Culture 

Making Their Permanent Mark: Meet the Women of West 4 Tattoo

Tattoo artists JK Kim and Michelle Santana talk being women in the industry.

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Making Their Permanent Mark: Meet the Women of West 4 Tattoo

Tattoo artists JK Kim and Michelle Santana talk being women in the industry.

When you walk into West 4 Tattoo, the camaraderie fills it in the same manner that the art design inspiration covers almost every corner of the shop. Once upon a time, tattoos were markings of society’s outcasts — the rebels, the nonconformists, the juvenile delinquents — but that’s not exactly whom you’ll find getting inked up there as West 4 has become a hotspot for Hollywood’s elite and fans alike.

There’s been a historical stigma against tattoos and although the stereotype has evolved as they’ve become increasingly trendier, the industry continues to be an overwhelmingly male-dominated one. At West 4, JonBoy and Evan Kim are admittedly big draws with months-long waiting lists to be seen. But there in the shop, we meet JK Kim and Michelle Santana, two female tattoo artists who are also making their permanent mark there — literally and figuratively. Get to know them in our interview above.

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Videographer
Kevin Spence/Hypebeast

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