Dirty Deeds Tattoo owner Sam Maitland. The business has gone mobile after being shut down last year.
Dirty Deeds Tattoo owner Sam Maitland. The business has gone mobile after being shut down last year.

Mobile tattooist makes mark after insurance shut down

AN Ipswich tattoo artist who was forced to close her business last year due to a huge insurance bill has found success with a new venture on four wheels.

Sam Maitland ran Dirty Deeds Tattoo and Piercing in Raceview for 18 months but had no choice but to shut things down unless she could come up with thousands of dollars at short notice.

The business had been classed as ‘high risk’ by insurance companies.

Sam Maitland has been in the industry for 10 years.
Sam Maitland has been in the industry for 10 years.

After mulling over the idea of setting up at a new location near the same shopping complex, Ms Matiland decided on another route.

She bought a van, had it fitted out and wrapped to establish a new mobile service at a cost of about $65,000.

“We were worried about the same situation happening again,” she said.

“We asked the landlord to check it out with his insurance and they didn’t get back to us when they said they would so we had a couple more days to think.

“We don’t have to worry about other people’s insurance or rent or anything like that.”

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Ms Maitland secured the licence with Ipswich City Council just before Christmas and has been busy ever since with her calendar booked up until May.

Many clients who had already paid deposits waited until she was back up and running.

Ms Maitland travels to appointments anywhere within an hour of her Springfield Lakes home and on quiet days gets to spend more time with young son Campbell.

The process to establish her mobile service took about six months.

With caravans a hot commodity during COVID-19, there was a bit of a delay getting the Dirty Deeds van modified.

Ms Maitland, who has been working in the industry for a decade, said she noticed there were more women getting tattoos than before.

The Dirty Deeds Tattoo van.
The Dirty Deeds Tattoo van.

“I think it’s more of an accessory,” she said.

“It’s just like buying a handbag or buying a pair of shoes.

“I’ve always drawn. I did art at uni but it wasn’t my type of art.

“Then I did design and I was told I was too messy for design.

“I just kept drawing and went down this track.”

A lot of consultation with clients is done over social media with plenty of requests coming from the United States.

She wasn’t anywhere of any other mobile tattoo artists regularly working in Queensland.

“I think with COVID over there they’re looking for a mobile tattooist,” Ms Maitland said.

“When I went through council approval they said this was the second one they’d done.

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“I think the first lady had come up for a festival or convention

“People seem to like it.

“One lady came out in her pyjamas the other day. It’s a casual and private way of getting tattoos.”

When the QT’s original story about Ms Maitland was published in June last year, she said she was inundated with support from the public and other tattoo artists and wanted to thank them for their kindness.

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.



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