There isn’t a tonne of literature on the best tattoo artists in Vancouver. Instead, search results yield shop reviews, Yelp pages, and one great read from The Hundreds Blog. We all know the great North West has a boatload of talented tattoo artists, so we felt it was time we give them their due.
As we build these lists, we do understand that the word “best” is quite subjective. And that our inclusions and exclusions may be somewhat polarizing. Our goal with these articles is to reflect a grouping of 10 artists in a given area that we are quite fond of – rather than that of all out gospel. As we proceed, we’re going to make a better effort of representing this. While we do consider this list a grouping of our “best tattoo artists in Vancouver” we also want to acknowledge a huge grouping of talented tattoo shops and artists such as: Michie Kojima, Kaija Heitland, Dave Green, Rob Jobe, Crystal Alexandria, Mike Nassar, Emilio Hidalgo, Liquid Amber Tattoo, Funhouse Tattoo, Tattoo Union, Sacred Heart Tattoo and many more.
Without further adieu, here is FORM.ink’s look at the best tattoo artists in Vancouver:
We’re including South Surrey artist Greg Nicholson in this list because he more than deserves it. He’s one of the best realistic tattooists we’ve seen in a while. If Greg keeps up the good work, he’s soon to share some common stock with Toronto’s best Seunghyun as one of the best realistic artists in Canada.
Steve Moore – Get Moore Tattoos
Bold, bright colouring and often fantastical scenes dominate the landscape of a large body of work. Moore’s work itself is really hard to put any label to – just take a look through his Instagram and decide for yourself. Need we say Moore? Steve was once a staple at Vancouver’s Sacred Heart Tattoo.
James Acrow – Slow Down Tattoo
Acrow is loaded with talent and versatility. He’s excellent with Traditional, Japanese, Blackwork and so much more. Rest assured you’re in good hands if fortunate enough to book with Acrow. Also, check out some of the dope flash work he has up on his site.
Ryan Halter – Steveston Tattoo Company
Halter is the man you want to see for a unique brand of traditional tattooing all his own. As the owner of Steveston Tattoo Company, Halter is also fostering a wicked culture within his shop with the likes of: Jesse Strong, Miles Kanne, and Stance Forand.
Arlin “Uncle Arlo” French – Gas Town Tattoo Parlour
“Born in the woods of the frozen northlands to wild bush people and raised with wolves as his playmates” Uncle Arlo is the second up from Gas Town. An awesome trash polka style (Seen below) sets himself apart from the majority of artists in the city. Unfortunately for our readers, Arlo is so busy that he’s not taking any appointments right now.
Nomi Chi – Gas Town Tattoo Parlour
Nomi has a beautiful style, self described as “Nature, esoterica, and the macabre”. She’s a talented young artist with a buttload of future potential and present prowess.
Mitch Kirilo – Gas Town Tattoo Parlour
This is the second time that three artists from one shop have made it into a single list (See Speakeasy Tattoo in Chicago). For this, we do not apologize. In certain cities there are shops that merit attention for bringing with them a rich tradition of tattooing – as well, more than capable artists. Gas Town is one of these shops. Mitch is the owner of Gas Town and a wicked traditional tattooist, we hope he keeps up the awesome legacy.
Katia Somerville – Rain Fire Tattoo
As the owner of Rain Fire Tattoo, Katia takes pride in the dotwork, sacred geometry, patterns, and mandalas that leave her shop each and everyday. Katia is relatively fresh in the game; beginning her venture into the discipline in 2004 under the tutelage of the great Rowan Kimsey.
Jeff “Monkey King” Tam – Monkey King Tattoo
There’s a certain significance that comes out from Monkey King’s work. His designs are not arbitrarily placed, rather his style is an “authentic Asian style promoting a placement of balance which gives meaning.” This dedication to balance helps Tam produce stunning imagery that truly rises his above the competition.
Cohen Floch – Paradigm Tattoo Company
Hailing from Saskatchewan, Cohen Floch got started at Funhouse and Union Tattoo where he eventually built a legacy that allowed him to start the Paradigm Tattoo Company. Focusing on a quality body of work (rather than quantity) Floch is dedicated to producing works that both he, and it’s wearer can be proud to display.