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
unit 4/6-8 The Boulevards Toronto NSW
email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Instagram – forbidden_ink
Joel – joel_tattoos
Nicole – missnictattoos
Shelli – pykelops
Kit – kittattooz