Kansas City is a mecca for all things tattoo. If you don’t believe that, consider this: the city is full of amazing studios, is home to multiple award-winning and talented artists, and is the location of the annual Kansas City Tattoo Arts Convention. You have a bunch of studios to choose from if you want a tattoo in Kansas City, so here’s a list of 10 of the best to help you make your decision.
Honorable Mentions: Kansas City has a great number of top tattoo shops to choose from, as well as a ton of great studios that didn’t make the list by a hair. A few studios that also deserved to be mentioned include Freaks on Broadway, Surreal Tattoo Studio, Rose Tattoo Parlor, Kansas City Ink, Illustrated Man Tattoo Studio, and Done Rite Tattoos.
The story: The Mercy Seat brings together many of the city’s best tattoo artists and a tremendous amount of talent that you won’t find anywhere else. They specialize in freehand, original and custom designs, large tattoos, and unique pieces.
The artists: Jason Pollard, Scott Shickman, Chet Duvenci, Chris Orr, Dana Howard, Wesley Brockman, Mikey Wheeler, Ugly Bill, and Megan Mac
The story: Exile Tattoo became busy enough to open a second location recently, and the studios pride themselves on cleanliness, customer satisfaction, and communication. Their main styles are traditional Japanese and American, though they’re always willing to venture into new areas.
The artists: Whispering Danny, Steven Campbell, Jessie Hopeless, Juan Moya, Jeremy Latta, Corey Kirby, and Nathan Blankenship
The story: Irezumi Tattoo has been around for about 20 years, but for the first 17 years they were known as Irezumi Body Art. Their main concerns are perfection and professionalism, and areas of specialty include portraits, realism, biomechanical, watercolor, and custom scripts.
The artists: Kevin, Blake, Steve, Nathan, Saint Dallas, Chris, Tim, Dennis, Jakob, Brad, and Derek
The story: Beautiful Body understands that tattoos are pieces of artwork, but they also understand that the process can be confusing and uncomfortable, especially for first-timers. They focus on making the experience easy and safe, all while producing quality tattoo work.
The artists: Neil Capra, Loran Smith, Diego Saenz, Beth, and John Kroll
The story: Old Souls has a great line-up of permanent artists, but they also regularly welcome visiting artists to the studio. They don’t mind people dropping in for consultations or to ask questions, and Saturdays at the shop are reserved for walk-ins.
The artists: Noah Noore, Shea, Kurtis Johnson, Jimmy Little,
The story: With two locations to serve the city, The Ink Parlor is quickly turning out legions of happy and loyal clients. The atmosphere is clean, friendly, and welcoming, and the artists can do a variety of styles, including geometric, landscapes, and memorial pieces.
The artists: Heath, Sean, Adam, Rachael, Dalton, Jacob, and Amy
The story: Windhorse Tattooing is a tattoo studio that combines body art with traditional art, and they host monthly art shows as well as being a regular tattoo shop. They specialize in illustration, dotwork, geometric, and traditional Asian.
The artists: Mark Galloway and Matthew Crim
The story: Founded in 2011, Hold Fast is known for their custom tattoos, realism, traditional Japanese and American tattoos, and for their hand-drawn scripts. The studio is a welcoming gallery-style shop that showcases their original work.
The artists: Aubrey Rohlfing and Joshua Berry
The story: Opened in 1997, Dragonfly Tattoo wants every tattoo experience to be a positive and memorable one. The artists are open, warm, have lived in the area their whole lives, and love being a part of the local community.
The artists: Troy, Abigail, Diana, and Jeremiah
The story: Every artist at A1 is professional, experienced, creative, and friendly, and this makes for a laid back shop that creates fantastic work. It’s no wonder A1 is the oldest tattoo studio in North Kansas City, with the shop having been around since 1993. They can do small, full-body, and cover-up tattoos.
The artists: Brennan O’Rourke, Benjamin Carlson, Josh Rucker, Shannon Healey, and Mitch Ashpaugh