Kaleidoscope Tattoo is iconic in Bondi Sydney Australia for a multitude reasons, the main one being that they are one of the longest standing studios in Sydney. As it has reached its 25th anniversary this year it is safe to say the studio is here for the long haul with stories to tell from the past and many more to come. Kaleidoscope was founded by Luciano Lima but is now owned by himself and his brother Fabio, they are two out of five brothers who have created a career for themselves in the tattooing industry.
Born and raised in Brazil, this family story is one that is both unique and offers a deep seeded passion for the arts which has been spread across the globe through each of their work. Their father was a dentist and Luciano has memories of being a young boy who assisted in his father’s clinic with sterilization as well as other general tasks, this truly set the bar for Luciano’s expectation of cleanliness and hygiene which has been carried throughout his career. Arts were encouraged in the Lima home; they had a mother who painted and grandparents who were fond of drawing…. Although we don’t think they had any idea this would be the first steps for their sons to start their tattooing career right from the laundry of the family home. If we go back to the previous comment about the Lima brothers working across the globe, we can touch on the fact that one brother owns two successful shops in Brazil and that another owned a studio in Italy. They have worked and travelled in the United Kingdom, Bali, Italy, Ibiza, Australia … the list goes on. Luciano is however the only brother who is still actively tattooing, the interest and unwavering devotion in learning about the arts is still evident from the very fact that you can find him studying the origin of the colour wheel until 5am in the morning.
Luciano saw home in Australia, where his love for the beach met his love for tattooing and it was there in 1995 that Kaleidoscope Tattoo started on the famous Bondi Road. With just himself and another artist operating the studio back then, they built up a colourful, stable clientele, a team of artists and body piercers that have imprinted themselves in the community and country through their peaceful, talented, diverse and open approach to life as well as their occupation. The studio has seen two and a half decades of issues and triumphs associated with the industry, but Kaleidoscope has stood as long as it has through being unaffiliated with anything that could threaten or detract from the main cause of sharing the arts with their loyal following. The studio has seen many successes thus far from its humble beginnings, such as a major upgrade in space as well as branding, when the shop moved across the road in 2008. Some famous names have been
through these doors in the last 25 years; people such as Marcia Hines, The Veronica’s, Sara O’Hare, Kesha, Jules Egan, Heath Ledger and most recently Simon Baker. If you ask Luciano and Fabio what their intentions are moving forward, they will always politely smile and tell you that they only care to keep doing what they love, growing what they have as well as making a safe haven for a budding team of artists where they can be understood and develop in their own way as well as in their own time. Trust us when we say that the Lima’s brains never stop ticking when it comes to innovative ideas and plans … watch this space! You can find a diverse range of artists within Kaleidoscopes walls who originate from various parts of the world.
Longevity does not go unnoticed in a place like Bondi, Sydney. People have an expectation for the unique and a level of quality unlike any other. We have seen a resurgence recently of customers who were coming when Kaleidoscope first opened and throughout the early years. These clients are bringing their grown-up children to be tattooed, want to commemorate life milestones on their own body again or want to bring friends to a trusted studio based on their previous experiences. There are clients who are walking around with body art from Kaleidoscope Tattoo, which is to the value of a deposit on a house, if that is not commitment … we don’t know what is. The demographic and trends are forever changing, how we move with those changes is imperative to how the studio progresses or holds value to every generation. Even the name of the studio embodies the above-mentioned values are the very reasons why Luciano chose it! Remember looking into a kaleidoscope as a child and seeing all the mesmerising changing patterns and the wide variety of colours and shapes. It is self-explanatory as to how this relates to the way things are approached with our diverse range of artists from around the world, our clientele’s needs, as
well as the overall vision for the studio. It is interesting to look back over the years and see how the industry and art has progressed, from the 90’s where the tattooing world was full of tramp stamps, tribal and Chinese lettering. Today we are seeing intricate fine line work, geometric andwatercolour being a few styles that are the new phenomenon. Whatever the style or the trend is, we are here for it and our artists strive to make custom designs or at least add their own interpretation to every piece… we want our work to be part of your life forever.
This year to celebrate we wanted to throw a big party! But as we all know … 2020 has had its own ideas of a wild time when it presented Covid-19. The pandemic stopped our industry dead in its tracks for a short time and made us all get creative in how we would move forward with new limitations etc. We still very much intend to be celebrating this Anniversary… in the meantime we ask that you raise your glasses and beer bottles to toast for 25 strong years of Kaleidoscope Tattoo being open, as well as the many more exciting ones ahead.