10 Black Tattoo Artists to Support:

There is unfortunately still quite a bit of subtle (and not-so-subtle) racism in the tattoo industry. It’s often believed that customers with darker skin are harder to tattoo, but that’s certainly not the case. Especially as body modification is such an important part of all cultures and histories, not just white ones.

Tony at West 4 Tattoos in NYC. Specializing in fine line and micro tattoos.https://www.instagram.com/anthologytattoos/?hl=en
Another by Tony. From A Tribe Called Red album cover.
Kandace Layne in Atlanta. Specializing in line and dot work https://www.instagram.com/kandacelayne/
Chest done by Kandace.

Black ink is also not the only ink that has to be used on dark skin, contrary to what many believe. Darker skin can still feature bright and colourful pieces. you just have to know what you’re doing with that tattoo machine.

Jaz Paulino with a piece inspired by Frida Kahlo. https://www.instagram.com/gentle_jaz/
Berry’s by Jaz.
Coverup by Kat in California who does lots of realism and gothic work. https://www.instagram.com/kattatgirl/?hl=en
Unfinished black history leg piece by Kat. Featuring Rosa Parks and Malcolm X.

More tattoo artists should push themselves to learn how to tattoo different skin types, including darker skin, as the subculture of tattooing isn’t so “sub” anymore. It can be disheartening for black or tanned customers walking into a tattoo shop when all they see is flash painted on white paper, and portfolios filled with white skin, or only very dark tattoos on darker skin.

Dark Mark by Brittany in Toronto. Specializing in line work. https://www.instagram.com/humblebeetattoo/
Delicate fingers by Brittany.
Miryam Lumpini in LA with a neo traditional scar coverup. https://www.instagram.com/miryamlumpini/
Cute neo traditional red panda by Miryam.

(June 2020) With the world finally rallying beside our black brothers and sisters it’s more important than ever to support black businesses, including tattoo artists.

Craig Foster at Skinwerks. Specializing in new school. https://www.instagram.com/skinwerks/?hl=en
New school pizza coming at you from Craig.
Tee J Poole. Specializing in surrealistic tattoos.https://www.instagram.com/teejpoole/?hl=en
J. Cole portrait by Tee J.

Feel free to leave more links to black tattoo artists below!

Healed plants by Doreen Garner in NYC Specializing in black work and fine line tattoos. https://www.instagram.com/flesh_and_fluid/?hl=en
Tiger by Doreen.
Melody Mitchell who does lots of black and grey and water colour pieces.https://www.instagram.com/melodytattoos/?hl=en
Mandala by Melody.

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Artist of the Month: Susanne König

Susanne is a tattooer at Redwood Tattoo Studio in Manchester. She does fine linework, dotwork, and blackwork. All of her tattoos use only black ink, but her intricate dotwork make a great contrast to the heavy black.

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A girl and her cat, the start and the moon.
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Victorian octopus lady looking very serious.
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Fantastic night time land and city scape.
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Gorgeous Venus piece!
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Lovely jellyfish in a jar.
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Three adorable foxes cuddling.
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A girl and her big dog!

Much of her work features popular characters or places from books, film, and tv.

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Eleven from Stranger Things!
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Severus Snape wearing Neville’s Grandmother’s clothing.
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The first years heading to Hogwarts!

She draws much inspiration from histories famous painters, and even does their portraits.

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Brilliant portrait of Van Gogh with his own sky design as the background.
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Frida Kahlo as one of her own portraits.
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Dot and blackwork Picasso vase!
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Katsushika Hokusai’s wave, one of the most iconic Japanese motifs.

Her whimsical animal portraits are fantastical and heartwarming, such as space narwhales, dogs in space, dinosaurs in clothing, etc.

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Sloth bathing in some tasty ramen!
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Super cool badger rocking out.
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Pirate kitty!!
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Narwhale with a cool space theme.
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Brachiosaurus in some fancy clothes.
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Very pretty mermaid.
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A heavily tattooed and bearded merman.

Susanne is a must see artist if you’re in Manchester!

Frida Kahlo Tattoos:

Frida Kahlo was a painter born in Mexico in 1907. She mainly painted self portraits, but many were heavily stylized, and some based on current pop culture.

Alix Ge
American traditional portrait done by Alix Ge in France.
Victor Montaghini
Sketchwork style done by Victor Montaghini.
Amanda Troy
Portrait in a heart done by Amanda Toy in Milan, Italy.

Her art explored questions of gender, identity, class, race, and postcolonialism in Mexican society.

Bob Mosquito
Geometric, dotwork deer piece by Bob Mosquito.
Sue Jeiven
Blackwork style done by Sue Jeiven.
Christophe Bonardi
Neo traditional portrait with roses done by Christophe Bonardi.

Frida’s art has been called surrealist, and magic realist. Her paintings are praised today by feminists for their depictions of the female experience and form.

Dennis Gutierrez
American traditional portrait done by Dennis Gutierrez in Barcelona.
Susanne König
Blackwork/dotwork portrait done by Susanne König.
Eric Moreno
New school skeletal portrait done by Eric Moreno at Birdhouse tattoo in Madrid.

Frida became an artist during recovery after she was injured in an accident when she was eighteen.

Esther de Miguel in Berlin
American traditional portrait by Esther de Miguel in Berlin.
Wina Brasil
Black and grey portrait done by Wina Brasil.
Fredão Oliveira
Blackwork geometric, dotwork portrait done by Fredão Oliveira in Brazil.

She became interested in politics in 1927, and joined the Mexican Communist Party where she met her husband. The two divorced in 1939 but did re marry.

J Swan
Mostly black and grey portrait done by J Swan.
Jessica Damasceno
Trash polka portrait done by Jessica Damasceno.

Frida traveled Mexico and the United States, and was given a solo exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York in 1938, which was a massive success. This was quickly followed by another exhibition in Paris the following year.

kirsten wonderland tattoo Portland Oregon
Frida as a deer done by Kirsten in Wonderland Tattoo in Portland Oregon.
Logan Aguilar
Realistic day of the dead sugar skull version of Frida done by Logan Aguilar.

Frida had her first solo exhibition in Mexico in 1953.

Mariusz Trubisz
Beautiful surrealist portrait done by Mariusz Trubisz.
Megan Massacre
Unfinished realistic portrait done by Megan Massacre.

She died the following year at the age of 47 due to bronchopneumonia.

Mike Grant
Skeletal portrait done by Mike Grant.
Paul Aherne
Blackwork portrait done by Paul Aherne.

Though she was relatively well known in certain circles during her lifetime, her work wasn’t appreciated the way it is now until the 1990’s, when her paintings became icons for feminists, Chicanos, and the LGBTQ community.

Sebastian Brade
Bright and colorful portrait done by Sebastian Brade.
Steph Hanlon
Colorful geometric piece done by Steph Hanlon.

Which is your favourite?