5 Talented Tattooers to Follow

I am by no means an expert on tattoos, but my boyfriend is a tattoo artist and over the last couple of years I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a lot of wonderful and talented artists. I’ve certainly expanded my personal collection and gone from having a handful of small tattoos to some bigger pieces I really love. Lately I’ve been getting asked a lot about my tattoos, particularly this rose. I wanted to share some artists who work in a similar style and whose work I love (including my boyfriend Justin’s, of course).

All photos courtesy of the respective tattooer.


Talley Matthew

The Martlet (Los Angeles)

Inquiries: talleytattoos@gmail.com

Instagram: @talleymatthew







Kane Trubenbacher

Inquiries: kane.t.tattoos@gmail.com

Instagram: @kanetrubenbacher





Pauly Lingerfelt

Downtown Tattoo (New Orleans)

Inquiries: paulylingerfelt@gmail.com

Instagram: @paulylingerfelt





Joseph Bryce

Conservancy for Transient Art (New York City) & Allied Tattoo (Brooklyn)

Inquiries: josephbrycetattoo@gmail.com

Instagram: @josephbrycetattoo







Justin Olivier

Downtown Tattoo (New Orleans)

Inquiries: justoli1985@yahoo.com

Instagram: @justinoliviertattoo






Footnote: here are the questions I hear the most and my input on them.

Q: How do I decide what to get?

My best advice is to start following some artists who tattoo in the style you like: you may get ideas from tattoos they post, or if you have something specific in mind, make an appointment for a consult but try to be open-minded to the suggestions of the artist so that it’s at least somewhat of a collaborative effort. Although tattoos are obviously permanent, I can’t imagine that you will regret having a beautiful piece of artwork on your body, so try not to overanalyze how you’ll feel about them when you’re older. Also, if you’re really curious about older people with tattoos, may I refer you to this lovely article?

Q: Will it hurt?

Yes, of course, but it’s bearable (although I will say I have not and probably will never do my ribs because I’m too scared after hearing friends’ horror stories). Make sure not to show up hungry, as it’ll help for your blood sugar to be stable. Remember to breathe, and before you know it, your endorphins will kick in and help a bit. If you know how anti-anxiety medications affect you and have a prescription, sometimes it can also help to take a very small dose to help you relax and zone out.

Q: Don’t you worry about how tattoos will affect your career?

This may not apply to you if you’re in the service industry or a more creative field, but it’s been my experience in the business world that you should be prepared to cover them up. I work full-time as a healthcare analyst and I’m queen of the cardigan because it’s the perfect thing to throw on to cover up my arm tattoos. Personally, at this time I don’t plan on extending any tattoos beyond my elbow so I don’t have to always wear long sleeves to work, but beyond that, it hasn’t affected my work life at all.


PS – always, always tip your tattooer! :)


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