I know there are a million lists, but I would consider this more of an exercise.
Typical day at the shop a topic came up yesterday, who are the top 5 people in the tattoo world that directly influenced you as a tattooer? It's a question that I have seen asked of a lot of aspiring tattooers who come into the shop looking for work, but would love to hear from some of the great tattooers on the forum.
Since I am not a tattooer, I will share the best list gathered yesterday from Ross Ferrie of Acme Tattoo (formerly of Deluxe Tattoo) in Portland Oregon. This list personifies his style and attitude perfectly in my opinion.
i think mine are, in no particular order:
Chad Koeplinger, Scott Sylvia, Ed Hardy, Chris Conn, Henning Jorgensen.
what a tight list, i think i honestly would need 10 at least to feel like less of a dick for leaving some of my other favourite tattooers out there
I'm gonna cheat, 'cos I can and I feel all rebellious and shit.
First list is the 'big picture' influence on my work and who got me interested in what.
Second is a personal list of people who have directly affected my tattooing and the way I approach it.
Joint fifth between, Dante DiMassa (owner of Frith Street Tattoo) and Tim Hendricks.
Looking at these lists reinforces how fortunate I've been up to this point.
There's only one person listed who I haven't met. I think he's the one who'd make my palms sweat the most. I still get nervous and excited when I see/have met the others and they let me talk to them. I feel like a child at the table of adults.
First I would like to say thanks for everyone sharing their lists. A lot of very influential and important people in tattooing listed. One other topic that came up while talking over the list was the moment you decided to start tattooing. What or who was the catalyst that made you make the decision to actually pursue tattooing as a career.
Ross always tells me the story of getting tattooed and having Freddy Corbin suggest to him to start tattooing. Not quite sure if Freddy was serious Ross thought to call one another friend of his Eric Maaske and see what he thought of the idea and he also thought it was a good idea. So as Ross would put it "Those two are to blame." To me it just seems like a story that wouldn't happen as much today.
I haven't met Ed Hardy.
I'd be more nervous about meeting him is because I first read his name when I was in my early teens. Without Hardy, I wouldn't know about Horiyoshi III or any of the other awesome tattooers who's work moved me as a teenager.
There are so many tattooers who have influenced me, it was obviously hard to whittle it down to 5. I'm still amazed that all of the tattooers I look up to have been super cool to me.
Perez, I like the idea of the list of versatile tattooers too. Mine would be:
I think you could ask for pretty much any style of tattooing from those guys and get a fantastic tattoo.