Best Traditional Tattoo Artists in the World

8 Traditional Tattoo Artists: Find the Best Ones Near You

Okay, so when we talk about Traditional Tattoo Artists, we’re getting into a world that is full of history and culture. These artists do more than just use needles and ink. They carry on traditions, tell stories, and make art that lives on. When you get a tattoo from one of these artists, you’re not just getting a tattoo; you’re getting a piece of your history inked into your skin.

Let me tell you something: it’s not like ordering a tattoo from a menu to find a good one. No, sir. It’s about finding someone who knows the roots and the methods that have been passed down from generation to generation. These artists use their needles to connect with the souls of the dead, making them like modern-day shamans. But don’t think you can just walk into their shop and tell them what to do.

No, it’s a dance that you and the artist are making together. These people bring their skills and ideas, and you bring your stories and ideas. A work that will last for a long time was made when minds and souls came together. Be picky about the artist you choose the next time you want to get inked. Find people who live up to the customs and bring new life to the old art of tattooing. Look for traditional tattoo artists who use traditional styles.

Explore More: 10 Famous Artists Using Recycled Materials in Their Artistic Practice

Exploring the Masters: Who Are Traditional Tattoo Artists?

Tattoo artists who use traditional styles and methods do work that has been passed down from generation to generation. This means that their work will always be in style. They are not only great artists, but also culture guardians whose work means a lot more than it looks nice.

A traditional tattoo artist does the following:

  • Specialize: Traditional tattoo artists devote themselves to mastering a particular cultural style, such as American traditional or Japanese tebori, in contrast to contemporary artists.
  • Apprenticed: They learn a lot from long-term apprenticeships with masters who are very good at what they do. Not only do they learn technical skills, but they also learn about other cultures and what the symbols mean.
  • Time-Tested Methods: Old-fashioned techniques are used, such as poking with the fingers or certain tools, and sometimes natural pigments are also used.
  • Cultural Significance: Traditional tattoos are more than just a way to look cool; they have deep cultural meanings that show social status, beliefs, or even historical records.

Discover the Art of Tradition: Top 8 Traditional Tattoo Artists

Learn about the eight best traditional tattoo artists in the world, who are known for their skill, creativity, and dedication. They honour the past of tattooing and also shape its future. They leave a mark on body art all over the world that will never be erased.

Filip Leu

About Him:

  • Born: 1967 in Switzerland
  • Family: Son of Felix Leu, renowned tattoo artist
  • Legacy: Known for advancing the art of Japanese tattooing in Europe

Swiss artist Filip Leu excels at black-and-grey realism. His meticulous portraiture and designs appear like genuine individuals and evoke emotion, drawing viewers in. Whether his subjects are real people or mythical animals, Leu’s work evokes awe and admiration.

Many historical and cultural events have affected Leu’s work. He uses Japanese Irezumi and European mythology to portray timeless stories. His excellent storytelling weave the past and present together, helping audiences explore human experience.

Horishi III

About Him:

  • Real Name: Yoshihito Nakano
  • Legacy: Revered as a master of traditional Japanese tattooing (Irezumi)
  • Style: Specializes in intricate full-body tattoos (body suits)

Because of his tebori hand-poke skills, Japanese tattooists admire Horishi III. He meticulously crafts full-body garments that evoke centuries of Japanese art. Each stroke weaves history and symbolism into a gorgeous tapestry. He distinguishes out for preserving the real tebori process.

This draws people from around the world who want the spiritual connection only handcrafted tattoos can provide. Horishi III’s body art is a spiritual journey for both the artist and the recipient. Skin is a canvas in his hands, and tattoos are living memories of Japanese culture.

Claudia De Sabe

About Her:

  • Nationality: Italian
  • Style: Versatile artist known for blending traditional and contemporary tattoo techniques
  • Notable Works: Published in various tattoo magazines

Claudia De Sabe from Brazil is known for her intricate Japanese tattoos. Her floral and nature designs reflect her love of Japanese culture’s deep meanings and delicate beauty. With bold lines and vivid colours, she puts her own spin on traditional Japanese motifs.

More than body art, De Sabe’s tattoos reflect his ethnic and artistic history. Her commitment to detail and authenticity are lauded by tattooists. She recreates the timeless beauty and spiritual meaning of Japanese tattooing with her ability. This has made her a world-renowned tattooist.

Mike DeVries

About Him:

  • Style: Specializes in hyper-realistic color portraits and fantasy-themed tattoos
  • Recognition: Multiple awards for his tattoo work
  • Notable Clients: Celebrities and athletes

When it comes to American classic tattoos, which have been around for a long time, Mike DeVries is one of the best. DeVries is known for being good at using bold lines and bright colours. On his skin paintings, he brings famous pictures to life.

Eagle, ship, and dagger tattoos in his collection look great and are true to the classic style while also having a modern twist. Still, DeVries is making a name for himself in the world of classic tattooing. He is very good at what he does and loves it.

Colin Dale

About Him:

  • Nationality: Canadian
  • Background: Trained in traditional hand tattooing by indigenous tribes in Borneo
  • Style: Integrates traditional tribal designs with modern tattooing techniques

British artist Colin Dale represents traditional British style with his bold lines, limited colour palettes, and maritime themes. His clean lines and vibrant storytelling reflect maritime heritage and British seafaring culture. Dale’s pieces evoke adventure and appeal to marine explorers.

Dale uses shape and colour to bring historic maritime settings to life and engage visitors on visual adventures. Through nostalgia and new ideas, his art ties Britain’s maritime heritage to the present. Dale’s unique style inspires others, cementing his place in British art.


About Him:

  • Nationality: French
  • Unique Style: Known for his avant-garde, abstract tattoo designs
  • Approach: Uses the body’s natural contours to create visually stunning compositions

Miguel Angel Jimenez, known as Xoil, is known for his Chicano tattoos, which are deeply rooted in Mexican culture. His painting showcases Chicano ancestry through religious themes, cultural symbols, and complex lettering. He is skilled at mixing old-school tattooing procedures with current trends to create beautiful and meaningful pieces.

Xoil’s distinctive tattoos honour Chicano history and faith and make individuals feel cherished and at home. Adding personal significance and societal criticism to each design connects the past and present in his art. Xoil’s tattooing innovations inspire and enrich the art, leaving an indelible impression on the soul and skin.

Tattoos by Lou

About Her:

  • Legacy: Founded by Lou Sciberras in 1958 in Miami
  • Notable Influence: One of the oldest tattoo shops in the United States
  • Tradition: Maintains a focus on classic tattoo styles and techniques

Lou is an American tattoo artist that specialises in traditional and modern traditional American tattoos. Strong lines and vibrant colours make his body art stand out. Each tattoo in his gallery demonstrates his unique style and ability to draw humorous characters.

Tattoos by Lou meticulously creates traditional, creative pieces. He uses both old and current approaches to create timeless and modern tattoos. His unique style and steadfast passion continue to define tattoo art.

Nikko Hurtado


  • Style: Renowned for his hyper-realistic portrait tattoos
  • Innovation: Pioneered the use of color saturation and blending techniques
  • Celebrity Clients: Known for tattooing numerous Hollywood stars

Nikko Hurtado’s black-and-grey realism elevates tattoo art. He wonderfully captures his subjects’ essence with subtle shading and minor details. Hurtado’s unique style is adored in the tattoo community and beyond. Photo-like portraits are Hurtado’s speciality.

He imbues his works with soul and life. His exquisite craftsmanship conveys feelings onto canvas, bringing people in with its acute realism. Nikko Hurtado’s incredible skill and dedication to realistic tattoos are evident in his work.

Bonus: Oliver Peck

In the world of tattooing, Oliver Peck is known as an iconic figure because of how well he did with American Traditional and Black and Grey realism. Peck has left an indelible mark on the industry with his attention to detail and deep artistry. As the owner of Blackheart Tattoo, he has created a place where artists can flourish, which has helped shape the very essence of modern tattoo culture.

Under Peck’s leadership, Blackheart Tattoo has become famous around the world, drawing both tattoo fans and professional artists. It is a shining example of excellence, combining traditional tattooing with new tattooing techniques. Oliver Peck’s art and leadership continue to influence and shape the ever-changing world of tattoo artists around the world.

Read on: Artists and Their Inspirations: 10 Influential Sources of Creative Motivation


There are a lot of different types of traditional tattooing, and new artists are always taking the art form to new heights. The people above are some of the best traditional tattoo artists in the world. Each one has their own style and way of making art. Whether you have a tattoo or this is your first time getting one, looking at the work of these skilled artists will move and excite you.

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