There’s no way to pinpoint the definition of a tattoo. Sure, look it up in our beloved Merriam-Webster, and you’ll find “a mark, figure, design, or word intentionally fixed or placed on the skin,” but that’s as surface level of meaning as you’ll get.
A tattoo, to some, might be a stereotypical act of rebellion; for others, it might be a way to commemorate a memory forever. While tattoos can be a genuinely beautiful, meaningful piece of art for some, for others, it might just be a passive thought that has no deeper meaning at all. Like the linens you choose to put on your bed or the breakfast you routinely eat, tattoos are deeply personal, indescribable, and undefinable.
Still, at the end of the day, when broken down to their most basic definition, tattoos are legitimate pieces of art. So today, we’re sharing five tattoo artists that you should follow on Instagram, whether or not your body is adorned with beautifully inked designs that may or may not hold any significant meaning at all.
Vicky | @jon_parmesan
Based in Brooklyn, Vicky is a tattoo artist with grit, wit, and charm. While her Instagram feed features tattoos once they’ve been inked, there’s real magic in the posts that feature a smorgasbord of potential tattoo illustrations. Think quirky tiny caterpillars, jello fruit cakes, or a cowgirl with a lasso standing on a spotted horse. Her designs are charming, but there’s an extensive range of emotions sprinkled throughout the work. Vicky’s tattoos are true to Brooklyn in that they’re diverse, eclectic, and exude a sense of unpretentious adventure.
Kira | @mad.honey.tattoo
Kira is a Portland-based tattoo artist who creates simple and delicate line tattoos. Their sweet daisy tattoos are sprinkled all across their Instagram feed, and between them are everything from red cherry hearts, cow-print cowboy hats, and symmetrical spotted puppies. Not to mention, their “Flash” highlight, as well as their “Healed” highlight, are filled to the brim with creative talent and cheeky designs.
Jonah Weintraub | @halfbackwards
Beginning his career in professional hand poke, Jonah Weintraub now primarily works on an electric machine. Known for his illustrative style, you’ll find illustrations of tattoos on his Instagram feed that are moody, whimsical, and will surely stop you in your tracks. Not only will you find tattoos on his feed, though, you will also find sweet and sometimes sinister comics. His highlights feature hundreds of flash ideas, and they’re genuinely mesmerizing to click through: think wavy houses, a sacred heart ice cream cone, and hands that are way more than just a palm with fingers. There’s creative, and then there’s Jonah’s mind.
Chloé Besson | @chloejanetattoos
I first discovered Chloé Benson when my best friend gifted me one of her beautiful ceramic tumblers. It was so beautiful that I use it to hold my toothbrush so I can bask in its glory at least twice a day. Not only does Chloé create ceramics, though, she’s also an illustrator, muralist and photographer, and new shop owner. Her tattoos are dainty, charming, and full of grace. There’s evident passion in her work, and it’s hard to believe she’s only been tattooing for such a brief time. There’s no doubt that both her shop and her career will go the distance.
Doreen Garner | @flesh_and_fluid
Doreen Garner got her first tattoo of a tiny butterfly when she was 16, and that’s where it all began. She then went to Tyler School of Art for undergrad with a degree in glass and received her MFA at RISD. While she loves the art of tattooing, she understands the physical trauma behind it, and how comfortable one needs to be with their artist. Her Instagram feed is full of gorgeous tattoos rich in craftsmanship and even more beautiful in the story behind them. In a recent post, she shared in her caption, “Some non-black tattooers say they don’t include tattoos they’ve done on black clients on their pages because ‘they don’t photograph well’… that’s some bullshit!!!!” And we agree.