Here Are 9 New York-Based Artists to Book For Your Next Tattoo
Specializing in styles from fine line to watercolor.
In a city that calls itself home to scores of creatives, it’s no surprise that New York is one of the best places to get a tattoo. In fact, the options are endless — to help your search, we’ve rounded up the best New York City-based tattoo artists who specialize in styles ranging from fine line to watercolor to hand-pokes.
If you’re looking to get inked, these established artists each work in unique, trademark styles you’ve probably come across before on Instagram.
A portrait artist as well as a tattooer, Adria Mercuri is known for her soft style that takes on a fairytale-like effect. Her black and grey tattoos often resemble shaded-pencil drawings and interpret Greek art, as well as historical paintings such as Ophelia by John Everett Millais. Mercuri’s impressive celebrity portraits — including renderings of Britney Spears and Lizzo — have also garnered the artist buzz.
A pioneer of watercolor tattoos, Amanda Wachob’s work often reads more like a painting than a traditional tattoo. Her richly colored work features geometric and abstract forms resembling watercolor washes. Dreamy florals take a similar approach, rendered with deep shadows and bright highlights that define form without an outline.
Queens-based JK Kim specializes in barely there fine line tattoos of flora, fauna and flawlessly executed script. The artist began tattooing in 2015 and and now works out of a private studio in Flushing. Her work includes minimalist finger tattoos, subtle constellations and even white ink.
Brooklyn-based Melody, better known as methcakes on Instagram, brings a signature Y2K flair to her tattoos, which often feature butterflies, chains and fetish-inspired symbolism. Recent work includes a spattering of Louis Vuitton monogram, Betty Boop as the devil and flame font lettering.
For those looking to get a botanical tattoo, Michelle Marie is the one. Her finely detailed work resembles scientific illustrations found in textbooks or encyclopedias. Black and shaded arrangements of flora and fauna range from small arm adornments to full back pieces.
Previously featured in Forbes, Michelle Santana works at Manhattan’s famous BANG BANG NYC. Santana got her start in Colombia, where she tattooed out of her bedroom. Now, she’s solidified herself as one of the city’s top artists specializing in single needle and fine line tattoos. Her tiny yet detailed work is often inspired by her cultural background telling Forbes, “Because I am Latina, people from that culture/community feel confident in getting a tattoo by me because they trust my work.”
The artist behind Ariana Grande‘s bumblebee and Spirited Away tattoos, Mira Mariah’s work is instantly recognizable for its fashion sketch-like quality. Her tattoos appear as if they’re drawn from one languid line and range in subject matter from pouty women to fierce felines. Mariah also pushes the boundaries as a disabled tattoo artist — she lost one of her legs to a staph infection at 17-years-old.
Working out of Brooklyn’s Saved Tattoo, Tamara Santibañez draws inspiration from the aesthetics of fetish, punk and Chicanx art. Her black and grey tattoos, which range from portraits to intricately rendered script, are stylized yet realistically detailed. Santibañez’s multimedia body of work also includes sculpture, hyperrealistic drawing and editing — the artist founded Discipline Press, an independent publishing house.
Co-founder of queer-friendly tattoo studio Welcome Home, Tea Leigh specializes in delicate hand-poked tattoos. With a background in art and postpartum healing as a doula, Leigh often works with clients looking to reclaim their bodies from trauma, body dysmorphia and the male gaze. Frequently drawing from nature, the black and grey tattoos include minimalist outlines and heavily detailed larger-scale pieces.