If You Want A Cool Tattoo In New York, Go To One Of These Artists

One of the best parts of hot concrete season in N.YC. is when people strip down to their skimpiest, and their inked-up skin comes out to shine. Showing off my own tattoos is one of the great joys of summer — sleeves get shorter, and the Max Fleischer Koko the clown tattoo on the back of my arm pops out; lose the pants and the Buckminster Fuller geodesic dome on my thigh peeks out from my short shorts. Summertime, without fail, always makes me wish I had even more ink. If you’re feeling the itch, too, these brilliant N.Y.C.-based tattoo artists will do you right.

1. In the past few years, Tea Leigh expanded her repertoire from dainty floral pokes to elegant animals, faces, and landscapes. Worth the wait for an appointment at her home studio.

2. Hit up Mira Mariah If you’re into any or all of the following: innovative line structure, unusual subjects, an occasional splash of color.

3. Rosa Bluestone Perr is another Brooklyn handpoker. She specializes in tattoos that are halfway between delicate and badass.

4. Bruno Levy‘s been setting up shop recently at a new Williamsburg tattoo parlor called Fleur Noire. He’s a master of thick lines and nostalgic images.

5.When you need to go big, bold, or both, see Tamara Santibanez at Saved Tattoo. She was featured in The FADER’s Faith Issue for her relationship with herbalism, and she rocks.

6. If you’re looking for something a little different, go to Brooke Herr. She creates abstract, minimalist skin art.

7. Ol Ash over at Magic Cobra Tattoo has a thing for beautiful color palettes and off-kilter designs.

8. Flora, fauna, the animal kingdom, and silhouettes are Krista Morgenson‘s specialty. Her tats are just really, really pretty.

9. Knarly Gav is doing some crazy cool shit. What even is this skull sunset woman? And this mermaid cat? I love them all.

10. Delicate stick n’ poker Kelli Kikcio tattooed some lovely snowdrops on FADER editor Aimee Cliff.

11. Long time East River Tattoo resident, Rob Banks is your go-to for strong, traditional work; tigers, snakes, skulls, knives, and lettering are all in his repertoire.

12. Intricate designs and shading with movement characterizes the all-vegan work of Kalatu, who’s posted at Gristle Tattoo in Brooklyn.

13. Rukus does a lot of bright, animated characters — from The Simpsons, Looney Tunes, Josie & The Pussycats, and lots more. He also does traditional-style, single-needle, and cool abstract scenes.

14. My guy Nick Paine has a classic aesthetic and a knack for strong, steady lines. Find him at Greenpoint Tattoo or Allied Tattoo depending on the day; he’s a pro.

15. Laura Martinez, the co-owner of Fleur Noire, is into geometrics and sharp lines.

16. Also at East River, Ryan Shaffer‘s work has a cartoony yet classic-feeling aesthetic.

17. Looking for fine, intricate details executed with precision? You’ll want Brookes Blalock, an indie tattooer who’s into some dark images.

18. Mare Delanoir‘s tattoos are absolutely ethereal. She started out as a specialist in black, ornamental design — but her pastel pieces rule even harder.

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