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Masters of Ink: The Most Famous Tattoo Artists in the World

Most Famous Tattoo Artists in the World
Getting inked is an art and for that we need artists who excel in the craft. ThoughtfulTattoos lists out some of the best tattoo artists in the world who have followed their dreams and created masterpieces on the human canvas.
Mary Anthony
Last Updated: Jul 31, 2017
''Good tattoos aren't cheap, cheap tattoos aren't good'' ― Unknown

Choose your tattoo artist wisely. Opt for a 'Professional Artist' who owns a Tattoo Studio and is well-known, rather than someone who is a 'Scratcher' operating from a kitchen.
Tattoos are a reminder of some special emotions, memories, persons or a period in life. It's a photograph etched on the skin and is precious. Getting it done by an artist who exactly understands your demands can be euphoric. There are many talented artists who are experts in their craft, but only a few are in the spotlight, call it luck, destiny or just being at the right place at the right time.

These artists have made a name for themselves with their sheer grit, talent, and dedication. Let's take a look at the famous inkers who have made it to the most famous list.
Top Tattoo Artists
Ami James
Born in Israel, Ami James has been living in Miami since the age of 12. He got his first tattoo at the age of 15, which inspired him to become a tattoo artist. After serving in the Israel Defense Forces, he apprenticed in a shop called Tattoos by Lou. Eventually, he opened his own shop Love Hate Tattoos, which got featured on the popular TLC series, Miami Ink. He has followed it up with another hit series NY Ink with his shop Wooster Street Social Club. He loves designing tattoos that are traditional old-school, dragons, Asian art, and black and gray. He also owns a shop called Love Hate Social Club in London, and the DeVille Clothing Company.
Anil Gupta
Born in India, Anil Gupta started out in the city of Mumbai, in the early 1980s, and he reminisces that he was one of the few tattoo artists in the city at that time. He moved to the U.S. to pursue his dream, where he opened his own studio Inkline in New York. He is immensely popular for his reproductions of old master painting designs, and boosts a client list of celebrities with a six-month wait list. He believes that the tattoo culture has evolved on a global level with everything from illustrations, small symbols, and elaborate sleeves becoming more and more visible.
Bob Tyrrell
Born in Detroit, Bob Tyrrell got the biggest inspiration from his tattoo artist father Robert J Tyrrell, but it was only when he was 30 that he got his first tattoo. After that, there has been no looking back, he apprenticed at Eternal Tattoos, where he worked under the guidance of Tom Renshaw. Famous for his designs in black and gray, he is best known for tattooing Kid Rock's back. He has also appeared on the hot series LA Ink and London Ink. In 2012, he was a jury member for the Chaudesaigues Award, an award that recognizes the talents, career, and artwork of tattoo artists. He has also appeared as a special guest judge for an episode of Ink Master.
Brandon Bond
Born in Florida, Brandon Bond showed early signs of being a talented artist, his parents supported his passion, and he began his journey by studying Fine Arts at college in Texas. During this time, his friend Jim Wolfe gifted him a tattoo machine, and he got hooked. He began tattooing his friends and his works got published. He went on to apprentice under Shaman Bear. In between traveling and receiving huge amounts of work from his fellow friend Joe Capobianco, tattoo magazines published his artwork. He is the most interviewed and featured contemporary tattoo artist. In 2004, he opened his first studio All or Nothing, which accumulated awards at the National Tattoo Convention. He was voted '' Artist of the Year'' at the South Florida Tattoo Convention in 2005. He currently tattoos exclusively on appointment only in two studios in northwest Atlanta and his appointments are booked in a year advance.
Dave Tedder
Born in the South Carolina, Dave Tedder knew when he was 10 years old that he wanted to become a tattoo artist. He started by becoming a piercer in South Kakalac, he moved to Fort Lauderdale to continue with his apprenticeship, where he found his mentor Holden Ritchison. He loves designing on neo-traditional Americana, Japanese art, and black and gray realism. He tattoos by appointment only.
Fip Buchanan
Born in San Diego, Fip Buchanan was fascinated with art since the age of 2, he started drawing early and took inspiration from his mother who was an artist. He got his first tattoo by Mike Luckett, who ended up mentoring him. He loves designing Asian art, which looks more like pop art. Apart from that, Japanese art, portraits in black and gray, and traditional are his favorites. He owns a studio called Avalon Tattoo in San Diego.
Guy Aitchison
Born in Michigan, Guy Aitchison started out by painting record covers for Vinnie Moore, David Chastain, and California-based Shrapnel Records, during his apprenticeship with the Jacklich Corporation, Art Department. He began tattooing in 1989, at Bob Oslon's Custom Tattooing, in Chicago, as an apprentice. He opened his own shop Guilty & Innocent Productions, which remained one of the top shops for tattooing until 1998, when it closed down so that he could focus more on art and painting. He loves designing a tattoo like a painting and mostly geometric, organic structure, psychedelic, and transcendental art. His work has been featured in various tattoo magazines, and he was part of TLC show Tattoo Wars and a guest artist on LA Ink. He currently owns a studio called Hyper Space Studios, with his wife Michele Wortman who is also a tattoo artist and painter.
Hendrikus J Schiffmacher
Born in Harderwijk, Hendrikus Schiffmacher or ''Hanky Panky'' was an art lover from childhood, he always wanted to be a painter. During a period of traveling in the early seventies, as a painter, he collected massive information and objects related to the history of tattooing. When he returned to Amsterdam, he opened his own tattoo shop Tattooing. He loves designing unconventional art. He has authored various books, the most successful being his autobiography Heet van de naald, his TV documentary on the history and origin of tattoo is famous worldwide. He also operates a unique museum dedicated to the art of tattoo. He has also served as an adviser for exhibitions on History of Tattooing, at influential institutes and museums.
Jonathan Shaw
Born in New York, Jonathan Shaw started tattooing at the age of 21, in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. He returned to Los Angeles and worked as an apprentice under Bob Shaw. In 1991, he opened his own studio Fun City Tattoo. In 2001, he sold his tattoo shop and moved back to Rio De Janeiro to focus on his writing career. He loves designing tribal art. He was also the Managing Editor of International Tattoo Art Magazine. He has a rare and antique collection of tattoo flash art by many important artists, which he has been compiling for a turn of the century tattoo designs coffee table book.
Kat Von D
Born in Mexico, Kat Von D was greatly influenced into art by her maternal grandmother. She had her first tattoo at the age of 14, an old English ''J'' on her ankle as a tribute to a love gone by. She dropped out of school to pursue her dream and started working at Sin City Tattoo and moved to Blue Bird Tattoo in Pasadena. She appeared in two seasons of Miami Ink, and later acquired her own TLC series LA Ink, featuring her shop High Voltage Tattoo. She has authored the book High Voltage Tattoo based on her tattoos and artwork chronically, her second book The Tattoo Chronicles is one of the best-sellers. She has launched a makeup line Sephora, designed her own clothing labels KVD Los Angeles and Kat Von D Los Angeles. She is also the creator of the MusInk Tattoo Convention and Music Festival, an all-ages tattoo, music, and art festival. Her tattoo shop now includes a boutique and art gallery Wonderland Gallery.
Mike Rubendall
Born in Long Island, Mike Rubendall ventured into tattoo designing at the age of 17, under the guidance of Frank Romano. He loves designing Japanese and Chinese art and mythology, he spent a considerable amount of time in Japan and China studying woodblock prints, mythology, and Edo period art. He owns the shop Kings Avenue Tattoo, that creates custom tattoos by various artists. He is highly in demand and has a wait list of 18 months. He has partnered with Danish tattoo artist Henning Jorgensen and founded the company Tattoo Elite International. He has featured in the TLC series Tattoo Wars, and documented Vice Magazine's original series Tattoo Age. He has been ranked as one of the top inkers in the business by many publications and magazines.
Nick Baxter
Born in Connecticut, Nick Baxter following his passion of creative self-expression joined the Paier College of Arts to learn the basics of sharp-focus still-life paintings in the classical Trompe L'oeil style. It was in the year 2000 that he started his career in tattooing, he is widely recognized for his thought-provoking innovative motifs, fine art, and technical tattooing, photo realistic style, and elements of symbolism and surrealism. He has been featured in all the leading tattoo magazines, and teaches aspiring tattoo artists on advanced tattooing techniques.
Paul Timman
Born in Ohio, Paul Timman ventured into the tattoo industry after being encouraged by his friends during his college years. In 1997, he moved to Los Angeles and got a job in one of the most famous tattoo studio Sunset Strip Tattoo, that made him popular among the celebrities. He loves inking Japanese art, tribal and Americana. He has partnered with Ink Dish to create a line of porcelain dinnerware. His works have been featured in many tattoo magazines and publications.
Paul Booth
Born in California, Paul Booth was always interested in the dark side of life, and doodled away skulls, bones, and monsters in school. He got interested in tattooing only after he got his daughter's name tattooed. From then on, he has tattooed relentlessly for many ink-saturated celebrities and rock artist. Known as the Tattooing's King of Creepy by Forbes Magazine, because of his creepy, evil, and darker side of life designs, his tattoo studio is aptly named Last Rites. It houses a theater and expansive art gallery. He boasts of a legendary wait list that is 3 years long.
Scott Campbell
Born in Louisiana, Scott Campbell appalled his parents when he got a skull tattoo done on his leg, he never had any formal training in the craft. He dropped out of biochemistry, and pursued his dream of becoming a tattoo artist by globe trotting around Europe and Asia making tattoos for a living. In 2005, he opened his own tattoo studio Saved Tattoo and from then on, has been a favorite tattoo artist for the celebrity elite. He loves designing typography, antique ornamentation, and classics. In recent years, his sculptures and art work have been exhibited in museums worldwide.
Sean E. Bones
Born in El Paso, Sean E. Bones got his inspiration from his surroundings and culture. He made tattooing his career because he loves designing tribal art and traditional. He is also the creator of the World Wide Tattoo Artists Foundation. His works have featured in top tattoo magazines and publications, and he has won many awards.
Stephanie Tamez
Born in San Antonio, Stephanie Tamez had a degree in graphic design before she started working as a tattoo artist in San Francisco. She is currently the co-owner of Saved Tattoo, and loves designing classic, religious motifs, and typography. She also teaches tattoo design at the School of Visual Art. Her works have been on several important publications and magazines.
Tom Berg
Born in the U.S., Tom Berg has been interested in arts since childhood. He forayed into the world of tattoos when he worked as an apprentice at the So Cal Tattoo studio and has been working there ever since. His gray and black designs are so popular that his appointments are booked a year in advance. His works have been featured on video games, and he has worked exclusively on the sets of Red Dragon, X-Men III, and Prison Break.
Yoji Harada
Born in Tokyo, Yoji Harada got his first tattoo at the age of 19. He moved to Chicago and catapulted to fame when he worked as an apprentice for Ami James, and got featured in the hit series Miami Ink. He loves designing graffiti and Japanese art. He is also a member of the punk rock band Big Deal and has recently opened a children's clothing line Ruthless and Toothless.
There are many more such talented inkers in the world, hope you enjoyed reading the best of them