Decorating one’s body with beautiful artwork is just another way we can celebrate our physical form and present ourselves in a deeply personal way. Whether your tattoos hold a meaningful significance, or are merely a way of expressing your personal style and sense of beauty, they are permanent talismans from which to draw power and confidence.
Choosing an artist is perhaps just as important as choosing the artwork itself. Skill level and aesthetics are immensely important, of course, but being tattooed is also a deeply intimate and personal experience, and your tattooer must understand that and understand you. They are making a piece of artwork for you to carry proudly on your skin forever, and as with any form of personal decoration, so much power, emotion, and intention can be instilled in the process.
Here are some truly unique and talented tattooers who will ink magic into your skin.
Susanna König tattoos at Immer & Ewig Tattooing in Hamburg, Germany. Her style is primarily black work, with an emphasis on clean lines and stippling. She depicts playful and whimsical, yet melancholy subject matter that could easily illustrate a dreamlike fairytale.
A traditional tattooer with a penchant for magic, Drew Linden tattoos primarily at Eight of Swords in Brooklyn, NY. She frequently travels, doing guest spots at shops all over the US. She is immensely talented (something I can personally attest to) and tattoos a variety of subject matter, but her love of the moon, mysticism, and Morrissey cannot be mistaken in her work.
The exquisite line and dotwork executed by Sasha Tabuns is reason enough to start plotting a trip to Saint Petersburg, Russia. Her style is organic and impeccably detailed, featuring mandalas, flowers, animals, and the human form. Sacred geometry, classic art, and nature come together in Sasha’s work.
Tamara Santibañez tattoos at Saved Tattoo in Brooklyn, NY. Her work is primarily black and grey and heavily influenced by prison tattoos. She involves elements of fantasy, BDSM, pinup, and latin culture in her work. Classic, badass elements such as roses, daggers, barbed wire, and spider webs are ever-present.
Heather Bailey combines traditional tattooing with her goth aesthetic at Black Heart in San Francisco, CA. Her use of outlining, shading, and color are distinctly traditional, and her use of reapers, black goats, tombstones, demons, and witches illustrate her love for the occult.
The Murray Brothers
Twin brothers, Ryan and Matthew Murray, co-own Black Veil Tattoo in Beverly, MA. They each have their own distinct, dark style; Ryan’s work is heavily photo-realistic while Matthew’s is more neo-traditional. They each draw inspiration from darkness, horror, memento mori, and the Victorian era, with heavy use of stippling, filigree, and blackwork.
Placide Avantia‘s witchy tattoos are the stuff of dreams and nightmares. Her black and stipple work combine to create beautiful scenes of horror and magic. There is a distinctly creepy element to much of her work, incorporating occult symbolism, mystical creatures, and gothic architectural details. She owns and tattoos at Fuscare Private Studio in France.
If Laura Yahna’s work has one distinguishing characteristic, it’s the eyes. Tattooing at Pechschwarz Tattoo in Berlin, as well as during her travels through Europe, Laura creates haunting blackwork images with wide and empty eyes, an ever-present theme in all of her tattoos. Her use of negative space along with black ink is singular in its beautiful horror.
Leslie Karin tattoos with the skill and consistent style of a seasoned tattooer, despite only finishing her apprenticeship last year. She tattoos out of Affinity Tattoo in Austin, TX, working primarily in black, with elements of well-placed color. Her style is illustrative and inspired by folklore, myth, medieval art, nature, and the occult.
Baylen Levore tattoos bewitching folk art inspired work. She works in impeccable black linework with references to the mythical, mystical, historical, and magical. She tattoos at Heart of Gold Body Arts in Hendersonville, NC.