The Best Tattoo Shops In Los Angeles
By Diamond Fischer
Tattoos were once exclusively the domain of outcasts in Western culture, but they have become common on everyone from your local barista to the exec in the corner suite. Artistic styles are numerous and still growing, from classic Sailor Jerry to geometric perfection. At any given time in Los Angeles, there are countless artists working away, creating masterpieces in flesh. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorites. As always, leave your favorites in the comments.
There’s a good chance you are familiar with Memoir Tattoo, even if you missed Kim Saigh’s time on a certain television series about tattoo artists in Los Angeles. Saigh teamed up with Shawn Barber, a veteran who other artists are frequently quick to praise and recommend. Their space has beautifully high ceilings and is filled with bright, white light. On the walls a series of fantastic paintings and drawings are pieced together like a lush puzzle. Saigh and Barber are marquee names, but all of the artists at Memoir are incredibly gifted. They work by appointment only, and if you want to book some time be sure to email, the phone is rarely answered.
At True Tattoo, you can get a clever, beautiful, modern tattoo with a classic twist. The team at True Tattoo are responsible for things like Marge Simpson as a pinup and a sword cutting through a storm trooper’s helmet (instead of a skull). We heard about True Tattoo through multiple clients of Small Paul’s (aka Hori Gi Sei) who were quick to praise his work. Though it was Small Paul’s large body tattoos, often consisting of things like dragons and Hannya masks, that drew our attention to True Tattoo, each of the seven artists have portfolios bursting with incredibly fun and clean work.
Tattoos by Misha
Misha was once known for her superb cover-up work at Zulu Tattoo (another studio worth checking out), but she has since opened up her own shop. You’ll be hard pressed to find an artist more knowledgeable about the science of how tattoo ink works and why it behaves different on each person. She has a light touch and works remarkably quick, so rest assured, you’ll get a beautiful piece with as limited pain as possible. Because she has such a gift for color and love of adorable characters, Misha’s not only a great choice for cover up work, but your go-to gal for all things cute.
In an unassuming 1920s building in Los Feliz Jason Schroder (aka Mr. Incognito) works away, one client at a time. Schroder’s incredible wit is clear in his artful and fun tattoos. His portfolio boasts everything from graceful birds with detailed feathers to cartoon portraits of dogs in victorian era dress. Mr. Incognito, is a one man operation where he works by appointment only, so be sure you schedule your visit in advance.
Mr. Incognito is located at 4714 Franklin Ave. in Los Feliz, (323) 661-0720
Broken Art Tattoo
Broken Art Tattoo opened its doors in 2002 in Monterey, but fortunately for Los Angeles, owner Jeremy Swan moved his shop south in 2005. Now located in Silver Lake, Swan and crew work seven days a week by appointment only. You may already know about Swan’s skills as a cover up artist from the TLC series, “America’s Worst Tattoos,” but the crew at Broken Art Tattoo are available for more than just hiding the bad decisions of your past. If you’re looking for a modern take on the classic sparrows, or a feminine locket, Broken Art Tattoo can provide it. The shop itself is distinctly Los Angeles, skateboards and small antelope skulls line the walls while guitars and a grand piano are strewn throughout the space.
Comic books, television, film, World of Warcraft, you name your nerdy poison, Jeff Meyer can provide in spades, he was even recently featured on Nerdist.com for his gift with nerdy tattoos. At Unbreakable Meyer is one of seven talented artists, each with a versatile portfolio. Their color work is remarkably smooth and stunningly bright while the proportions are always beautifully well executed. The skill in this Studio City shop is jaw dropping.