10 of the Best Tattoo Shops in America1
By Jojo Balogh
10 of the Best Tattoo Shops in America
There was a time when tattoos were the mark of rebellion. If we saw someone with a tattoo, chances are they were outlaws, carnival barkers or ex-cons… or so we thought. The times, they are a-changing… the tattoo industry is now sizzling hot and mainstream.
Some stats about tats:
- 14% of all Americans have at least one.
- During the middle of the last decade, there was almost a 9% increase in tattooed adults.
- Almost as many women as men have them. 15% of men and 13% of women are inked.
- Only 16% of people with tattoos regret getting one.
- Miami is the most tattooed city in America with an average of 24 tattoo shops per 100,000 people.
The growth in tattoo culture has seen an influx of new artists, many who have technical and fine arts training. Contemporary art exhibitions in museums and galleries featuring body art have become mainstream.
Thinkin’ about inkin’? Do your homework. Make sure you go to a studio that’s licensed. The area around an artist’s workstation should be clean, as should the general appearance of the shop. Equipment should be sterilized, and gloves should be used. If the vibe is uncomfortable, go elsewhere. Get referrals from someone you know. Different shops and artists have different specialties. If you’re looking for a portrait or a butterfly, you may not want to go to a shop that specializes in tribal or biomechanical work. Here are some tattoo meccas around the country that might be a good fit.
1. Everlasting Tattoo – San Francisco, CA
Part tattoo shop, part art gallery, Everlasting considers itself to be the “anti-shop shop.” Owner Mike Davis displays his own paintings as well as that of other body artists. If you want a tattoo there are a lot of places you can go. If you want to wear art, go to Everlasting.
2. All or Nothing Tattoo – Smyrna, GA
Brandon Bond, shop owner and multiple award-winning body artist, is said to be a compulsive workaholic who is booked a year in advance. Don’t want to wait? He has a staff of the top tattoo artists in Atlanta specializing in different styles, making this a great destination for a collaborative tattoo, and one of the hippest environments around.
Jojo Balogh is something of a pop culture legend in her own mind, and those of her friends. She was number one on their lists of people to use as phone-a-friends on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. In addition to her now defunct personal blog, she also wrote training materials for recruiters and headhunters, as well as love letters, and emails to school teachers and administrators regarding her teenage son in an effort to encourage them not to charge him with truancy.