‘Not your average tattoo studio’: Artist plans in small town
A development application has been lodged with the Tweed Shire Council for a new tattoo studio in the township of Burringbar.
The artist behind the possible studio, Ben Milliken, said he plans to make the shop more focused on the art than the tattooing, as well as help change the stigma around tattooists.
"The tattoo industry is a lot different than what it used to be," Mr Milliken said.
"Everyone requires a licence, there are thorough background and criminal checks.
"It's more about the art rather than the attitude."
It's what he plans to bring to Burringbar if the development and lease on the building are approved.
"It's going to be more of a gallery and an art gallery than a tattoo studio," he said.
"Not so much your average tattoo studio - something a bit classier."
The choice of Burringbar was not for the size of the town, but for it's location between many other towns including Byron Bay, Pottsville and Tweed Heads.
Mr Milliken currently operates on a private and by appointment with some walk-ins which is how he plans to continue to operate.
His artwork covers every style rather than specialising in one and has even attracted some big names - however he kept tight lipped about who.
"I don't really care who it is, everyone gets treated the same," he said.
"To the first timer to the person completely covered.
"They all get treated with respect.
"It's a big deal - they're redefining themselves when they get tattoo, you've got to respect the reasons."
He said he wasn't aiming for this to be a big trendy, fashionable studio.
"I just want a place I can do my art and people can come and be comfortable," he said.
If the lease and DA are approved the studio will be located at the Broadway Shops in Burringbar.
The application is on display until April 21 for residents to have their say on the Tweed Shire Council website.