A roundup of the best tattoo studios in Nottingham

A semester of instant noodles is worth it for new ink


Nottingham is fortunate in that it has an abundance of tattoo studios, particularly ones with quirky, instagrammable looking interiors. The expectations built by the aesthetically-pleasing decor doesn’t fall short when it comes to the tattoos themselves either. The City Centre is lucky to have such a concentration of studios which are home to an array of true artists.

If you’re not already a tattoo fiend, living in Nottingham may well just make you into one – what better way is there to spend your student loan as soon as it drops each term? Whenever I get tattooed, in my head I repeat, ‘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 to get something new, here’s a rundown of some of the best studios and artists that you can find in Nottingham, and with such a variety of styles, you’ll be sure to be going home over Easter break with something to make your parents tut.

Neon Wolf

If you live in Lenton, you’ve almost definitely passed Neon Wolf on a walk into town. The ex-city centre studio is now on Derby Road and is not only home to a super cool tattoo studio, but the Neon Wolf Cafe too. The eccentric interior is enough to draw you in as you find yourself sat in waltzer and dodgem cars, surrounded by an array of shades of pink.

Not only this, but the cafe prides itself on vegan baked goods, so even if you’re not ready to commit to a new tattoo just yet, the cafe is a new spot to hit up until you are. You can also buy gift cards if you’re looking to push yourself away from your commitment issues.

While the underground tattoo studio is less pink, the interior design is still beautiful, and the ceiling mirrors mean you get to watch your new body art being created in the moment. Maybe it’s time for a tattoo, coffee and cake date? Supporting local businesses and ending with a new super cool tattoo – it’s a win-win. Find out more on their Facebook.

Good Tattoo studio

Another spot perfect for Vegans, Good Tattoo Studio on Goose Gate is home to a variety of tattoo styles and lovely tattoo artists. Climb up the flights of stairs into the tattoo studio of your 2015 Tumblr dreams with exposed brick, big windows, and named plants.

The resident artists cover a variety of styles, from fine-line delicate floral work to ‘traditional fat lines’ and manga. I’d check out their website for the full rundown of all of their artist styles and little fun facts about themselves.

Good Tattoo is one of my favourite studios in Nottingham as the atmosphere simply cannot be matched. The artists are incredibly friendly, and great story-tellers, perfect for taking your mind off the reality of having a tattoo done. Not only that, but they frequently host guest artists from all over the world – make sure to keep tabs on their Instagram and website to look out for these as their slots fill up quite quickly.

Thundercat

Vegan tattoo studios seem to be all the rage in Nottingham because here’s another one. Just down the road from Good Tattoo, Thundercat is a two-story studio where once again you’ll find neon lights and plants galore. Specifically, the studio offers free tattoo consultations, so if you’re feeling a little bit doubtful, or if it’s your first tattoo, this might be the perfect place for you to start.

Their FAQs on their website not only go over things specific to the studio, but about tattoos more generally to put your mind at ease. Their instagram showcases their ‘World Class Artists’, showcasing skilful realism and colour work. You can even buy gift cards on their website for your favourite ink-loving friends and they’ve currently got a 20% discount on.

 

Bodycraft

Perfect for a 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 sheer number of artists means you’ll find a range of styles: traditonal, realism, simple linework, script and detailed blackwork. Down a little alleyway by the side of Bodega, this hidden gem is favoured among Notts students. They also offer walk-in appointments if you’re feeling spontaneous. Check them out on Instagram or their website.

Studio Valerie

A new contender in the Nottingham tattoo scene, the recently opened Studio Valerie is now home to three classic Notts tattoo artists. Opposite the Church Rock Cemetary by Forest Rec, the bright pink exterior makes Studio Valerie easy to spot. Once again, Nottingham tattoo studios don’t disappoint on appearances, or on the tattoos either.

Notably, this is the current home to local legend @betty.oops.tattoo, an incredibly talented tatoo artist with a very unique style. As a result, her diary usually ends up being pretty full but it’s worth the wait.

While Betty does have their books closed currently, it’s definitely worth looking out for them opening again if dark realism or stylised fairy pieces are your thing. Some of the artists here also guests at Frank Carter’s Rose of Mercy in London, so keep your eyes peeled.

Society 13

Society 13 hold the crown of ‘Nottingham’s Best Tattoo Studio’ from 2016-2021 and the work they showcase certainly supports this achievement. Generally, 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 appointment only, and they are fully booked until April, so that gives you an idea of how popular the artists really are. Check out their Instagram or Facebook and get onto the waiting list.

Soul Art

Soul Art Studios on Upper Parliament Street is home to eight regulars currently, including two of my personal Nottingham favourites,  @eyepatch.tattoo_ and @tommy.amour on insta. However, all of the artists here bring their own character and talent to the stage, check them all out on the studio instagram page. Specifically, check out some of their script, watercolour and realism work.

The studio’s instagram also showcases a lot 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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