Sign in to follow this  
David Flores

Tattooers Top Five

Recommended Posts

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.

Pinky Yun

Freddy Corbin

Eric Maaske

Chris Conn

Terry Tweed

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Ed Hardy

Horiyoshi III

Scott Sylvia

Jack Rudy

Filip Leu

Second is a personal list of people who have directly affected my tattooing and the way I approach it.

Steve Byrne

Ian Flower

Valerie Vargas

Chad Koeplinger

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.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Old Dead Guys:

1. Jerry

2. Wicks

3. Jensen

4. Zeiss

5. Waters

Living incredibly versatile tattooers:

1. Bob Roberts

2. Cory Lenherr

3. Dan Gilsdorf

4. Scott Sylvia

5. Erick Lynch

Biggest influences on my life directly as friends/inspiraton:

1. Adam Paterson

2. Alex McWatt

3. Myles Karr

4. Scott White

5. Guy Ursitti

6. Chuck Daly

7. Bailey Robinson

8. Benny Haft

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Stewart, is that Horiyoshi III you haven't met?

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:

Ian Flower

Mike Wilson

Scott Sylvia

Filip Leu

Henning Jorgensen

I think you could ask for pretty much any style of tattooing from those guys and get a fantastic tattoo.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I did versatile tattooers because having spent pretty much my entire career thus far in a street shop, versatility is what I've come to respect and aspire to most. I mean I have tons of friends who are amazing tattooers and have very specific styles, and they very rarely work outside those styles, But they also have a very tailored clientele seeking out their work. I just don't feel that's my path. at least not yet. I love having to push myself to rise to challenges as they come to me in whatever style the client wants.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

scott sylvia

mike wilson

dave gibson (that old ITA with mike and dave in it blew me away. and of course i lost it somewhere)

jack rudy

leo zulueta

these are all dudes whos work i saw early on in my career that made me want to do tattoos.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Posts

    • looks like a solid shop!
    • You know, while I was getting tattoed we spoke about the full sleeve, since I've started with the idea to get it done (not in a short amount of time because due work my week is full) and he just said something about the druid girl. But we haven't any conversation about it anymore so it was kinda a flash instead of something wanted.  Then here COVID-19 came and we used to stay in lockdown per 2 months and just now tattoo studios opened (like one/2months ago) and I have to find a window of time where I can contact him. So basically nothing has started yet :)      This is what actually happened with the wolf. I went him saying "I want the face of a wolf here" and he did all the rest, surprising me with that moon etc so I was kinda surprised with the final effect because it wasn't what I exceptecd but It was what I wanted without even telling him the background.  It sounds weird but I gave him "free hands" and imho the result is stunning. So basically I would find the main subject (woman) and the background which suits the wolf (forest etc.). So I wanted to research something in terms of what I have in mind. But still, I will contact him for sure as long as we both have time to spare, finding what I like the most/suit the best  
    • He's a good artist... your concepts are all in the same vein... except the dryad girl which is a different direction. They aren't anything like what he was suggesting though. These also aren't what I'd think of initially when thinking of woman portraits... they are more surreal than what people commonly ask for.  Makes me wonder if you showed them to him yet? I'd give them to the artist, tell them a few things that you like and things you don't like about them... and put down a deposit so that he can start drawing.
  • Last Sparrow Tattoo Sponsors

  • Topics

  • Blog Entries