By: Victoria Lopatka, Staff Writer
As I’ve gotten quite a few tattoos in Vancouver, I’ve come across lots of talented artists. Nostalgic pop culture pieces? There’s someone who can do that. New school Japanese combinations? Yes, please. Dainty black and grey details? Absolutely. If you’re looking for a new tattoo artist to partner with on your next creation, check out these five based in Vancouver. For booking details, visit the artists’ websites or social media profiles.
Works at: Grapevine Tattoo
Specialty: Bright colours and pop culture imagery
Pokémon, Tamagotchis, sweet treats, and Lisa Frank portraits — that’s what you’ll find in Paisley’s portfolio. Each tattoo is saturated with eye-popping colours contained in strong, crisp lines, looking more like pictures or paintings than tattoos. Paisley would be a great artist for any nostalgic tattoos based on childhood TV shows, movies, cartoons, or toys. FAQs, including those about deposits and COVID-19 policies, can be found in their Instagram bio.
Works at: Monkey King Tattoo
Specialty: Traditional and new school Japanese tattoos
If you’re interested in a traditional Japanese tattoo, look no further than @shiyu_tattoo. She has been tattooing for nearly four years and has dabbled in script, watercolour, American traditional, and neo traditional styles. Shiyu has expressed interest in tattooing tennyo, kiyohime, and floral sleeves in the future.
Works at: Third Eye Tattoo Parlour
Specialty: Fine-line nature tattoos
I originally found Taylor through her TikToks (@inkistherapy) and was really drawn to the intersection of mental health awareness and tattoos. Her Instagram features fine-line floral and vine tattoos — and when I say “fine line,” I mean fine. The designs are extremely delicate and dainty. She regularly does tattoo giveaways, so if you’re wanting to get something done, but are a little low on cash, keep an eye out for those!
Works at: Gastown Tattoo Parlour
Specialty: American traditional style
Parlour owner and American traditional expert, Mitch Kirilo has been regarded as “one of the most impressive artists in Vancouver” — and it’s not hard to see why. His designs are bold, bright, and crisp, depicting animals, insects, monsters, and more. His slogan in his Instagram bio is “tuff tattoos for soft people.” Kirilo is not booking right now, but keep an eye on his social media for upcoming openings.
Works at: Karmma Tattoo
Specialty: Fine-line illustrative pieces
I may be biased as I’ve gotten two tattoos from Marie Joy Caldwell (@medusa.illustration), but if you want a tattoo that looks like it could be a storybook illustration, then she’s a must-visit. Her portfolio includes a wide array of pieces, from mythical creatures to landscapes to astrological figures. All of them share one thing in common: fine, crisp detailing. Caldwell is currently only booking flash designs. To see those, check out the highlights on her Instagram account.
Visit the-peak.ca for five more amazing Vancouver-based tattoo artists.