Let us make shopping around for your next (or first) tattoo really easy. First, some of the best artists on the planet are stationed right here on Melrose Avenue. Second, the shops are all clean, comfortable, and safe; you really then just have to meet your artistic match. So finally, we’ve found some of the latest and greatest from ALL the shops, and linked to their ‘grams so you can scroll through the amazing portfolios.
Every line of a tattoo should be a thoughtful choice, but a good sleeve requires a lot of foresight and planning to make the best use of space. This is typical of the work done by Timbo at Bamboo Tattoo: sharp detail, impeccable cohesiveness, and evocative imagery.
7664 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles 90046
This is on skin! I repeat, on skin. Drawn with a needle! This is the type of amazing portraiture done by Hilmar at Black Anchor Tattoo. The nuance in her face – the shadows, lines, skin tone – and the movement of her hair is the type of realism only an experienced pro can pull off.
Everything Martin Kelly creates is magical. His sketch tattoo work is unmatched in its composition, precision, and imagination. There’s zero need for color when you’ve got a black line image as perfect as this.
Lettering can make you sweat with the many ways it can work. Here, it goes all the way right. Steff Rojas at Fifth Sun Tattoo eyed this one exactly, giving the magical palindrome clarity and depth that will last.
For most people, choosing a tribute tat is really emotional, and the pressure for accurate representation of the source material is heavy. Check out Chawat at Generation 8, who makes people, pets, and places look forever for-real.
Can’t get enough of the work Isabela Verri does at Golden Daggers. Talk about having a POV! Her art is whimsical, fancy-fueled, female-forward and would look as good on your wall as on your body. It definitely inspires “where’d you get that done?”
There’s a delicacy that can be considered in design and execution of a tattoo that can add dimension, pull the eye, or use all-over subtlety to make an impact. Joey Hill at High Seas is masterful in fine line pieces that do all of that beautifully.
Loving this surrealism. You know a Dean Berton tattoo when you see one. Could be the element of controlled splatter, could be the edgy, unexpected take on its subject, could be the feeling of wonder you get by looking at it.
7661 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles 90046
Combining styles takes a lot of confidence, and Anastasi at Radiant Ink has plenty of it. She also has the skills to make it work. This is a great example of how strong black and grey, combined with a delicate watercolor and spot-on geometry can make for a stunning piece.
You really don’t want a splotchy uneven mess of a solid black tattoo. Zara Solava knows how to get to that smooth rich black, and even add some depth with shading. It ain’t easy, and it ain’t painless, but the payoff is worth it.