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What You Need To Set Up a Tattoo Studio

For anyone that has seen the film Papillon where Steve McQueen tattoos a butterfly onto the chest of an Indian tribesman, you'll know that with great skill comes great currency. Papillon himself (Papillon being french for butterfly) was subsequently indoctrinated into said tribe and even had carte-blanche to sully every girl on the island. Whilst times have moved on, and we don't harbour convicted murderers on the run from the law based on their skills with a razor and dye, we do all have our own tribes. And generally the man that can paint the best butterfly on another man (or woman's) chest, gets to sit at the head of the table and feast on the choice cuts.

Body art has become increasingly popular since the turn of the century. If you have the passion for it and have always wanted to pursue the path of a tattoo artist, then you'll need the right tools.

Introducing Hildbrandt Tattoo Equipment, born out of David and Mark Hildbrandt's garage in 2004. Two brothers combined their trades, one being a tattoo apprentice, the other a goldsmith and they began creating bespoke custom one off builds. Although the machines were things of beauty, the Hildbrants knew they would have to be built more efficiently and at a lower cost if the company was going to grow. David sought to bridge the gap between the choice of a professional well-built machine that costs between $200 up to $1000 US dollars; and the rather ordinary China made imports that could barely push a 5 round needle for $20 bucks or less. The end result is a well-built tattoo machine that incorporated the design and professional feel of an old-school tattoo machine with a price point that entry level tattoo enthusiasts and budget minded professionals can afford. Today, thousands of tattoo artists worldwide use Hildbrandt tattoo machines - see some of their work in their artists’ gallery.

In 2010, the Inkstar brand was created as the entry level line of Hildbrandt. The Inkstar line deals mainly in tattoo kits and other setups that are designed for entry level to intermediate level tattoo artists. Here are three products recommended to us by the Hildebrandts themselves for learning the trade. Hildbrandt Advanced Tattoo Kit - a training system that combines the online support of the TeachMetoTattoo.com website, Tattoo Supply & Equipment Crash Course 101, the comprehensive textbook Basic Fundamentals of Modern Tattoo, visual tutorial of the Hildbrandt Training DVD and the hardware necessary to learn the trade.

3rd Generation Inkstar Journeyman C Tattoo Kit complete with Convention carrying case and Radiant Colours 7 colour professional tattoo ink set. The Hail Mary of their new 3rd Generation Inkstar tattoo machines is the huge reduction in operating voltage requirements. This is an excellent learning platform that will give you all the essential items you need to begin a journey of learning and discovery in the tattooing world. The 44 Magnum Hildbrandt although sounds like a Clint Eastwood espionage thriller, it is in fact one of the brand's original designs. This machine went into production in 2006 and has remained largely unchanged in terms of the frame design. This is a compact frame that has the same geometry as all their liners.

Peter Brooker

Peter is a published author on men's style, a huge James Bond fanatic and the host of our very own Menswear Style Podcast. His new book 'From Tailors with Love: An Evolution of Menswear Through the Bond Films' is available now.

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