Five Vancouver-based tattoo artists you need to know about

Find inspiration from brightly saturated colours to detailed line illustrations

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Inside a tattoo parlour, white background wall with framed designs blurred as image focuses on outstretched arms, covered in red and black tattoos (a heart with a sword going through it, flowers, etc.). One hand grasps a black needle
Find your next tattoo artist in this list. Photo courtesy of Allef Vinicius / Unsplash

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.

@paisleypopart

Image courtesy of @paisleypopart via Instagram

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. 

@shiyu_tattoo

Image courtesy of @shiyu_tattoo via Instagram

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. 

@ink.is.therapy

Image courtesy of @ink.is.therapy via Instagram

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! 

@_kirilo

Image courtesy of @_kirilo via Instagram

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. 

@medusa.illustration

Image courtesy of @medusa.illustration via Instagram

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.