A guide to some local tattoo artists

“So who did that for you?”

A question I get pretty often because people like to know who did some really great tattoos.

I’ve been hella fortunate to meet incredible artists over the last seven years or so.

Say what you want about the industry itself, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to picking a decent artist in Cape Town. I don’t know if it’s the mountain, the plethora of restaurants or the ocean air but there’s a lot of tattooers in the Mother City.

But I’m not the only one who enjoys getting tattoos, my friendship group is pretty prone to the needle too. So I compiled a list of really great artists that I (and my friends) go to:

More Than Hype Art Collective (Cape Town)

Located in Gardens, MTH has grown from strength to strength and has a selection of great artists who specialise in a variety of tattoo styles.

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Bee addition for the lovely Anna by @uncleblvck

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I’ve been tattooed by one of the artists there, Uncle Black, who has a graf art background and is known for incredibly clean linework. Visit the shop or give them a call to find out if they have space.

Baked Ink (Cape Town)

Warren is one of my first tattoo artists and actually did my first tattoo, way back in PE. He currently operates from a private studio and you’ll have to email him for information about bookings.

Lady Luck Tattoos (Cape Town)

Tanya Swemmer is one of my faves. No shade, but I feel way more comfortable with a female tattoo artist when dealing with some intimate spaces. She’s done two of my tattoos so far and I love her style. She’s been featured on Between 10 and 5 for her work and is clearly a fave to many of her clients. Contact her directly for more information on bookings.

Palm Black Tattoo Co. (Cape Town)

A favourite with a few of my friends, Palm Black Tattoo Co. is a pretty popular spot.  Appointment only.

Good Things Tattoo Co. (Cape Town) 

Sister shop to Body Architects in the southern suburbs. Some of my friends have had work done by artists from both shops, so do check them out. Appointment only.

Fallen Heroes (Johannesburg)

A friend went and got an incredible piece done here, one that I really love. I’ve never been able to get tattooed in Jozi before because money, tattoo time, flights and accommodation all add up. Contact the shop for more information about bookings and consultations.

Trademark Tattoo (Durban)

One of my friends in Durban loves getting new work and she frequents this shop.

According to their site, walk-ins are welcome!

I hope this helps and please be sure to contact the shop you want to visit. I can’t tell you rates for whatever piece you want, as they change all the time. My friends don’t know either, y’all. It’s hella invasive to ask people how much they paid for their tattoo –  even if you “just want to know”. Please don’t.


Be sure to show up for your appointment promptly and don’t waste your artist’s time. Come with references and be prepared, don’t drink the day before. And most importantly, you need to feel comfortable with your artist – it’s a huge part of the process.

Finally, please stop touching other tattooed people, especially women and femmes, without their consent. My body isn’t your mother’s house.


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