10 of the Sickest Tattoo Artists Around
It would be pretty much impossible for us to write a definitive list of the very best tattoo artists in the world, given that they vary so much in taste and style. Also, there are just thousands upon thousands of undiscovered awesome tattoo artists out there who maybe haven’t made it to the famous pages of Google or Pinterest yet! So we’re settling for comprising a list of just ten of some of our favourite sick tattoo artists from around the world. If you’re looking to get inked up, these guys are a must-have on your ink mood board! This list is in no particular order, so make sure you check out the full bunch before deciding which needle master is your fave!
Based in Manchester, Molloy was the tattoo genius behind David Beckham’s angelic back tattoo back in 1999, thrusting him into the art world’s spotlight. If you’re a fan of celeb status, you’ll be intrigued to know it wasn’t just Beckham that was graced by Molloy’s gun, he has also worked on Mel C, Mel B and Victoria Beckham from the Spice Girls, not to mention all of the members of Boyzone. So it’s safe to say that this guy established his career in tattoo art with a great big media bang! It’s not just being a tattooist to the stars that gives Molloy his credibility; he has also received recognition twice at the UK Outstanding Artist of the Year awards, so you can rely on his diverse range of tattoo designs for quality as well as creativity! Louis Molloy specialises in intricately designed tatts with tons of shading and effects, but he spreads his talent across both colour and blackwork designs so whatever ink you fancy, you should definitely pay a visit to Manchester’s Middleton Tattoo Studio!
Kat Von D
Well, it just wouldn’t be a top ten without mentioning the gorgeous and talented Kat Von D! Specialising in portraits, this versatile vixen has an unbelievable gift for capturing the realism of any face. Whether you’re after a popping colour design or a sultry black work inking with plenty of grey shading, this artist is the one to hit up if you’re looking to pay homage to your favourite idol or even a traditional tribute to a loved one. With worldwide status thanks to having many strings to her creative bow, this tattoo artist/model/musician/entrepreneur and television personality has built a solid reputation the world over! So it’s unlikely you haven’t encountered her distinct face somewhere before. However, if you’re set on letting Kat loose on your skin, not only had you better make your way to her High Voltage Tattoo studio in Hollywood, but thanks to her incredible popularity, you better make sure you get on her waiting list like NOW. If you’re struggling for inspiration for your first or even yet another inking to add to your collection, you can totally use Kat Von D as a kind of muse by checking out some of her own awesome body art!
If you like your tattoos bursting with colourful detail, Grime is the guy for you! With a distinct style, he packs in a rainbow of the brightest inks whilst executing mesmerisingly creepy artwork. From everything to demons & skulls to Medusas and monkeys, his tatts are out-there enough to set him apart from the crowds of artists at any tattoo convention. Not for those who want a subtle little tatt they can keep hidden, Grime ink is loud and vibrant, giving you a richly colourful talking point to flaunt all year round. What makes Grime that bit more inspirational is that he has overcome a terrible accident where he was badly burned but he hasn’t let that dampen his creativity at all! Grime regularly travels around the world to work his magic, so make sure you check out his Instagram or Facebook pages to find out when he is next near you if you want to be truly coloured in!
The tattoo genius Kaiyu Huang hails from Shanghai in China but resides in New York and doesn’t limit his artistic flair to tattooing alone! You can also hear his name attributed to various other art forms from painting & sculpture to installation & performance. However, you’ll be pleased to know that his presence across so many platforms hasn’t detracted from the quality and intricacy of his tattoos at all! With a penchant for realistic-looking and detailed tattoos, Huang often takes inspiration from his love of sculpture to create Greco Roman tattoos that look so real you’d think you could chip the stone right out of your arm, which we think is pretty cool! This tattoo genius often uses black work with grey shading to create his sculpture-like tatts, but is also well-known for using clever pops of colour to embellish his designs. If you’re looking to put a modern twist on an artsy tattoo, this New Yorker often incorporates geometric shapes and modern designs to bring his artwork firmly into the 21st Century. If you like the sound of bringing some true artistic authenticity to your skin, you can pay a visit to this tattooist in the big apple!
With good tattooing, it’s not always about the biggest and brightest designs; in fact, sometimes less is much, much more! This motto is what drives Mo Ganji’s understated, yet breathtakingly beautiful tattoo designs. Using nothing more than defined single lines and dot work, these modern inkings are perfect for those that want a subtle embellishment to their everyday look. With a huge portfolio of prints from everything like animals & faces to bicycles & ships, there isn’t much that Ganji can’t turn his hand to. No matter what object or creature you’d like to feature in your tatt, you can rely on this artist to put his distinct style on it and transform it into a work of minimalist art! You won’t find garish colours or traditional symbols in Mo’s work, this artist is all about the new and improved style of alternative body art; perfect for those indie-fans among us! If you want your very own sophisticated dot-to-dot, you’ll need to take a trip to his private tattoo studio in Berlin, Germany. If you are planning on visiting though, be aware that his waiting list is usually booked months in advance so you better get on there quick if you’re hoping for an appointment!
Number six on our list is Turkish-born Okan Uckun, who defied the strictly taboo opinion of tattoos in his home country to pursue his passion for ink! This somewhat archaic attitude certainly hasn’t taken anything away from Uckun’s talent which is immediately apparent when you check out his sick designs! Uckun’s portfolio heavily features geometric shapes combined with simple linework animals and objects; using dot shading alone to really add a crispness to the finish. No matter what design you opt for, these trendy inkings can be as eye-catchingly large or as understated as you please, but they will all have a distinct Uckun finish that you just can’t replicate anywhere else. Okan Uckun’s strive for a flawless finish is not just limited to a needle gun, he also creates across platforms like videoart, photography, plastic arts, design and architecture. So if you’re deciding whether to let him loose on your flesh, why not check out one of his exhibitions first? Of course, if you do decide to go to Okan for your ink, you’ll have to make the journey to his Golden Arrow tattoo studio in Instanbul, Turkey, or wait for him to come visiting at a convention near you!
If your tattoo tastes remain firmly in the traditional age, Hannah Aitchison is your girl! This artist recently moved from Chicago where she had been working for many years to work from her own private studio ‘Curiosity Shop’ in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Don’t worry though, she still regularly travels around the world showcasing her talent at conventions, so you may not need to trek too far to catch her! Aitchison’s portfolio focuses largely on colourful pin-up girls, often with a twist. Whether it’s a creepy zombie babe you’re after or a seductive nurse, Hannah has the ability to bring a cheeky life to any standard pin up. For those that like their tatts to have some artistic value, she also takes inspiration from classical style painting, giving her little cherubs and luscious ladies an air of authenticity.
Star judge of American reality show, Ink Master, Oliver Peck is well-known in the world of body art. Another fun fact about this respected artist is that he hit the Guinness Book of World Records when he completed 415 tattoos of the number 13 in a 24-hour period (don’t worry though, his usual portfolio is much more varied and exciting!) You should check out Peck if you’re a fan of good quality, traditional tattoos. With a richness of colour, Oliver Peck executes the classic roses, microphones, skulls and everything else with an impeccable finish. Not only does he excel in your classic tattoo designs, but this talented artist can turn his hand to pretty much any design you take to him, so check out his portfolio online for some inspiration. This cheeky chappy has a personality as big as his talent, which is why ink fans are so keen to get on his waiting list. If you want to be one of Peck’s projects, you should pay a visit to Elm Street Tattoo in Dallas.
One of the most classic and long-lasting tattoo styles has got to be Chinese inspired artwork, with colourful cherry blossoms and koi carps gracing the walls of most tattoo studios across the world. If you like the colourful intricacy of this style, but want to ensure it has all the quality and finish of a modern inking, then check out Kim Saigh’s portfolio! This lady has an eye for combining the most vibrant colours and patterns to create visually stunning body art that will attract the attention of an passer-by. Whatever your taste, Saigh’s portfolio covers a huge range of designs from the traditional orange koi carp with blue cartoonesque waves all the way to ironically colourful Gothic images. One of our favourite things about Kim’s tatts is the use of fluid curves and patterns to give the piece a busy finish without losing the definition of the actual design. If you’d like to let Kim Saigh make her mark on your skin you need to head to Memoir Tattoo in Los Angeles.
If you’re looking for an artist with a seriously diverse portfolio that you know can handle any type of design you might throw at them, Scott Campbell is your guy. With a pic’n’mix portfolio that contains everything from single line swallows and skulls to abstract geometric patterns and custom designs, when you go to Campbell for your ink you can be sure to leave with a tatt that means something special to you personally. Using both black work and coloured inks, this artist has an incredible talent to take any design and bring it to life. If you needed any more motivation to make this dude your artist of choice, he also has a reputation among the rich & famous, having given tattoos to Heath Ledger, Sting and Robert Downey Jr.; which makes him pretty bad-ass in our books anyway! If you want to give Campbell a try, you may be lucky enough to catch him on one of his many visits to London, or you’ll have to travel to his base in the USA.
Go Get Inked!
So there we have it ink fans, our list of ten artists you absolutely must check out before letting anyone loose on your skin. After all, a tatt is for life so you want to make sure it is something you love! For some seriously sick tattoo designs and inspiration, make sure you check out sites like Pinterest and DeviantArt to help you decide on your perfect ink!
Got a tatt from one of these artists or someone else who you think deserves to be on this list? We’d love to see it! Share a tattoo selfie with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the tag #BBBestTatts