Tattoo Studios and Artists in Bali
Getting Tattooed in Bali
Tattoos have always been a symbol for expressing one’s own uniqueness and individuality. Getting a tattoo while on holiday is quite common nowadays, and Bali is no exception.
You are thinking of getting a tattoo in Bali as well? Great idea, Bali has become one of Asia’s top tattoo destinations.
Balinese art is of incredible beauty and provides countless ornaments and designs that are inspired by its culture and unique expression of Hinduism. You will find many interesting and beautiful tattoo designs here, if you wish to have something associated with Bali, such as the Garuda, the Barong or the Rangda, or you can go for the more traditional Hindu deities.
Tattoo Tradition in Bali?
There are quite a few Balinese (mostly male) who do have tattoos, but tattoos are not traditionally part of Balinese culture like in Polynesia, even though many might think so. The tattoo industry started more or less together with the tourism industry and has grown ever since. The beginnings of the tattoo industry were humble and rocky though. Not every tattoo that found its permanent home on the forearm of an Australian tourist in Kuta would win a contest.
But particularly over the last decade the tattoo industry has matured incredibly in Bali and nowadays many visitors do come to Bali with the aim to get their tattoo done instead of going to an artist back home. Many professionally run studios and gifted local and international artists offer traditional, modern and of course also Balinese designs at prices that are sometimes far below what one would pay in Australia, Japan, US, and Europe.
Many tattoo studios also offer piercing and piercing accessories. Getting a piercing in Bali is of course not as common as getting a tattoo, still you can get almost any part of your body pierced, if you desire to do so in Bali.
Good to Know
There are hundreds of tattoo studios all over Bali. And particularly with tattoos and body art, doing some form of research is a MUST; don’t just walk down the main street of Kuta or Legian and hop into random tattoo studio. Yes, it happens.
Tattoo & Body Art Studios in Bali
Quite a few travelers come to Bali specifically for getting their tattoo done here, or even keep returning to Bali regularly to continue with their body art work with their favorite artist and tattoo studio. This can make a lot of sense; because for the price of a sophisticated tattoo art work back home, they can get the tattoo, the airfare and sometimes even more of their travel expenses in Bali covered. How cool is that.
Hand poked tattoos are getting more and more popular also in Bali. As a technique it means somewhat going back to its roots and back-to-basics thinking of ancient tribal techniques or even prison tattoos. Since the demand for this technique is rising also the artists have caught up and start to offer this service.
Hand poking in general hurts less than a machine tattoo as it’s far less invasive. The skin can therefore also heal quicker, which is a nice side effect. Of course, as expected, it does take longer than a machine tattoo, which adds to the cost.
Colours aren’t best suited, that’s why many hand poke artist only use black and shades of grey for this method
The prices are usually significantly cheaper than in most countries abroad, but please think twice if it is suspiciously cheap. This goes actually for everything in Bali: Bali is indeed a holiday destination that offers incredible value for money. So many things one can enjoy here, are unbelievably cheap compared to international prices. This is mainly due to very low labour costs. BUT, at the same time, Balinese also need to eat, pay school fees, transportation, housing, and generally make a living in a country, where there is basically no social safety net. People need to live.
Some people, like everywhere else in the world have enough criminal energy to cheat and trick, which would mean they would not do their job well or use materials and ink, that are cheap and of low quality. Also. Living in Bali is for the local population, far more expensive than living on other islands in the archipelago. So if you bargain too hard, if things are simply too cheap to be true, then rest assured, the quality will most likely not what you expect. And when it comes to tattoo, you want to make sure, that the tattoo studios use the best imported ink, that the ink pots are sealed, that the artist uses sterilized needles originally packed, and that the overall hygiene in the shop is at highest standard.
Although getting a tattoo is and should be fun and exciting, there is always risk associated if the hygiene measures are not up to standard. Bali’s tattoo industry did not always have the best reputation due to low hygiene standards and many small studios lining the shady streets of Kuta, serving the party crowds. Today, most tattoo studios in Bali are run professionally and the artists take your health very seriously. But, it’s possible, that there are still some small studios with in-sufficient standards or who work with ink that is not of highest quality. Therefore it is important, that you choose your studio well and please, with everything else in Bali, use your common sense. If it feels dodgy it probably is, and then better don’t take the risk. There are countless wonderful, and professionally managed tattoo studios on the island, with artists who have your well-being in mind and also a reputation to lose.
Like with so many things in Bali, getting too drunk to know what’s happening is absolutely not a good idea even if it’s easy and tempting.
Particularly young visitors to Bali decide to get their first tattoo here on the island. The sun, the vibe, the atmosphere of holiday, have of course an encouraging effect. Some get encouraged by their party friends and with too much alcohol in the bloodstream stop to use their common sense. Some will wake up the next morning with an unpleasant and permanent surprise. Even though many studios will not accept clients who are too obviously drunk, some studios won’t bother to say no. They will take the business.