Written by: David Pitcher
Located in northeastern Indiana, Fort Wayne has a population of less that 260,000 people. The city, however, is home to some of the best tattoo artists in the Midwest. Teresa Sharpe put a national spotlight on Fort Wayne when she won Season 2 of Best Ink, while working at the city’s prestigious Studio 13. While Ms.Sharpe now works primarily in Richmond, VA at Unkindness Art, this small Hoosier city continues to boast world-class talent.
With the guidance of renegade tattooers Dave Knox and Steve “Wildman” Arnett Indiana passed a state senate bill in 1997 legalizing tattooing. Today, Fort Wayne hosts the annual Devil’s Hollow Tattoo and Art Festival, a nationally recognized and heavily attended tattoo convention. Highly respected studios and tattoo shops line the city with the electric song of tattoo machines making memories on the bodies of its populace.
We at FORM recognize that any top 10 list is subjective, but have done our best to bring together a comprehensive and concise vision of tattooing at its best technically, aesthetically, and stylistically, for your reading pleasure. It is, however, impossible to leave out the names of some of the city’s powerful tattoo artists.
While the following artists did not make our “Best Tattoo Artists in Fort Wayne” list, they are pillars of the tattooing community in Fort Wayne, and worthy in every respect of your attention: Teague Mullen, Dustin Stemen, Ted Sutaphong, Nate Click, Joshua Angel, Don Hankey, Lance Perlich, Jamie Elliot, Michael Mankin, Brandon Winston, T.J. Sutton, and L.T. Woods.
We encourage you to send us submissions for any tattooists we may have missed, we would be happy to grow this list.
This article was written by @daveshawtattoo. Dave is a tattooer at Grade A Tattoos in Fort Wayne Indiana. He’s an internationally published poet, journalist, and fine artist.