Wednesday, March 18, 2015

15 Tattoo Artists You Need to Follow on Instagram

I may have sworn myself off of tattoos for at least a year (okay, I've adjusted my thinking... make that until at least June), but that doesn't mean that I don't spend my nights—and mornings, lunch and bathroom breaks!—drooling over incredible pieces of art from an array of remarkable tattoo artists out there.

So that means that, for the time being, I thought it befitting to share a few of my favorite tattoo artists with you. In a world where Instagram must be a total game-changer for artists (what a great way to distribute your online portfolio!), it is also a life-changer for anyone interested in getting a tattoo, but have no idea where to begin finding someone to do it. Even if you just delight in flipping through your Instagram every day, here are a few tattooers who will surely brighten your feed!

(NOTE: all images via each artist's Instagram pages)

Located: East River Tattoo (Brooklyn)

Why I Love Her: Aside from the fact that she's, well... a woman (over half of the artists on this list are!), no one does black and gray flowers quite like her. Her art is detailed to a dizzying degree, and I obsess over each picture she posts. My favorite on this list. If you live in Brooklyn, I envy your proximity.
Located: The Family Business Tattoo (London)

Why I Love Him: I don't normally consider myself a fan of traditional tattoos, but Andrea's use of color and solid line work is beyond impressive. I'm a bit obsessed with his female busts... If I find myself in London, I'm coming home with one of them.

Located: Rock of Ages Tattoo (Austin, TX)

Why I Love Him: His geometric/floral hybrid pieces are out of control. Not to mention the fact that one sitting with him would likely take more hours than I could imagine shelling out cold hard cash for! But from the look on his extensive, geometric sleeves (or whatever part of your body you're aiming to completely cover), he'd 100% be worth the price.

Located: Salon Serpent (Amsterdam)

Why I Love Her: Hands down, the cutest tattooed ladies. I'm a sucker for the bright-eyed, red-cheeked look, and it doesn't hurt that they're always rocking fun accessories, clothes, or hair pieces. Next to Andrea Giulimondi above, my favorite colored female tattoos.

Located: Immer & Ewig Tattooing (Hamburg, Germany)

Why I Love Her: While she has a lot in common with the other black and gray artists on this list, her eccentric take on traditional pieces can't be beat. All in all though, she also seems like a pretty rad lady! Like Angelique Houtkamp above, she works out of Salon Serpent Tattoo in Amsterdam. Lucky Dutch.

Located: Fura Body Works (Northern California)

Why I Love Him: Lawrence is one of three artists tattooing at Fura Body Works, where I got both of my tattoos last year. He also might be the newest tattooer on this list, but I can't imagine his profile won't rise. His line and stipple work is exhaustively intricate, and his art is littered with fun macabre, environmental, and spiritual imagery. Considering my affinity for this shop, he might just be getting a call from me come June.

Update: It happened, tattoo completed + half-sleeve started. See photos from my session here. Oh, and he's tattooing out of Premium Tattoo in Oakland, CA now... if you're interested.

Located: Butter Fat Studios (Chicago)

Why I Love Her: "Realistic" doesn't even begin to describe it. Esther's work is dynamic, colorful, and soft. One of the only artists on this list that doesn't rely on sharp, black outlines, she melds traditional with realism, with just a hint of that new "watercolor" fad. If I was ever tempted to get a large-scale, colored piece done, I would be in no better hands than Esther's. 
Located: private studio (Melbourne, Australia)

Why I Love Her: Far and away, the most impressive artist on this list. This is the tattooer that other tattoo artists go to, and it's no mystery why. Her blacks are starkly vibrant, and her art is so unique. Scoring an appointment with her at her private studio would be like winning the lottery.
Location: rotating guest spots (international)

Why I Love Him: Intense geometry and symmetry, the level of detail on his black outlines is astounding, and I love even more that he often incorporates a pop of color. Having gotten a geometric tattoo myself back in December, I can't help but gape at his work and imagine adding to my own collection.

Located: East River Tattoo (Brooklyn)

Why I Love Her: Working out of the same shop (most of the time, anyways) as my #1, Rachel Hauer, Sue wields her machine and lays thick black lines like no other. She incorporates her own stipple/black & gray style with traditional and nautical pieces that are fun and vibrant.

11. Nomi Chi
Located: Gastown Tattoo Parlour (Vancouver)

Why I Love Her: Where other artists pride themselves on traditional realism, Nomi puts her illustrator skills to use by whipping up some of the most interesting, UN-realistic tattoos around! Sure, she totally nails the basics, but that's not why she's so sought after. Check out her Instagram and you'll see what I'm talking about. Some of those tattoos defy description

12. Cally-Jo
Located: Grit n Glory (Brooklyn)

Why I Love Her: Half model, half tattooer, this London transplant is now stateside at the female-centric store & tattoo shop run by vibrant tattooing sprite, Megan Massacre. When she's no posing for Inked Magazine, she's rocking out spectacular, realistic black & gray works of art. Her posts are a mix of her own art and her modeling work, but that's half the reason to follow her: she is beyond stunning, and her own body art is worth a look.

Located: Wa Ink Tattoo (Fremantle, Australia)

Why I Love Him: Black ink has never been more black. Alright, maybe on Emily Rose Murray's work—maybe it's something in the water Down Under. Either way, Pari's work completely floors me. From his female profiles to his mandalas to his moths/bugs, every single piece is flawless. I mean, just take a moment and look at that picture above. Have you ever? I know I haven't!

14. SupaKitch
Located: Bleu Noir Tattoo (Paris)

Why I Love Him: Petals and feathers and black lines for days and days! I had the hardest time even picking a picture to showcase (look at this one! and this one! oh oh, and this!) I don't even know what else to say, the work speaks for itself. Gorgeous.

Located: Sang Bleu (London)

Why I Love Him: This guy leads a team of artists at his shop (and really, wherever he goes!), and does the most insane full-body tattoos I've ever seen. But whether it's big or small, his work never fails to impress.

So now it's your turn! Why don't you share some of your favorite artists with me in the comments?

1 comment:

  1. This is an awesome list. There goes my afternoon!

    One of my favorite tattoo artists on Instagram is Sasha Unisex, who does unique (I've never seen work like hers) watercolor-style nature, space, and animal pieces. She showcases her original watercolors as well, and it's amazing to see how her tattoos of the same pieces look IDENTICAL to what's on paper. Girl has incredible skill. Minimal, if any, black outlines! And my love for all things celestial puts her right at the top of my list.

    She is located in St. Petersburg, Russia. So, so far away.


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