Deciding to get a tattoo is a life-long commitment (or, at the very least, an “until I decide to laser it off” commitment). It’s not to be taken lightly. If you’re on the ink fence, a great way to help you make a final decision is to follow talented tattoo artists on Instagram. Using social media, you can get ideas, find styles, and potentially land on a great tattoo to put on your body. Following the best tattoo artists on Instagram also gives you a chance to put some colorful and eclectic art into your feed. It’s a win-win.
Figuring out the best tattoo artists on Instagram is less about followers (these aren’t travel influencers, after all) and more about finding some artistry that you dig. There’s a niche for everyone in the tattoo world. Hand poke, scarification, stitching, pirate ink, geometric psychedelia, naturalistic, organic… it’s all there.
The 30 tattoo artists below range from small local inkers practicing their craft in far-off corners of the world to superstars who needle tats into the skin of the world’s biggest celebrities. It’s a cornucopia of ink, art, and bodies. Let us know your favorite in the comments!
Nakkita Trimble — 1.4k followers
Nakkita Trimble practices Indigenous tattooing up in Vancouver Island. Trimble specializes in Gihlee’e (stitching) and Ts’iksna’aks (body crest tattoos). Trimble’s art lives within the bounds of traditional storytelling and familial bonds in her Nisga’a community in British Columbia.
Trimble’s ink is deeply Indigenous and makes an enlightening follow.
Dion Kaszas — 2k followers
Dion Kaszas works in Acadia, BC, and uses the traditional methods and art of his people, the Nlaka’pamux. Kaszas works in stitching and hand poke to create award-winning and internationally recognized tattoos that stem directly from his Indigenous roots.
Oscar y Astiz — 2.5k followers
The work Oscar and Astiz found at Do No Eko in Paris, France, is enthralling and gripping. The duo leans toward Japanese artistry that’s sometimes Lovecraftian and always amazingly well rendered. This is pure art in the highest form through the medium of ink via hand poke methods.
Toby Sicks — 3.4k followers
Out in Toronto, Toby Sicks is doing some beautiful Indigenous-forward work on bodies. His shop, Inkdigenous Tattoo Shop, is a home for Indigenous inkers looking to expand the horizons what Indigenous inking was and can be.
There’s a deep cultural draw here that’s always interesting.
Wiremu Barriball — 5k followers
Wiremu Barriball has created an artistic space where Maori tattoo culture can shine. His shop in Porirua, New Zealand, is a haven for Ta Moko tattoos (ancient Maori designs) which cover all parts of the body but most famously the face.
Barriball’s feed is a celebration of the Polynesian ink-ways.
Doreen Garner — 6.6k followers
The brilliance of Doreen Garner’s work is in the depth of artistry at play. Garner is a trained artist who finds deep beauty in the way the ink renders on the skin. There’s a minimalism to the Brooklyn inker that draws you in and makes you wish you had one of her simple yet moving tattoos on your body.
Ans Pham — 11.1k followers
There’s a classic, almost pirate feel to the ink of Ans Pham. This is big and bold ink with enticing, throwback designs. Currently working out of Tattoo Machine Studio in Wellington, New Zealand, Pham’s ink is much sought after and totally worth checking out if you’re down New Zealand way.
McKenzie — 48.5k followers
The intricacy and depth of McKenzie’s work in black is flat out stunning. McKenzie works out the Plymouth (UK) studio, Hand in Hand Tattoo, which is also worth a follow if you’re into great looking tattoos in your feed.
Steven Tefft — 58.8k followers
Steven Tefft is a big name in the ink world. He won the second season of InkMaster (the tattoo world’s answer to Top Chef). Today, he owns Artist 12 Tattoos in Groton, CT, and tours the world inking bodies with his cinematic designs.
Expanded Eye — 61.1k followers
Expanded Eye is part steam-punk art-mixed-with-abstract-geometry in a hip London art gallery. The artistic duo, Jade Tomlinson and Kevin James, create unique ink with a focus on math, unconventionality, and big ideas. It’s funky and gorgeous and there’s little else like these tattoos in the world.
Kelli Kikcio — 61.2k followers
There’s a quiet beauty to Kelli Kikcio’s hand poke tattoos. Kikcio works out of Welcome Home Studios in Brooklyn, which operates as a tattoo studio and an artist’s space. Her designs never overwhelm and are always engaging. The blend of the natural world with scenes from ordinary places like a grocery store makes for fascinating ink.
There’s a delicacy to the work that speaks volumes.
Reese Hilburn — 74.7k followers
Master inker and TV ink personality Reese Hilburn is another must-follow for even the most casual tattoo lover. Based in San Diego and touring the world, Hilburn creates moments of art in ink through gorgeously render tats. She’s also a tattoo model who lives the influencer life. Translation: You’ll be treated to a nice dose of wanderlust and #FOMO if you follow her Instagram feed.
NEO — 86.7k followers
NEO’s studio in Zürich, Switzerland, is the place to go if you want a tattoo that melds the worlds of heavy metal, geometry, and reptilian mysticism. NEO’s ink is intense. Whole bodies are covered with an intensity. These ink-heavy tattoos may not be for everyone but are fun as hell to look at.
Stephanie Brown — 90.6k followers
If you want a piece of natural art on your body, Stephanie Brown out in Chicago is the tattoo artist for you. Brown’s classically realistic tattoos highlight flora and fauna in a way that feels a bit like we all slipped down the rabbit hole with Alice.
Lisa Orth — 113k followers
Lisa Orth used to design album covers for Sub Pop Records in their grunge heydays. Today, Orth’s designs take a fresh and unique look at nature through heavy black lines. Think of the mountain vistas of the Pacific Northwest told through a mix of graphic novels, old national parks posters, and a hint of metal rock ‘n roll.
Each one of her tattoos is an original that she comes up with just for you.
Gabby Colledge — 114k followers
Gabby Colledge is killing the game in London right now. Her minimalist approach to nature-driven tattoos is understated and beguiling. Colledge has a knack for bringing an almost whimsical essence to straightforward images of animals, fish, and plants.
Amanda Wachob — 123k followers
New York City artist and inker Amanda Wachob is creating beauty on the skins of people and lemons(!). Wachob has a deft eye for creating massive canvases of beautiful back-covering art or small objects with serious depth. A tattoo from Wachob is a masterpiece of color on your body.
Alice Carrier — 126k followers
Alice Carrier of Lovebird Tattoo out in Portland, OR, found a niche in illustrated flora and elevated the style. Carrier’s ability to create plant and sometimes insect focused tattoos is a wonder with a level of detail that’s bewitching. These are the sort of tattoos that’ll have you looking at flights to PDX so you can get one too.
Lara Maju — 131k followers
Lara Maju is doing minimalist, nature-based hand pokes at Hamburg, Germany’s Coco Schwarz tattoo studio. Maju’s ink are small features which keep things simple yet deeply detailed. These are the perfect tattoos for someone looking to dip their toes into ink without getting something overwhelming or obvious.
Anthony Michaels — 225k followers
The level of detail and depth to Anthony Michaels’ tattoo art is phenomenal. There’s a realness to the faces he inks onto bodies that are both haunting and enticing. The two-time winner of InkMasters opened up shop in L.A. and is killing the game with pop culture-inspired ink, making this a can’t-miss Instagram feed.
Miryam Lumpini — 258k followers
Miryam Lumpini is one of the most interesting tattoo artists working today. Her “Witchdoctor” aesthetic blends various styles with eye-popping color and intense detail. Lumpini’s tattoos are a lucid dream come to life via a rainbow of colors on the skin. It’s brilliant.
Zihee — 308k followers
There’s a subtleness to Zihee’s tattoos that draw you in. The brightly colored trees, plants, and flowers signify a place and, dare we say, time. There’s artistry at play that feels like literature rendered through tattoo ink. Working in Seoul, South Korea, Zihee is doing beautifully subtle work worth following.
Melody Mitchell — 396k followers
Brooklyn’s Melody Mitchell is creating tattoo art with a serious flare. Mitchell’s tattoos range from classically designed to bold art pieces with clear artistry. Mitchell has the skills to pull off some of the most seriously well-inked tattoos out there today.
Chaim Machlev — 509k followers
Berlin’s Chaim Machlev creates ink that’s once-in-a-lifetime art. Machlev’s use of lines and black is unmatched in the game. He’s blown up in recent years with rock stars lining up to get some ink from the master; so you never know who’ll pop up in his feed under the needle.
Mr. K — 571k followers
Mr. K is smashing at Bang Bang NYC (more on that shop later). Mr. K’s ink is a meditation in subtleness. Each tattoo is a story that takes you on a journey in one single, often small tattoo. The ink is as impressive as it is beautiful.
Rit Kit — 623k followers
Rit Kit creates tattoos by using live leaves as stencils for designs. This unique approach brings a natural realism to her ink that feels alive. The flowers, limbs, and plants Rit Kit uses jump off the skin like they’re still growing in the rain forest. It’s a brilliant and unique way to ink a body.
JonBoy — 638k followers
Jonboy is another inker of the elite. He tattoos celebrities and average ink-lovers at Bang Bang NYC if you can snag an appointment. Jonboy’s aesthetic is much sought after. He takes minimalism to new heights with tiny tats that one almost needs a spyglass to read. The detail is astounding and worth seeking out for something truly unique.
Sasha Unisex — 822k followers
Sasha Unisex offers temporary tattoos for those of us who aren’t quite sure if we want to take that plunge yet. The designs are brightly colored animals and flowers with a mellow cubist bent. The, if it feels right, you can get that tattoo permanently inked on your body. It’s kind of the best of all worlds.
Kat Tat — 1m followers
Kat Tat’s Enigma Tattoo in Beverly Hills is a classic tattoo stop. Kat Tat’s ink ranges from photo-realistic faces to old-school sailor ink done with real artistry. There’s a beauty, intensity, and artistic flair here that makes Kat Tat an easy follow.
Keith “Bang Bang” McCurdy — 2.1m followers
Bang Bang NYC and Keith “Bang Bang” McCurdy are dominating the ink game on the high end these days. McCurdy has tattooed Rihanna, Cara Delevingne, Lenny Kravitz, and so many more with his delicate, thoughtful art. Unless you have serious cash to put out, the likelihood of scoring an appointment with McCurdy is far and few between. Instead, you can live vicariously through his Instagram feed of Bang Bang NYC and dream of one day getting some ink from the master.
from UPROXX http://bit.ly/2V1tguM