5 Amazing Tattoo Studios in Bali
Tattooing has a fascinating set of connotations depending on where in the world you are from and how old you are. In the West, having ink used to be synonymous with criminals, sailors, bikers, and other characters who might take your face off if you looked at them wrong. Now, just drive around the island of Bali, and you will see the yogi’s with mandala tattoos, hipsters with line work, Aussie lads with traditional ink and Indonesian Pak’s with intricate barongs staring menacingly out from their upper arms.
The history of tattoos in Indonesia
Tattooing originates in Indonesia in the Mentawi islands where even today the members of the tribe there have distinctive lined tattooed. These represent their social status. Tattoos are called rajah in Bali, and people on this island consider them an artform poured permanently onto human skin. The drawings can symbolise masculinity, religious expression or something deeply personal, a little like in the West.
Tattoos for everyone in Bali
Traditionally, only shamans, rulers, and clerics in Bali wore tattoos. These traditional designs of Bali tattoo captured sacred scripts and Hindu deities, so only people considered close to the gods would decorate their bodies this way. Customarily the tattoos on the island were created with banana sap mixed with soot and coconut oil (vegan and hypoallergenic!). Things are a little different now; tattooing is considered a universal art form; anyone can do it! But with tattoo studios on every corner and a plethora of talented, innovative artists at work, where do you go to get a tattoo in Canggu? You want to know it’s not only stylish but safe too.
1) Charlie Rose, Tattoo Studio, Canggu
Jalan Raya Semat 30, Canggu,
Charlie Rose is a tattooed rebel in white, bucking the trend of all the gothic styled torture chambers currently stamping ink on tourists in Bali. Inside this tattoo studio, a minimalist vibe is created with bright and airy open spaces and a touch of “F**** you” on the wall.
Kim and Yulia Angel, from Australia and Russia, respectively, wanted to build something different, which embodied their strong family values. The couple aptly named the business after their daughter. Charlie Rose opened on Valentine’s Day, 2018 shortly after her birth.
This idea of relationships carries over into how the tattoo artists work with you, and they take great pride in creating original, personal artwork. No one picks up a tattoo gun until everyone is happy with the design. This tattoo studio in Canggu has a reputation for great visiting artists, and getting an appointment can be a challenge.
Finding a good tattooist in Bali can be very tricky, especially one that reproduces the style you want. Charlie Rose employs a variety of staff from around the world, all with their favourite artistic styles, including a dot work master, fine line aficionado and a traditional old school artist. This tattoo studio fly’s the flag of ink being universally elegant whether you are 18 or 80.
Jalan Raya Semat, Canggu
A well-established chain of tattoo studios, Kamikaze includes a new studio in Canggu as well as one in Kuta and another in the Gili Trawangan near Lombok. The Australian owned parlour opened in 2014 and employs all Indonesian artists as well as having tattooists from abroad make guest appearances. The western management is an active feature of this business, and they provide robust supervision to their staff and operate to Australian guidelines. All the staff are English, speaking, and happy to take the time to get your design right.
The work here is usually Australian and traditional, but as with all the studios on the shortlist, other styles are covered. Famous for large pieces, including full sleeves and portraits, the comfortable chairs are made especially for long sessions. However, they also cater to the more spontaneous tattoo lover wanting to make an inquiry and are happy to have walk-ins at any time.
Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong No.76, Canggu
The most expensive tattoo studio on our shortlist Baba Yaga is an international hub for artists with Russian and English-speaking tattooists. Founded in 2015 this studio, in Canggu, is named after a supernatural being in Slav folklore. Baba Yaga appears as a demented and ferocious-looking woman often depicted with chicken legs, who can both help and hinder those that encounter her. In fairy tales, she often lives in the forest and flies around wielding a pestle.
Thankfully, customers are met with the more material incantation of this witch and the artwork in this tattoo studio Canggu is nothing short of magical. They pride themselves on their use of hypoallergenic, vegan ink imported from the USA and the creation of custom designs for each client.
Jl. Raya Semat No.30, Canggu
Alter has an excellent reputation and has resided in a few different spots in Canggu since its opening a few years ago. The artists here are renowned for mandalas, geometrical patterns, and weird, imaginative creations.
Ezy, the founder of the studio, originally comes from Bandung in Java, one the meccas for tattoo artists in Indonesia. He is a master at the dotwork technique and has legendary precision and attention to detail as well as a highly original style of drawing.
5) Fox Mulder
Jl. Pantai Berawa No. 102
Fox Mulder tattoo studio, founded by a professional tattoo artist with extensive experience, operates with an international team plus guest artists. Everyone has their own style, so you will undoubtedly find someone who suits your artistic taste here.
As with all the other studios we have listed, there is a guarantee of high quality imported, disposable, or sterilised equipment. If you are looking to gain some metal as well as some ink, this place is certainly for you because Fox Mulder employs an experienced piercer too. You can get your rock chick on here.
Bali is the best for tattoo tourism
Bali is fast growing as a tattooing destination and attracts artists with international reputations. This island has its own strong tattooing tradition as well as an infinitely beautiful culture that has added seamlessly into the mix, the professionalism, and the diversity of the international community. What is rather lovely too is that all the tattoo studios in Canggu recommend each other and these respectful professionals are the ones that made the top spots.
A good proportion of these tattoo studios are in Canggu, so if your wanting to rent a Canggu holiday villa near some of these amazing studios, all you have to do is browse this website – or contact us – we are open 7 days.