Becoming a true tattoo artist is a major life decision and takes years to hone the craft. There are plenty of tattooers out there who are perfectly fine for the average tattoo and make a decent living at doing what they do. But then there are those tattoo artists who are true artists instead of tattooers. They are obsessed with mastering their craft and are true visionaries of the tattoo community. Their work is head and shoulders above the average tattoo you’d see on the street. Here are 5 Tattoo Artists to keep your eye on:
Evan Olin is a tattoo artist at Powerline Tattoo in Cranston, Rhode Island. Why you should know him: His tattoos are truly masterpieces on skin.
His realistic tattoos still have a magical, fantasy quality to them because of his use of color and light.
It’s very clear Evan has been classically trained in illustration. His tattoos are truly up there with the best of all time. His favorite subjects are anything “dark or horror related, wildlife/animals, portraits” and also anything realistic or masterfully illustrative. He has his Bachelors Degree in Illustration from Rhode Island School of Design.
#2 Tristen Zhang is one of the many talented tattoo artists at Chronic Ink Tattoo in Toronto, Canada. He is one of the first tattoo artists at the very beginning of the tattoo studio’s story in 2008. Why you should know him: His tattoos are an epic mix of Asian style tattooing and fantasy realism.
His tattoo work usually consists of large pieces, like full sleeves or full backs.
Whether it’s black and gray or full color, the pieces often look as if they are going to jump or fly right off the wearer and towards you. They are active pieces and look like they are constantly flowing. Tristen’s tattoos look as alive as the person wearing them.
#3 Raul Agarte is the owner and tattoo artist at Calculated Punkture Studio in Brentwood, CA. He spent his apprenticeship and started working at Battle Born Tattoo in Reno, NV. He then moved to Brentwood to work at East Bay Tattoo Co. He established his client base over two and a half years and then decided to open up Calculated Punkture Studio in 2010.
Why you should know Raul: Because he is classically trained and has lots of experience in his tattoo career, his work is absolutely perfect
Raul’s of color, black and gray, light, composition, and negative space use of the wearer’s skin is very “calculated” and beautiful. He is truly a master of his craft.
#4 Maksims Zotovs, aka LAKY, is a young tattoo artist in Riga in Latvia. He has his background in architecture but changed gears while in college. He decided architecture was not where his heart was. Why you should know LAKY: His tattoos are an amazing mix of realism and fantasy.
His use of color, often a limited palette, and play of light and dark, and composition on the placement of the tattoo on the body, make for a very dramatic and eye-catching tattoo for the wearer.
The tattoos that stand out the most are Laky’s horror tattoos. They are creepy and disturbing but hauntingly beautiful at the same time.
#5 Mike Devries is the owner and tattoo artist at MD Tattoo Studio in Northridge California. He has been tattooing professionally since 2003. Why you should know him: His specialty is color realism, especially with a love for wildlife and portraits.
Fantasy elements mixed in with his specialty are seamless, as some of his more eye-catching tattoos are very surreal.
Devries is a master at most styles, including Asian, realism, fantasy, with black and gray and color.