A semester of instant noodles is worth it for new ink
Nottingham is blessed with an abundance of tattoo studios, especially those with quirky, Instagrammable interiors. Nor do the expectations raised by the aesthetic decor live up to the tattoos themselves. Downtown is blessed with such a concentration of studios that house an array of genuine artists.
If you’re not already a tattoo artist, living in Nottingham just might make you one – what better way is there to spend your student loan when it comes down each term? Every time I get a tattoo, I repeat to myself in my head, “pain is temporary, swag is forever,” but you might find yourself adapting that to, “student loan is temporary, swag is forever.”
If you’re looking for something new, here’s a look at some of the best studios and artists you can find in Nottingham, and with such a variety of styles you’ll be sure to come home over the Easter holidays with something to do. to your parents.
If you live in Lenton, you’ve almost certainly come across Neon Wolf on a stroll through town. The old town center studio is now on Derby Road and not only houses a super cool tattoo studio, but also the Neon Wolf Cafe. The quirky interior is enough to draw you in as you find yourself sitting in waltzer and dodgem cars, surrounded by an array of shades of pink.
Not only that, but the cafe prides itself on its vegan baked goods, so even if you’re not ready to commit to a new tattoo just yet, the cafe is a new place to visit until you are. . You can also buy gift cards if you’re looking to get away from your commitment issues.
Although the underground tattoo studio is less rosy, the interior design is still gorgeous, and the mirrors on the ceiling allow you to watch your new body art being created. Maybe it’s time for a tattoo, coffee and cake date? Supporting local businesses and ending up with a super cool new tattoo – it’s a win-win. Find out more on their Facebook.
Good tattoo studio
Another perfect spot for vegans, Good Tattoo Studio on Goose Gate is home to a variety of tattoo styles and lovely tattoo artists. Climb the stairs to your 2015 Tumblr dream tattoo studio with exposed brickwork, large windows, and named plants.
The resident artists cover a variety of styles, from delicate floral work in fine lines to “traditional bold lines” and manga. I would check out their website for a complete rundown of all their artist styles and fun little facts about themselves.
Good Tattoo is one of my favorite studios in Nottingham because the atmosphere is simply incomparable. The artists are incredibly friendly and great storytellers, perfect for taking your mind off the reality of a tattoo. Not only that, but they frequently host guest artists from around the world – be sure to keep an eye on their Instagram and website to seek them out as their slots fill up pretty quickly.
Vegan tattoo studios seem to be all the rage in Nottingham because here’s another one. Just down from Good Tattoo, Thundercat is a two-story studio where you’ll once again find neon lights and plants galore. Specifically, the studio offers free tattoo consultations, so if you’re feeling a little skeptical or this is your first tattoo, this might be the perfect place to start.
Their FAQs on their website not only cover things specific to the studio, but also tattoos more generally to put your mind at ease. Their instagram showcases their “world-class artists,” showcasing deft realism and color work. You can even buy gift cards on their website for your favorite ink-loving friends and they are currently 20% off.
Perfect for a more student budget, Bodycraft in the heart of Hockley offers a variety of services from over 20 professionals, ranging from your standard tattoo and piercing to semi-permanent makeup and laser removal.
Another Vegan-Friendly studio, the large number of artists means you’ll find a range of styles: traditional, realism, simple line art, script and detailed black work. At the end of a small lane next to Bodega, this hidden gem is popular with Notts students. They also offer walk-in dates if you’re feeling spontaneous. Check them out on Instagram or on their website.
A new contender on the Nottingham tattoo scene, the recently opened Studio Valerie is now home to three classic Notts tattoo artists. Across from Forest Rec’s Church Rock Cemetery, the bright pink exterior makes Studio Valerie easy to spot. Again, Nottingham Tattoo Studios don’t disappoint on looks, nor on tattoos either.
Notably, it’s the current home of local legend @betty.oops.tattoo, an incredibly talented tattoo artist with a very unique style. As a result, her diary usually ends up being pretty full, but it’s worth the wait.
Although Betty currently has her books closed, it’s definitely worth reopening them if dark realism or stylized fairy parts are your thing. Some of the artists here are also guests at Frank Carter’s Rose of Mercy in London, so keep your eyes peeled.
Company 13 holds the crown for ‘Nottingham’s Best Tattoo Studio’ from 2016-2021 and the work they feature certainly supports that achievement. In general, their style tends to be a bit darker and their instagram shows great examples of the cover-up work their artists create if that’s what you’re looking for.
The studio is by appointment only, and they are fully booked until April, which gives you an idea of how popular the artists really are. Check their Instagram or Facebook and join the waiting list.
Soul Art Studios on Upper Parliament Street is currently home to eight regulars, including two of my personal Nottingham favourites, @eyepatch.tattoo_ and @tommy.amour on insta. However, all the artists here bring their own character and talent to the stage, check them all out on the studio’s instagram page. Specifically, check out some of their script, watercolor, and realism work.
The studio’s instagram also features lots of fun tattoos from their array of artists, so if you’re looking for something a little less status quo, they’re definitely worth checking out.
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