Meet Drea Darling, a tattoo artist, illustrator, and painter based in Brisbane, Australia. Drea began drawing prolifically from a very young age and was heavily influenced by Steve Parish exercise books and collecting all the Australian animal Yowie figurines. Growing up, she spent every school holiday on a farm bordering a national park in the Moreton Bay hinterland, where she was inspired by all the nature and wildlife that she encountered.

Drea attended art classes outside of school from the age of 12 to 18, mentored by a local artist. She later studied fashion design at TAFE but found her true passion in tattooing. Drea has been a tattoo artist for over 10 years and has worked at With Love Tattoo / Southtown Tattoo in Salisbury, and has attended tattoo conventions interstate. Her next adventure is to travel around Australia in a 1966 GMC truck & caravan to explore the country and guest spot at tattoo studios.

Photography by Kristina Wild

Drea is versatile with styles but is best known for tattooing in an illustrative neo-traditional style. Her focus is on natural history style imagery of Australian native flora & fauna, and she is passionate about capturing the beauty of the natural world through her art. Earlier in her career she had to work out how to translate many Australian flowers into workable tattoo designs, as she had never seen them tattooed before.

Drea’s work is characterized by her use of vibrant colors and intricate details, which bring her subjects to life on the page. Her style is both modern and timeless, and her work is appreciated by art lovers and tattoo enthusiasts alike.

When she’s not tattooing, Drea enjoys horse riding, collecting mid-century furniture, vintage cars, photography, and experiencing the outdoors. She lives with her fiancé and pet bull terrier dog named Banksi. Drea is passionate about learning and sharing knowledge about plants and wildlife and helping to bring awareness to endangered species.

Drea’s future goals include creating more artwork to share with everyone, not just limited to people who want tattoos. She wants to spread the love of native species through art. Her favorite mediums are oil paints, watercolours, pencils, and markers, and she looks forward to creating more beautiful pieces in the future.