The top 10 up and coming tattoo artists in Toronto
Our list of the top tattoo artists in Toronto showcased some of the biggest names in tattooing that the city has to offer. But what became abundantly clear, thanks to the artists involved and the community at large, was that there are a lot of under the radar artists here that are equally deserving of recognition. Those who are gaining the respect of their fellow artists and discerning clientele through hard work, and yes, phenomenal art.
Here are my picks for the top up and coming tattoo artists in Toronto.
Alex Snelgrove, The Okey Doke Tattoo Shop
Alex has been perfecting her hand-poked style since 2009, crafting unique and arresting images. In 2012 she quickly brought that vision to machine tattooing. An incredibly versatile artist, she's as comfortable with American traditional as she is with abstract concepts.
Ash Timlin, Passage Tattoo
Ash Timlin's name seems to be on the tips of many people's tongues these days, which is quite a feat seeing as she's only been at it for 4 years. The Barrie transplant started making a name for herself at Imperial Tattoo and most recently at Jay Decator's Passage Tattoo. With a style that utilizes bold lines and high contrast, she breathes new life in to the animal subjects that dominate her portfolio.
Mike Storey, Black Pearl Tattoos and Piercings
Storey began tattooing six years ago when he moved to Toronto to apprentice under veteran artist Bill Read at Abstract Arts. Its clear that he laid down roots in the right city as his considerable skill with black and grey realism has already garnered wide accolades.
Angie Fey, Archive Tattoo
Having originally moved from British Columbia to Toronto to study photography, Angela "Angie Fey" Daniels rekindled her love for drawing in 2009. She apprenticed at Archive Tattoo, where she continues to work and grow as an artist, creating vivid illustrations marked by a bold use of colour.
Seunghyun Jo "POTTER", Forever Young Ink
Seughyun Jo, who also goes by the pseudonym Potter, gained recognition through the convention circuit and was recently handpicked by renowned tattoo magazine Inked for an online feature/showcase of his work. He is a master of photo realism, creating pieces with a such depth and perspective that they pop off the skin.
Tristen Zhang, Chronic Ink
Tristan Zhang's first studio in Markham's Pacific Mall was not exactly a go-to destination when he opened it in 2008. He has slowly built a solid reputation with his Asian-based, freehand style. His work has garnered him accolades at conventions like Northern Ink Exposure, where he has won awards in various black and grey and colour categories.
Arthur Mills, Imperial Tattoo
Arthur Mills began tattooing in 2006 but left it all behind in 2007 to go on tour with his band. After a three year hiatus he returned to tattooing full time in various shops across the downtown core, eventually ending up at Imperial Tattoo. His dark and intricate work draws its influence from heavy metal imagery, which he attributes to his time in the music industry.
Lemur, Exotix Studios
Leaving his hometown of Cancun, Mexico, Lemur has travelled the globe honing his art. His pieces demonstrate a remarkable flair for shading as he draws on many different influences to create pieces that speak to his worldliness.
Jenny Boulger, TCB Tattoo Parlour
I struggle with finding an adequate way to describe Jenny Boulger's work. I could call it "trippy" but that's almost doing her artistry a disservice. While demonstrating a strong flair for the traditional, she builds on that base with an out of this world imagination.
Franz Stefanik, The Okey Doke Tattoo Shop
Franz Stefanik has been tattooing since 2009, coming to the Okey Doke from Anchor Tattoo in Burlington. With a style that puts a spin on classic imagery, his use of bold colours and solid line work make him a go-to for American traditional-based designs.
Who did I miss? Add your suggestions for Toronto tattoo artists on the rise in the comment section.
Photo by Ryan Bolton
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