Forbidden Ink opened the 5th of January 2015, Started by award winning artists Joel Speelman and Jay Jones

Joel and Jay started at crossroads tattoo, before both making there way to impact tattoos
where there craft progressed as did there friendship
when the licencing laws came in they decided to open there own studio in Toronto.

Tragically Jay lost his life in a boating accident, before getting to enjoy the fruits of his labour, however his spirit is definitely felt in the shop, a portrait drawing up in the corner of Joel’s workspace, looks over the studio.
i wasn’t lucky enough to meet Jay, but you can tell the lives he touched by the tattoos on some of his closest friends, wearing proud there ‘jay fish’ tattoos, on hands, necks and heads.

Forbidden ink  is a open plan space, clean and classy, well laid out with a lot of room to sit on the couches and enjoy the vibe.

I first met Joel in march 2013, at the Sydney body art expo , at that time i didn’t know how good Joel was, id never seen tattooing done up close that good, he did a rose on a young lady’s neck a walk up and boy was it good, the water droplets i remember thinking ..fuck this bloke can tattoo …
meeting Joel on the Friday it wasn’t long before Sunday we were drinking beers and having a good laugh, heading out together with a few other awesome tattooers, this was the first time id been in the lifestyle, where people just accepted you, no judgemental stares or glares,
it wasn’t long before the crew from the expo started having dinners and karaoke
where Joel was always the life of the party.

Joel’s been in the industry 10 years, his tattooing style is a mix of black & grey realism, portraiture style
However I’ve seen him do abit of everything and do it exceptional
Joel’s doing some of the best faces I’ve ever seen in black and grey ,if your looking for a day of the dead girl ,this is your man

when chef Speelman’s not in the studio he’s often near the grill ,smoking and spit roasting alot of different meats, Making the world jealous via his Instagram videos.

joels is sponsored by oztat skincare, ron meyers greywash, inkjecta and ink ammunition

Nicole Pavitt and Shelli Mae, are the two young ladies in the shop
but don’t let there smiles and light hearted personality’s fool you , these girls are hard workers and can tattoo beyond there years,

Nicole does alot of neo trad tattooing but has been taking on more dotwork style tattoos, if you’ve ever done dotwork you know how easy it is to go on auto pilot but hers are clean and precise, you can tell Nicole pays attention to what she’s doing, and the result is some very beautiful tattooing
apprenticing at 2012 to olde English where her skills excelled surrounding herself with Siarn Engels, another very skilled young tattooer.

Shelli another girl emerging from 2012, Shelli seems like a shy girl -hates having her photo taken , i really think once she finishes blacking out her arm it will boost her confidence, but her tattooing is really good, mastering the digital artworks, Shelli is always putting up exciting new designs i wish i had the space for,
Going from bright colour to even doing a fine line illustrative style skull on her own calf -if you’ve ever tattooed yourself you know how hard that spot is to get to, and she killed it.

both theses girls are ones to watch, the environment there in will only enhance there skills and Joel will push them to work hard and do clean consistent

Kevin Maxwell aka kit tattoos
coming from honey ink
kits works in a private room at forbidden ink
it reminds me of my little studio,
a well thought out space with a TV to help keep the clients occupied, while he zones into his work wearing headphones to drown out distractions, so he can achieve his best possible work,
Kit has been doing some really nice black and grey realism lately but his colour portrait style stuff is also bright and vibrant.

overall the vibe at forbidden ink is a good one, approachable clean and casual, if your getting tattooed here your walking out with a piece of artwork and a story to tell.

i look forward to spending more time at forbidden ink what a great environment

Forbidden Ink
unit 4/6-8 The Boulevards Toronto NSW
ph (02)49599292
email –

Instagram – forbidden_ink
Joel – joel_tattoos
Nicole – missnictattoos
Shelli – pykelops
Kit – kittattooz


I’ve spent time at impact over the last year
and what I’ve found is family

The talent at impact is second to none, they strive to do the best possible work they can on each and every client

Rachel, possibly one of my dearest friends in the tattoo industry,
we both cut our teeth at chopper ink in Cessnock, under the watchful and experienced teachings of Clint Hawes.
This was the first time i met someone like me, someone battling there own demons, like me Rachel was getting tattooed and using tattooing as a tool to heal, Tattooing saves lives in one way or another.
I have tremendous respect for this girl as I’ve watched her progress through the years, not only in her tattooing, but into the woman she is today.

Jacob, new to the impact family from his own shop in Cobar, Jacobs skills and personality felt right at home, hearing his story i knew straight away this guy was another likeminded artist, That found himself through tattooing, Jacob is also a talented rapper, who can spit rhymes like a man possessed, i scored his original ep, trial and error, which i blast every day, big things coming from Mista Oomph.

Ali, this girl can tattoo, coming through from the fine arts world, she brings a style that really puts this shop in the forefront, Ali loves a lot of black in her tattoos but balances it out with a great composition, always focusing on a light source and where the shadows are, The only tattoo artist I’ve heard use chiaroscuro in a sentence and know what it meant, I proudly wear one of Alis tattoos on my ribs and we plan many more.

Viv, talks of the old days hanging out just round the corner, when the sign went up in the shop window, ‘tattoos by Deano, Pedro, Kelby’, having known Pedro (scotts father) from his days at crossroads,
Viv found his new home where he quickly picked up how a shop runs, Pushing to expand the business, teaching himself how to pierce and finding talented artists. 10 years on and Viv is the reason i believe this shop is as close as they are, He encourages artists to work there hardest and this man is the reason we have some of the best artists here in Australia, seeing the likes of Tater Tats, Joel Speelman, Demi Iacopetta, Megan Mary just to name a few coming up in that shop
VIV is impact.

Holly, is the youngest in the studio and coming through as an apprentice, You can see she has the skills, Possessing raw talent this girl can draw, if its anything to come she’s going to be a talented tattoo artist, i look forward to the day she starts to pump out some really amazing work and ill be there to help her achieve that goal.

Nell, brings a refreshing vibe to the shop, The unofficial lesbian tattooer of Newcastle, holds her own and I’m quite surprised how good she’s gotten so quick,
Nell doesn’t cop any cheek from the boys at impact and can deal it back just as good.

Alex, altho on maternity leave
After having a gorgeous little girl, Arielle
Alex is part of the impact family, specialising in ornamental dotwork and patterns, she is someone I look up to as this is the style of tattooing that I have gravitated towards,
Getting me back into the coil machines
My work has really excelled with her advice,
I wear a mandala on my head that’s Alex’s handy work, possibly one of my favourite tattoos,
I look forward to her coming back to the studio
So I can continue to learn the style of tattooing that she does so flawlessly
We have plans of a white face tattoo on myself
And Alex is only one Id consider todo it.

last but defiantly not least
Scott ,The boss, The owner of impact
not only a tattooer
but a creative mind that owns and runs kelby kustoms,
A motorcycle fabrication and paint shop that also specialises in hydodipping,
It doesn’t take long to see this man is a worker, i don’t know how he does it
sharing his time between the two shops, you can tell he has a passion and a vision for how he wants his businesses to be ran,
one of the best blokes you will ever have the pleasure of meeting,
and someone i have worlds of respect for.
he speaks of always staying humble,
Scott is the definition of the word.

‘I was never scared to die alone, until i knew what it was like to have a home’

I’m home at impact

333 Main Rd  Cardiff NSW

Instagrams -@impacttattoos
Ali -@ali_art13
Rachel -@racheleatsoreos
Jacob -@oomphytattsnraps
Nell -@nelltattoos
holly -@hollyfincher

Viv -@vivpiercer13
Scott -@kelbkustoms
Alex -@ms_wolfy

FLT Tattoo

FLT stands for Friendship, Love and Truth
And it shows when you head up the staircase into another world

A well thought out open plan studio that flows, Kitschy classy with an upscale feel
there’s a lot to look at ,  ‘this is a fun place to be’
You just know Arts being created here.

This Private,  Appointment only studio in Hamilton,  Allows the artists to focus on you and your new piece of artwork distraction free.
eddy-Lou an accomplished tattoo artist specialising in black illustrative style, like none other, A mixture of crosshatching and fine lines, beautiful when done correctly and she sets the bar.

Eddy decided it was time to break away and open her own studio, having worked in the Newcastle and Coastal areas,  Ed knew what was needed

The finished product is what you see before you
a studio that’s not long celebrated there 1 year ,
with an established vibe most never achieve.

Its got to be the environment,
Emily Breadner brings that traditional tattoo feel
possibly because she is covered in black work trad, all amazing timeless tattoos.
this speaks to me because she’s gone for something that will hold up forever in skin, ‘i want what she’s having” . Always look at what tattoo artists have tattooed on them , Emily has high standards and this shows in her work , Clean neat tattoos of a girl tattooing beyond her years.

Sophie Lewis brings a presence that makes this a cheery tattoo family
Sophie coming from another studio in Newcastle, Was eager to work with other like minded artists. I’ve seen this as a reflection in her tattoo work, there is a point you can see her tattooing evolve – how good is Instagram for this!,  Sophie’s work is a mix of a  colourful realistic/neo traditional style.

Sophie is supported by her partner Josh McGregor who is an artist in his own right, painting in oil Josh shows favour to dark disconnected artwork, I’m a fan of his work.

Eddy’s partner, Aaron aka ‘hats’,
I was tempted to call this post ‘hats’ because he is everything that embodies FLT, Creating his own form of art, Playing the guitar and singing, hats played an intimate wedding vow to eddy, after they tied the knot of 10 years together ,what a FRIENDSHIP.

Hats was also the man behind most of the hard labour to get the studio to where it is today, while keeping the fridge stocked with zooper doopers that’s LOVE.

You can just tell these two have it figured out, spending time with there two cats, Atticus and Winfred  who they love more than most humans , Ain’t that the TRUTH.

Hats off to the Girls of FLT

private studio is by appointment only
Hamilton NSW

– FLT Tattoo Studio
– Eddy-Lou tattoo artist

studio @flttattoostudio
Eddy @eddylou
Sophie @sophielewistattoos
Emily @furiousxkitten

Aaron’hats’Bennett @hatsbennett
Josh McGregor @joshmcgregorart