Mad Villain Tattoo

Where: 56 Station Street, Moorabbin
Hours: Open every day 10:30am-7pm
Phone: 9939 0135
Follow: Facebook / Foursquare

You might have noticed – tattoo parlours are increasingly common. “There’s a tattooist on every corner now,”jokes Marchek, tattoo artist at Moorabbin’s Mad Villain Tattoo. “They’re a bit more common than your average milkbar.”


The high frequency with which parlours are popping up across the suburbs could be attributed to tattoos entering the mainstream. Marchek’s Mad Villain colleague, Bridgette, believes that competition’s making artists push their game. “Having so many shops around, you’ve got to stand out a bit,”she explains. “You’ve got to find people who realise your style and are attracted to that.”


For her part, Bridgette describes her personal style as vibrant: “I like pretty much anything colourful: flowers, butterflies, girls, birds. But I’ve worked with everything,”she says. “ If I could pick, I’d rather do small colourful pieces you can do in a day.”


That said, she understands that being a tattooist is all about helping your client get the piece they’re after. “I started in a shop where you did writing, Japanese symbols, tribal, backjobs to sleeves – everything.”


While Marchek prefers horror themes and ‘anything evil,’he enjoys the challenge of interpreting his clients’style. “I don’t mind going back to traditional topics of tattoos – skulls, roses and all that,”he says. “I quite enjoy trying to tap into whatever the client is after. I’m enjoying discovering colour a bit, at the moment.”


Marchek, who learned his trade under Mad Villain’s proprietor, Ben, came to tattooing from a design background. Initially, he was attracted to the creative outlet the job provides. “I studied traditional graphic design, and having to do real corporate stuff, that was far from engaging,”he explains. “I was happy to find something where I could be painting and drawing, using my hands.”


While the store’s Mad Villain moniker might lead you to believe it’s a little…hardcore, behind the red and black facade the tough-guy persona falls away. Bridgette believes it’s important for clients to be comfortable. “Most women prefer a woman,”she says. “A lot of guys do too, because I guess they’re gentler to the designs and that they understand a bit better.”

Though many people take months – even years – settling on their first tattoo, Marchek believes it’s important not to overthink it too much”


“If it didn’t have its meaning when you got it, it definitely will over time. You’ll look back and see, well, that’s what was going on in my life there,”he advises. “You need a bit of room for randomness.”


Words and Photos by Tim Grey