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Hood Ink Custom Tattoo Shop in Cape Town

The intimate new Salt River studio making body art accessible to all 

For gifted Cape Town fine artist Gomez, the proud owner of new Salt River-based tattoo studio Hood Ink, the transition into the world of body art was a rather natural progression.

“They [drawing and inking] are essentially the same thing,” exclaims the friendly founder, who, after years and years of painting, made the decision to officially swap his standard canvas for a living, breathing one in 2010. “One’s just on paper, and one’s on skin.”

Opening his own shop in mid-August 2013 was simply the next step in his evolution as a body artist, and a move primarily driven by his desire to strip tattooing of its rather intimidating emo associations and make it something that’s accessible to the average person.

“A lot of studios put forward this really dark, gothic image,” he explains. “But I’m trying to create a space for everyone, regardless of your background or interests.”

And he does this quite successfully at his clean, new streetside venue by both keeping prices low (tats start at a reasonable R350 a piece) and staying away from the kind of dim, ominous décor that dominates many a Mother City parlour. Instead, the intimate outlet is light and white, and the ambience is free of any pretence, so even body ink amateurs keen to imprint the tiniest butterfly on their big toe feel welcome here.

What’s more, the dexterous creative’s skill is as diverse as his client base. As he has firm art roots and has garnered great experience at a number of different parlours (including MOB Inc and Young Guns Tattoos in Obs), he can do anything from black and grey tribal designs and delicate lettering to portraiture, fusion and old-school colour work, and he’s able to adapt any generic catalogue image with ease. Plus, and perhaps most notably, the avid painter’s particularly adept at doing customised work and collaborating with clients to translate even vague ideas into eye-catching emblems (he offers free consultations too).

Aside from creating new masterpieces though, Gomez also prides himself on his ability to successfully conceal and reconstruct tattoos that have been done poorly by others in the past. Indeed, the likeable owner, who enjoys chatting to his patrons while he works, finds that one of the most rewarding parts of his job is helping customers to leave feeling good in their skin again.

And that’s essentially what Hood Ink is all about: providing a positive experience for those who’d rather own artwork on their bodies than purchase actual paintings. So, if this sort of prospect appeals, then this small Salt River spot is certainly one to keep in mind whenever a little (or a lot of) inking is in order.

Tip: Pop in before the end of August 2013 and get any 5 x 5cm tattoo for only R300 as part of Hood Ink’s opening special. Also, keep watching this space for new developments.  Rumour has it the studio will start doing body piercings in time too.

The Bill: As his aim is to cater to everyone, Gomez tries to keep costs reasonable and will do his best to create great work within clients’ budgets. As noted, prices start at R350, and all tattoos are charged for individually depending on size, detail and position on the body.

Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10am – 6pm (Hood Ink welcomes both walk-ins and appointments)

7 Spencer Road | Salt River | Cape Town | +27 (0) 78 783 5615

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Eager to find out about other ink institutions closer to home? Have a look at our overview of top tattoo studios making their mark on Cape Town.  

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