Toronto is a creative hub full of artists with unique talents and styles, and the tattoo industry is no exception. When it comes to finding the right artist for your next tattoo, your best decision will be based on the artist’s style, colour and line preference, previous work and flash selection. These are some of the best Toronto tattoo artists categorized by art style for you to put your heart on your sleeve this season – literally! And you’ll be just in time for National Tattoo Day on July 17.
Realistic floral arrangements with detailed shading. Carmen’s work includes snakes, tigers and butterflies, often embedded in a floral arrangement.
A variety of florals depicted with simple linework, in small format and full body illustrations, as well as water colour.
Plants and florals depicted with fine lines and delicate shading. Lindsay April is known for full body pieces, including branches that wrap all around the client’s arms or legs.
Old school-style tattoos featuring bold black outlines. Sita’s work includes tigers, snakes, leopards, birds and dark florals in classic traditional style.
Classic trad tattoos featuring heavy shading and bold black outlines. Corben’s work features webs, cherry bombs, tigers and leopards, dark butterflies and florals, goblins, bleeding hearts, swords and naked ladies.
Highly detailed images depicted in a surrealist style with dark shades of black and grey. Vic’s work includes human faces with protruding florals, angels, serpents, knives, butterflies and detailed, realistic animals.
Dark and uncanny imagery varying from fine line to heavily shaded. Surreal images including morphed faces, skulls, bleeding hearts with eyes, insects and eyeless faces crying blood.
Minimal tattoos featuring abstract line work and odd (symbolic) imagery. Examples of this Toronto tattoo artist’s work include a series of eyes portraying anxiety, faces blended into landscape illustrations, human figures with partially formed bodies and unique animals. Black and coloured ink.
Black and white cartoon style – simple lines and bold black sections. Ains’ playful flash imagery features household objects, personified fruits and florals, pets, knives, abstract doodles, winged ladies, wavy ladies and wavy cursive.
Thin silhouettes and cartoons with a feeling of realism. Mellow Pokes’ work includes cute animals doing human things, fairies and nude ladies, florals, material objects like vases, boots, dice and more.
Nostalgic cartoon imagery utilizing fine lines with bold borders and shades. Images include well known pop culture references of the ’90s and 2000s era (lots from the Simpsons), florals and plants and playful animal depictions.
Cartoon imagery in black and white and colour, utilizing thin lines and shaded blocks. Images include animated people in different roles and motions (dancing, posing, performing obscene activities), household objects, personified animals, cherubs, unicorns, florals and abstract lines.
Delicate linework favouring full body florals, leaves, wavy lines and playful motifs like cowgirls, tigers and naked ladies. Emily is known for full back pieces, arm-length florals and even dainty ear tattoos.
Line and dotwork techniques depicting images of long petalled flowers and other nature-inspired motifs.
Trash Polka Tattoos
Naturalistic and surrealist imagery in black and red ink. Trash Polka is a tattoo style originally created by tattoo artists Simone Pfaff and Volker Merschky in Würzburg, Germany. The characteristics of Trash Polka tattoos are generally described as a combination of naturalistic, surrealistic and photorealistic imagery complimented by simple graphics and lettering (in mainly black and red). Images by Xiner include abstract lines, hyper realistic animal portrayals and butterflies with wavy patterns.
Japanese traditional designs utilizing rich colour schemes and bold outlines. Yusun’s work includes tarot cards, butterflies and florals with rippling line work and feminine illustrations — close ups of faces encrested in floral arrangements.
Japanese and American traditional designs. Tammy’s work includes colourful and bold florals arrangements, snakes, birds and tigers. The artist favours full body pieces, including back illustrations and full length arms and legs.
Finely detailed lettering in cursive and understated fonts, using black and red inks.