Intern doctor and Grim Raptor tattoo studio owner Sarah Gray is helping to change the perception of tattoos and body art

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The intern doctor at Royal Adelaide Hospital has been a proud “collector” of tattoos for the past six years.

Her body is covered in different pictures that various artists across Australia have drawn.

In January this year, Dr Gray and husband Matthew ‘Bumer’ Joyce opened The Grim Raptor tattoo studio in the CBD to share their passion for the art form.

Just months in and they are already planning to expand their team.

Dr Gray says the shop’s trade has been strong, highlighting that tattoos no longer have a “negative stigma” attached to them.

“In the last decade in particular, (tattooing) has really had a pendulum swing,” Dr Gray, 30, says.

RAH doctor Sarah Gray inside the Grim Raptor, the tattoo studio she co-owns with her husband Matthew ‘Bumer’ Joyce in the CBD. Picture: Tom Huntley

RAH doctor Sarah Gray inside the Grim Raptor, the tattoo studio she co-owns with her husband Matthew ‘Bumer’ Joyce in the CBD. Picture: Tom HuntleySource:News Limited

“It is more about custom pieces and people are pursuing an artist for their particular style – you don’t just walk in and pick something off a wall anymore.”

She says there is a “changing mentality” towards body art.

“I try to advocate for tattoos and professionalism because, traditionally, I may not look the way people think a doctor should look,” Dr Gray says.

“Just because I am colourful does not mean I'm not competent so I am trying to show body art is artwork on the skin rather than hung on the wall.”

Grim Raptor co-owners Matt Joyce and Sarah Gray. Picture: Tom Huntley

Grim Raptor co-owners Matt Joyce and Sarah Gray. Picture: Tom HuntleySource:News Corp Australia

The Grim Raptor, in Featherstone Pl, is covered in antiques and memorabilia sourced locally, nationally and internationally.

It has a modern and eclectic feel, with a dash of horror added to the mix.

There is a life-size velociraptor tucked away in a corner, looking over where her tattoo artists work their magic.

At the moment, there are four staff members who have expertise in areas including hyper-realism portrait work, fine line, black and grey realism and neo-traditional types of tattooing.

The studio also prides itself on being able to give back to the community.

In November, it will support charity Survivors Ink and provide free 3D nipple tattooing for breast cancer survivors.

The Grim Raptor co-owner Sarah Gray.

The Grim Raptor co-owner Sarah Gray.Source:Supplied

“Women or men that have had mastectomies from cancer can come in and get free, 3D realistic nipple tattooing done,” she says.

“They might have had a flap procedure done where they have no anatomical nipple left so, I guess, we give them back that anatomy, which gives them back that confidence to look how they felt before.”

The City is calling on its readers, as well as tattoo artists, to send in their best work to include in an online gallery.

But we also want to see the bad and what the hell were you thinking – we want to see them all.

Click here to submit your pictures.

Life in ink: The tattoos of Adelaide