San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland have a rich history of tattooing and abundance of parlors. For this reason we decided to focus our first article on the entire region itself; starting with a list of the best tattoo artists in the Bay Area (we also added in a few artists from San Diego – just for fun).
As we move forward we’ll give the people what they want, and hit shelves with city specific lists. So stay tuned, and don’t hesitate to hit us up with any suggestions.
Until then, find below our best tattoo artists in the Bay Area.
Dillon Forte – Sri Yantra Tattoo
Mind blowing, matriculate, elegant. Dillon’s work is bar none, or, world class at that. Gradually building a reputation as one of the world’s best tattoo artists, Oakland is lucky to call his work one of it’s own. Keep up the killer work Mr. Forte.
Philip Milic – Old Crow Tattoo
Philip’s work is loaded with intent. The majority of his designs contain some sort of spiritualism or deep meaning that connects the wearer with the art in question. Currently, Philip has a three year wait to grab a seat – so hold tight and strap yourself in for the long haul if this is the work you’re after.
Corey is pretty much the man when it comes to sacred geometry. There are very few artists as talented with regards to the style and he definitely deserves all of the acclaim received. If you’re far from the Bay Area, you can get your hands on some swag designed by Corey in the Sacred Geometry Shop.
Seth Wood – Temple Tattoo 13
Seth is crazy talented and well known in the Oakland trad scene for good reason. Separating himself from the pack with large pieces of work you’ll immediately be able to identify someone lucky enough to be tattooed by the man.
Erik Jacobsen – Idle Hand Tattoo
We love Jacobsen’s style. It’s hard to classify as it incorporates elements from the entire tattoo spectrum: traditional, pointillism, Japanese elements, blackwork, spiritualism, and more. Give the man a follow, and check out this wicked set of paintings, drawings, and water colors up on his site.
We find that we see less and less “pen and ink” these days. We’re not sure why. Nonetheless Brucius is keeping the style alive. While also a talented dotworker, lineworker, and anatomical artist – his pen and ink style is the real stand out. Read our shop profile on Black and Blue Tattoo right here.
Luke Stewart – Seventh Son Tattoo
If you’re looking for traditional Japanese tattooing in the Bay Area this is the person you want to see. Luke and the Seventh Son has a respected history with regards to the style. You can rest assured your skin is in good hands.
Bong – Humble Beginnings
It’s not hard to see why Bong is one of the biggest names in Polynesian design. The folks at Humble Beginnings are lucky to have him when he’s not off in Honolulu.
Dawei Zhang – Dawei Tattoo
A talented and experienced realistic artist, Dawei rounds of our list of 10. Located just outside of San Jose (in Sunnyvale) make sure you head over to this shop if you want to work with a seasoned pro.
ROX – 2 Spirit Tattoo
Rox has one of the most unique forms of blackwork this planet has to offer. “Her inspiration comes from marking the inner warrior on the outside and her visionary design work celebrates the strength of the human spirit.” No two tattoos are alike as each and every piece is custom fit for the individual. We had to update this image as all of the images were taken down from the Instagram account – We found this one on 2 Spirit’s Facebook page.
A Specific Mention For San Diego…
Just a few artists we’d like to shout out; Terry Ribera, and James Tran. We don’t have a San Diego article slated in the near future.
Terry Ribera – Remington Tattoo
Breaking up the list with some much needed color, we have Terry Ribera, owner and tattooist at Remington Tattoo. Ribera is no newbie to the Bay Area – he’s been tattooing strong since 2001, getting his start at Masters, and Avalon Tattoo 2.
James Tran – Full Circle Tattoo
James came onto our radar a few weeks back when this image started to make waves on the Instamachine. Already featured on Blackworkers, James is poised to blow up if he keeps up the good work.