Whether you’re looking to make a unique statement or display some incredible art, there’s no denying that tattoos are the ultimate in creative expression. The vaping subculture has started to cement its own visual brand-mark in recent years, and with the number of vaping outlets and tattoo parlours both on the increase, it’s not a surprise that vaping often goes hand in hand with bodily embellishments.
Good Times tattoos in London
Best for: Old school designs with punk and rock influences
As the longest running tattoo parlour in the West End, Diamond Jacks specialise in traditional, no nonsense designs influenced by punk and rock ‘n’ roll Americana. Found on an appropriately dubious-looking alleyway featuring music memorabilia-filled walls, both the Sex Pistols and Pete Doherty have been patrons, and owner Darryl Gate’s designs have also featured in Vogue and on This Is England.
Best for: Tribal and Japanese designs, first timers, serenity and calm
You won’t find any neon signs or memorabilia on the inside of this light, airy and spacious parlour that looks more like a retro hair salon than a tattoo shop, but don’t worry, you haven’t come to the wrong place. Owner Nikole Lowe creates an un-intimidating serene environment which is perfect for first-timers or those who get the pre-tatt jitters. Bohemian, with a distinct feminine edge.
The Family Business
Location: Exmouth Market
Best for: Oriental Designs, vintage gangster surroundings, just about everything else
As the name suggests, Mo Coppoletta’s parlour has a focus on classic Mafioso styling, from the vintage swing playlist to the rich red interior and Roman Catholic Iconography scattered around the venue. The artists in situ at The Family Business pool a variety of specialisms and skills including oriental, geometric and contemporary. Expect to find the staff suited and booted, naturally.
Location: Harley Street
Best for: realism, art-horror, cover-ups celeb name dropping
Kevin Paul has inked some of the biggest name in modern showbiz including Harry Styles and Ed Sheeran but his big love is dark fantasy horror style design, which he has won awards for. He is also partnered with a laser removal surgery, and wants to set up a clinic specialising in cover-ups for those who didn’t get it right the first time around.
Location: Caledonian Road
Best for: Goth glamour, new school, graffiti inks and a no ego approach
If you love gothic opulence, then Jolie Rouge has it in abundance. Take in the impressive candelabras and opulent wallpaper and the parlour’s refreshingly grounded attitude whilst you adorn yourself with a graffiti inspired tattoo that are one of artist Matt-Difa’s specialisms. Pride themselves on doing what other studios turn down and have a great rep within the London tattoo scene.