.

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Metal Machine can be said to be one of the oldest in cape town. They also take pride in being a custom tattoo studio which makes their artist one of the most skilled ones in the tattoo industry in Africa. They are skilled even in the smallest of designs to the bigger and more complex techniques. They do not believe in limiting themselves to one style which is quite a positive approach on their part. They also believe in providing their clients with a beautiful and unique experience.

The artist in the Metal Machine has been abroad to hone their skills better and refine them further. They also have won several international awards, for example, Derek, a tattoo artist at Metal Machine has won many international tattoo conventions all across Europe. Their portfolios are available on their website.

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Location on Google Maps:

3. Jono- Disciples Tattoo Studio

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Disciples Ink Tattoo was opened by Jono in 2008, with its branches in Strand, Stellenbosch, Durbanville, and Hermanus. Jono has been tattooing for 12 years in multiple styles and has expertise in almost any style that you can think of. His portfolio is enough to attract his clients. He likes to draw custom designs the most.

Capetown Tattoo Studio

With such an immense proliferation of the designs and with their 4 major studios in Helderberg, Durbanville, Stellenbosch, and Greenpoint, Disciples Ink Tattoo is one of the best spots to get inked in Cape Town City. With a deep and profound tattoo culture and a shared love for a tattoo, the Disciples Ink Tattoo is best for any realistic designs.

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Besides this Disciples Ink Tattoo is also a super friendly and very welcoming tattoo studio. Be assured that you will be greeted with a  friendly smile. It has a fresh perspective of looking at the tattoos and tattoo industry. You will definitely not be disappointed at Disciples Ink Tattoo. They are experts not just in creating designs but also in making you feel like a part of the tattoo family. So with Disciples Ink Tattoo, you will have a lot of opportunities to select among your designs.

The variety of choices they have will make you feel spoilt but either way, it will turn out to be a lot better than it was before. Besides excelling in the amazing methods, they also add their own little detail to the design to complete your masterpiece.

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Disciples Tattoo Studio, Strand has a spacious airy feel with an astonishing feeling of the ocean, exactly from where you getting your tattoo. On the other place, the Disciples Tattoo Studio Stellenbosch studio is snuggled in the crowdy city center, and if you appreciate animated discussion be sure to check that location there. The Disciples Tattoo Studio, Durbanville is defiantly the more relaxed of the three studios, but the artists at the studio are always in a productive state of mind. Whatever your decision is, you are sure to discover what you are aiming for at Disciples Ink.

The owners add, “We believe that the tattoo industry is at a turning point in history where it is no longer only for bad boys and daredevils but for everyone. So do come and visit, we eagerly await your arrival.”

Location on Google Maps:

4. Natalie Lucia- Queen of Steel Tattoo Studio

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Queen of Steel, the kind all-girl tattoo studio is a tattoo and piercing studio in Cape Town. The studios situated in Blue Route Mall represent the strength and courage of contemporary women of South Africa. Queen of Steel is a professional tattoo studio with a specialization in classical techniques and designs. The ambiance at Queen of Steel is also super welcoming and warm.

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Natalie Lucia or also known as Meonia Witch has always been inclined to the arts, whether it be playing Vocals in well-known troupes throughout Cape Town, Dance, and subject for Visual designers and photographers. She is no stranger to the tattoo community as she started her first job at Wildflower Tattoos at Long Street. She then moved to England for less than 4 years and learned some styles and techniques to improve her design. She worked under Paul Deadman of Deadman Studio in England and came back in 2019. She started working in Cape Town and joined Queen of Steel as a junior artist.

She loves the first-timer and really enjoys the whole process of the experience. She likes to tattoo and different styles but she most commonly enjoys styles such as Black Work, Bold Colours, Dotwork, and Simple line drawing Tattoos.

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Monique la Grange was actually pursuing a course for photography when she got her first tattoo at the age of 19. She also fell in love with the ambiance which surrounded the tattoo industry. It when then that she decided that she needed to follow her passion of being a tattoo artist. She managed a tattoo shop for 3 years and finally knew that she was heading in the right direction. All that was left was the vision to be there.

Monique started her training working and discovering from one of Cape Town’s most prominent tattoo illustrators, Rev Simon Wildfire White. She finished her training at Wildfire and six years later Monique has really transformed herself and the industry and has built an extraordinary name for herself. Influenced by the purpose of the tattoo as a portable convenient art form, both for the clients and the onlookers and with the abilities she has received and studied over the years, she actually appreciates working with customers to produce novel original ideas that they can acknowledge for years to come. Monique’s forte lies in black and grey but has a definite attraction towards traditional designs with bold components and concentrated hues.

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Sam Knight has been in the art and creativity niche since she was a kid. She also grew up surrounded by tattoo artists and thus, as luck would have it, she grew up with an interest in tattoos. Having a tattoo artist in the family really helped her shape her views and she started her first work at their own family-owned tattoo studio. She started training as a tattoo artist when she was 16 and has been tattooing professionally since 2017.

She focused more on traditional styles initially but then found out that it was hard for her to make them unique and personal. Thus she ended up learning more styles and techniques and thus honing her skills. She wanted to express her own creativity in the designs and was then naturally inclined towards dot work and line drawings.

Her preferred technique of tattooing is whip shading, dot work, blackwork, small tattoos floral, and mandalas remarkably! She is pleased to deliver on any projects that come her way, no matter if it’s a little alphabet on the finger or a few hour’s worth of a whole back design.

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Margot found her love for sketching and painting at a very young age. It has been a huge part of her life and after she got her diploma in graphic designing, she chose to freelance in various niches of arts and design before she started working as a manager in The Deckle Edge in Constantia. She thus gained a lot of fo knowledge and honed her skills in art and tattoo techniques.

She was forever fascinated with body modification and has always wanted to see motion in her art. This motivated her to start a training program after 2 years of working as a manager at Queen of Steel. Her preferred tool has always been ink, particularly elegant, intricate patterns. Margot has also practiced hand poke tattoos following the direction of Elizabeth Ferguson.

Location on Google Maps:

5. Tanya Swemmer- Lady Luck Tattoo Studio

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Tanya Swemmer is the artist behind Lady Luck who comes from an artistic background herself. She has a degree in industrial design at the university. She takes her influence from the natural world around her. She particularly has an affinity for black ink. Her forte lies in dot work and botanical designs which are appreciated, by clients. If anyone needs scientific illustrations, done in intricate and delicate black ink, the Summer is the girl for you.

Capetown Tattoo Studio

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6. Manuela Gray and Simon- Wildfire Tattoos

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Wildfire Tattoo was founded in 1994 and is maintained by Simon and Manuela who with the aid of an excellent team of artists, maintain the business and provide most of the most excellent tattoo designers in South Africa. Manuela Gray began the famous Wildfire Tattoos in the busy streets of Long Street. She’s universally acclaimed and has even tattooed the skin of Queen’s Roger Taylor. She has also worked in films, and done painting, dressmaking, sculpture, and technical drawing before she finally stopped when she found the art of tattooing. She’s trained, experienced, and talented. So no matter if you like delicate shading techniques or bold lines, Gray’s work is wonderful. She also is well versed in geometric designs and animals. All these things make Manuela Gray one of the most sought-after tattoo artists.

Capetown Tattoo Studio

The Wildfire Body Piercing Studio has not just one but two locations and has been operating since 1994. It is a great body shop not just for tattoos but also for piercings. They follow all the norms and protocols which are to be followed in the tattoo culture. Thus they are utterly clean and hygienic in that respect. They also have the latest gadgets and equipment to tend to their clients. The Wildfire Body Piercing Studio at Canal Walk is the best place to have piercings in Cape Town.​ Born in Jozi, Manuela traveled to Cape Town over 2 decades ago where her love of surfing and everything related to the sea has kept her ever since.

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Throughout his tattoo career. Manuels has been raising the bar in terms of tattoo art in the eyes of people. Besides just providing great design, she has also helped many new budding artists to achieve that kind of skill. She is also the creator of Cape Town Export which is an annual international festival that has some of the world’s best tattoo artists. Many tattoo artists in the country have come from afar just to learn the art of tattooing under her guidance.

In fact, according to her, it is the contradictory nature of the tattoo which has kept her in the business for so long. It is the permanent art on someone’s skin which one has to let go of once they are completed. It is what Manuela likes so much about tattooing. ​

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Each artist at The Wildfire Body Piercing Studio and Piercings works with customers to design body art based on their information, but also makes sure that they provide their own point of view to make the art better for their customers. In the words of the owner, “ We believe you should pick an artist based on how their style fits your unique needs, alternatively if you are unsure we will place you with an artist. From traditional Japanese to fine line geometric work we have you covered.”

Location on Google Maps:

7. Leigh Soulink- Sleight Of Hand Tattoos

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Leigh Soulink is one of the most popular names in the tattoo community of Africa. He has worked for many years in Dubai and is now working at Sleight of Hand Tattoos and has a decade of experience in inking. He works with other artists but his work specializes in fine lines and dots works. He has detailed and pretty meticulous work and his sketches and illustration merit special mention. He is super versatile too. Even when you are not sure about your needs, he can find the right one for you.

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Leigh is pretty creative and has left no stoned unturned in honing his skills more to produce the best of his works. In his own words, “I believe in channeling my creative urges to produce unique artwork in Woodstock. My inspiration for my work is everything. Sleight of Hand Tattoos is born out of a combination of my education, training, and experience, which allows my perspective as an artist to remain traditional yet contemporary. Art is how I battle against the indifference of humans and offer new ways of viewing the world.”

Capetown Tattoo Studio

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8. Gareth Lloyd, Waldo del Rocca- Cape Electric Tattoo

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Garth Lloyd is one of the local artists that represent South Africa in the 2018 South African International Tattoo Convention. He works quite boldly which is reminiscent of the 80s and 90s style. If you’re looking to buy something big and colorful for the design, Llyod is the guy that you are looking for. He is also well known for his animal design and painting faces. Cape Electric Tattoo also hosts many guest artists who come from various parts of the world.

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Cape Electric Tattoo is densely populated by the city’s most trusted artist and guest artists whose portfolio is available on the official website of the studio. They excel in a large variety of tattoo styles which include, Western Traditional, Black & Grey, Japanese and Portraiture influences. This little and stylish tattoo studio is best for customers if they are looking for something colorful and stylistic in the heart of Cape Town.

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Cape Electric Tattoo is quite famous for the kind of services that it provides and the customer review that it receives, It has been located in the heart of Cape Town right at the foot of Table Mountain, since 2011 and has ever since been owned and operated by Waldo del Rocca.
Capetown Tattoo Studio
The artist at Cape Electric Tattoo usually takes in walk-ins but they prefer a prior appointment before so that it is comfortable for both the tattoo artist and the customer. In the words of the owner of Cape Electric Tattoo, “We are 3 resident artists, specializing in a large variety of tattooing from Western Traditional, Black & Grey, Japanese, and Portraiture. All the artists are generally occupied with appointments, but our days are structured to take walk-ins and consultations, where and when possible.”
Capetown Tattoo Studio
They offer a relaxed and comfortable environment for their customers which would make them feel at home at the Cape Electric Tattoo. They also take care of every small need of their customers like cleanliness and hygiene so that they can really relax and feel the best of the experience.
Capetown Tattoo Studio

Location on Google Maps:

9. Byron Barker- The Body Architects

Capetown Tattoo Studio

The Body Architects is established in Cape Town and is likely to give you the best of the results in the whole city. The experience is really surpassable to get inked at The Body Architects as everything here is pretty clean, hygienic with a friendly and hygienic environment. The tattoo studio also has all the latest equipment so that they can deliver the best to their customers. 

The artist at The Body Architects excels in many designs so the customers can be relaxed about the variety and techniques that will be offered to them. They also assure their customers to feel relaxed from the moment of booking to the completion of the design. Walk-ins are possible for the artist at The Body Architects but they prefer prior bookings.

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Location on Google Maps:

10. Tyler B Murphy- Sins of Style

Capetown Tattoo Studio

The Sins of Style is another tattoo artist in Cape Town which is not just a premium choice for people who lives there but also for tourists. The Sins of Style has enhanced their understanding of art and tattoo design and has brought to the table something new and crave.

At The Sins of Style, you can expect beautiful tattoos richly finished by Lee Herbert, Irish James, Rico Swanepoel, Philip Botha, Ami Botha & Tyler B. Murphy.
Capetown Tattoo Studio
The Sins of Style has also given a very biblical reference to their style of tattooing. They say that even though it is sin to have anybody modification but they do not care about that and try to make their body more beautiful and creative with different kinds of tattoos. In the own words of the studio’s owner, 

I have been tattooing since 2001. Over the past few years, I have found that my favorite style is based on line-work and solid black. My tattoos are fashioned to look like old-time etchings and woodblock prints. I enjoy making well-referenced pieces that fit the form of the body. Occasionally I make Asian-inspired work and I can crush any script or lettering idea. When I’m not tattooing I might be painting a sign, or riding my skateboard. Tattooing increases the Good Life. Come to Barrack Street and get tattooed.

Capetown Tattoo Studio

At The Sins of Style, they really want to enhance the customer’s experience which would be pretty great. They work out with their customers to get the best of the experience and make sure that they collaborate to understand each other better. In the words of the artist,  We urge people to cock their idea and to get down with a style that is dope. Then look back on their original idea and together we figure out how to make a great tattoo in a style that we can both contribute to. If all goes to plan, we can exceed the confines of all known styles and make something new.”

By exchanging ideas, they want to enhance the interpretation of various styles by considering their customer’s points of view too.

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Besides this, they also provide training services and since its conception, they have many a few talented tattoo artists who are working either at The Sins of Style or elsewhere in Cape Town.

Location on Google Maps:

11. Warren Petersen- Baked Ink

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Warren Petersen, the renowned owner of Baked Ink in Cape Town, is in an association of his own as a tattoo artist. Formerly from the Port Elizabeth, Warren’s individual characteristic is mostly familiarized by his experience as a fine arts bachelor and graffiti professional. He’s recognized for his mural-like Yakuza technique sleeves and body-suits usually rich in hues and mythological symbolism.

He thinks that his clients are human canvases that are alive and his art is going into the world of action. His artwork takes a bit longer than the regular artist to finish but the end product is breathtaking and astonishing for the world to see. He has promised his clients to execute a lot of stares in the public.

Baked Ink in Cape Town thus incorporated both the symbolic creation of the artist and the fine skills.

Capetown Tattoo Studio
Over the years, Baked Ink in Cape Town has evolved into many things that have meant a lot for the owner of the studio. In fact, it has been explained by saying,
Over the years it has fostered many different interpretations; it is a name that is constantly evolving in meaning, just as Warren and Bake’s dualistic and artistic identity is always adapting and growing. While officially known as Warren on the dotted line, most know him simply as Bake. Over the years ‘Bake’ has become an alter-ego, a way in which to push creative expression to its absolute limits, far beyond traditional artistic methods into unexpected realms – including tattooing.

Warren Petersen may be the artist making the brushstrokes, but Bake is the renegade driving force ensuring every project is at its most creative and intense manifestation. Warren is the vessel, but Bake is the blazing, life-giving source of every new idea, from tattooing to painting to each create step forward

Baked Ink and the owner is borne out of the artistic creativity and the other art forms. Warren Petersen was raised in Easter Cape Town and has worked in different kinds of creative fields and thus has honed his skills in diverse mediums and expressions. Thus it has helped him be the artist that he is today. He has studied fine arts and has a specialization in painting and illustration, Then he has experience in working as a professional graphic designer and as a graffiti writer and muralist. It seems like Warren has done it all and has left no stone unturned to experiment and create something new.

Capetown Tattoo Studio
The artist at Baked Ink in Cape Town is really proud of their institution and are always ready to give their best shot to further the reputation of the studio. In the word of the owner, “Baked Ink is the product of individual’s need to express themselves and pursue their creative passions without the constraints of identity. Call it an alter ego, a split personality, a twin-core, or a projection of true self, the fact is: “Baked Ink is here – pushing oils to canvas and ink to skin. “
  • Shop Name: Baked Ink
  • Address: Baked Ink, 104 Loop St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
  • Email: creativeliving@bakedink.co.za
  • Contact: 066 229 2251
  • Facebook: Baked Ink
  • Instagram: @baked_ink
  • Website: bakedink.co.za
  • Timings: Mon-Sat 10:00 AM- 5:00 PM

Location on Google Maps:

12. Shane Copeland – Tomb Tattoo

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Shane Copeland at Tomb Tattoo is recognized for his high and bright style and his pop culture tattoo designs, He uses amazing shading techniques to make his designs look phenomenal. His work is not just bright but also very distinctive and would really catch the attention. Thus if you are in a need of a quirky tattoo design, Tomb Tattoo is the best place that one can visit. The studio is also very lovely and has chic decor. It is filled with the artist’s original art world which renders it pretty beautiful.

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Location on Google Maps:

13. Richard Moir- The PALM BLACK Tattoo Co

Capetown Tattoo Studio

PALM BLACK Tattoo Co is quite a professional tattoo studio in the middle of Cape Town which is all about chic vibes and amazingly skilled tattoo artists who are not just professional but also super welcoming. They have a very unique approach to tattoos. The studio offers the design by their in house artist, Raoul Goetze, Ninjabreadboy, Wesley von Blerk, David Chaston & Matthew Oldfield

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Richard Moir, under the name Ninjabreadboy, is a great hand poke artist who does not like to work by machine. He has a huge street culture influence and is under the spell of graffiti. He is very humorous and offers a very quirky approach to his designs. His designs are super graphic and yet simple with neat and bold lines.

Capetown Tattoo Studio

PALM BLACK Tattoo Co is one of the tattoo studios who not just in Capetown but also in the rest of Africa has worked hard to maintain international standards and trends, It is one of the only studios in the whole of Africa which offers exclusive hand poking technique instead of using the traditional method to get inked. 

With this, it is the only studio in cape town that serves to find alternative and unique methods to do various other things and be innovative. Richard Moir is a tattooist at PALM BLACK Tattoo Co and explains that, “I like using the medium to make the tattoo a little different. I utilize the fact that I can control every single dot.” Richard Moir of Palm Black is also a hand poked artist at the studio.

Capetown Tattoo Studio

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14. Baden Moir- Dark Horse Society

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Dark Horse is owned and operated by artist Baden Moir. Besides having talented tattoo artists, the tattoo studio is pretty cool and has a very amazing rock playlist buzzing in the background. It has a very nice and relaxing vibe to it and especially for the customers who might be a little tensed about their designs.  Bader Moir is a pretty talented artist who excels at line work.

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Location on Google Maps:

15. Tyrone Swanepoel- Hoodoo Tattoos

Capetown Tattoo Studio

Hoodoo Tattoos is definitely one of the best spots in cape town especially because of the amazing team of tattoos who have a great industry experience. The artist at Hoodoo Tattoos has more than 30 years of combined experience. They work on some diversified styles with some unique twists of their own.

They will always take care of some things like how their customers must always feel comfortable and relaxed during the whole process of getting tattooed. They want their customer’s experience to be unique each time they come to Hoodoo Tattoos to get inked.

Capetown Tattoo Studio

  • Shop NameHoodoo Tattoos
  • Address: Hoodoo Tattoos, 186 Lower Main Rd, Observatory, Cape Town, 7441, South Africa
  • Email: hoodootattoos@gmail.com; tyrone.tatoo@gmail.com ; davidsonink@gmail.com ; joselizemore13@gmail.com
  • Contact: +27 21 486 9003
  • Facebook: Hoodoo Tattoos
  • Instagram: @hoodoo-tattoos
  • TumblrHoodoo Tattoo 
  • Website: davidsonink.tattoo
  • Timings: Tue-Sat 10:00 AM- 6:00 PM

Location on Google Maps:

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