Ultimate Tattoo Guide - Bali
Bali or the Island of Gods, is an attractive place for hundreds of thousands of creative people from all over the world, including many tattoo artists.
Written by Ivan Androsov
Rice terraces, black sand, majestic volcano peaks, smiling people, age-old traditions and mystical rituals. All thisfills the island with inexhaustible power, which is put across people. Everyone does it in their own way: someone is looking for enlightenment by surfing, someone is meditating in the jungle, someone reaching it through art.
Every tattoo artist dreams of working on the island, and every tourist dreams of capturing inspired symbols on his body. Let's try to understand what is the culture of tattooing in Bali.
There are a lot of tattoo shops on the island, but it only seems. Many of them are run by local people, and only local people get tattoos there. Usually such shops are situated not in the central parts of the city, and are not something exceptional, ordinary signs with the works of foreign artists and a couple of locals chilling at the entrance.
It is quite difficult to get into the studios opened by expats from different parts of the world. Before COVID, you should write a year in advance to book a place for work. During the pandemic, entry to the island was restricted, and there was an opportunity to work in famous and popular shops. To get a work permit, you need to pay 3,000,000 rupees (about 200$) for so-called "protection". This document gives you a legal right for working during one month. It is better not to start a large promotion before receiving it. The local authorities can see an attempt to earn illegally and will gladly fine both the studio and the artist! Besides, all studios on the island are equal in class to ordinary shops. And moreover, to avoid the problems, the owner or part of the employees must be Indonesian. It is one of the rules for any business in Bali.
The most fashionable tattoo studios are located among the greenery and small shops with designers' pieces in Canggu, or in more passable streets in Kuta and Semenyak, aimed at walk-ins. Sometimes you can get a tattoo at various festivals, for example, at "Taco and Tattoo Thursday" in DEUS Temple of Enthusiasm (famous surf/moto/cultural place). But some people don’t care and make their tattoos right on the villas they rent!
Black and Grey tattoos are more common for Bali style. There is a problem to buy an equipment as you should order it from abroad and have to wait for months and often happened to lose it at customs. Many shops ask travelling friends to bring some equipment, this is a common practice for many things on the island. In addition, on tanned skin black color looks the best, and it is the simplest in work, and healed tattoos in Black&Grey are always very good! But it is difficult to take care of a tattoo when it is very hot and humid around. Therefore, many studios use membrane films for healing, which help the skin recover in just 5-7 days. Be sure to ask the shop if they have one!
It is also worth remembering that the cost of work on the island varies very much, as in many parts of Asia. The artist deliberately overestimates the cost, but you can always make a deal - this is like a game for both of you, to find a compromise.
One thing is for sure, it is difficult to find more stylish, high-quality, spiritual works anywhere else but in Bali! The number of unique styles is amazing and admires the most demanding customers! The professionalism of the artists deserves respect, and the results after healing are always pleasing the eye.
Here are some tattoo artists who deserve attention if you decide to visit the island and take away a souvenir on the skin as a reminder of an unforgettable vacation:
Fineline designs by Akis Gautama.
Native ornaments with unique patterns by Mizer86.
Filigree vintage style tattoos by talented Soddog.
Delicate patterns by awesome Ksenya.
Modern Japanese Neotraditional and anime from Adams Ramen.
Feminine fine line tattoos from Valentine Rouz.
Awesome handpoke by beautiful Daria Misanets.
Native ornaments by Ipin La'tattu.
Miniatures by the talented Mayliza Anjelica.
To see more, check our gallery of tattoos done in Bali.