Famous tattoo artists you should know
Inking is an art form as old as time. From navigating thorny societal dilemmas to becoming an integral part of popular culture – a famous way of self-expression and art across the world, tattoos have come a long way since then. the 20th century. Celebrities have played a major role in de-stigmatizing tattoos and presenting them as an art form and a proxy for being seen as “cool”. Who are the famous tattoo artists making waves?
The art of tattooing is the standard bearer of contemporary self-expression with a piece of history that breathes life into the very skin of the person who is inked. A tattoo can be anything you want – a rebellion, a beacon of hope, a reminder of yourself, a call to action, or whatever you’re comfortable having on your skin all the time. .
For tattoo artists, seeing a famous celebrity show off their work and inadvertently remaining open to mass criticism is certainly no easy task. However, talented tattoo artists like Kat Von D, Keith “Bang Bang” McCurdy and Paul Booth have made their mark.
Thanks to the growing popularity of tattooing among the rich and famous, tattoo artists are now building lucrative and fulfilling careers within the entertainment industry.
Here Are 8 Celebrity Tattoo Artists Who Signed Big
Keith “Bang Bang” McCurdy
Keith ‘Bang Bang’ McCurdy, a New York-based tattoo artist, rose to fame when the opportunity to write a Sanskrit anthem about 18-year-old rising star and singer Rihanna fell in his lap in 2007. humble beginnings, trying to make ends meet from his mother’s small apartment in Delaware, USA, the ink master rose through the ranks to become one of the most sought after celebrity tattoo artists.
Keith has inked Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Rita Ora, Cara Delevingne and other famous celebrities who have proudly displayed his ink work on red carpets, coveted award shows and magazine covers.
With prices starting at $600 per session, Keith’s NYC studio charges clients based on the size, shape, design, and placement of the tattoo. His net worth now stands at an incredible $5 million, thanks to his artistic vision, beautiful designs, and willingness to fight his way to the top.
Kat Von D
Born in 1982, famed tattoo artist, makeup artist, and entrepreneur Katherine Von Drachenberg, aka Kat Von D, dropped out of high school and started tattooing at the age of 16. Kat was born into a conservative family of church missionaries in Mexico, who moved to Loma Linda, California when she was 6 years old.
Inspired and driven by her love for music, art and makeup, Kat Von D decided to fully invest her time in the art of tattooing. She is now a big name in Hollywood and in the beauty industry. Credit for that goes to his wildly popular 2007 reality show, LA ink, her exclusive and waitlisted tattoo studio, High Voltage Tattoo, her makeup empire, and her controversial one-on-ones with other famous celebrities and YouTube personalities.
Kat Von D has shown her stunning work on celebrities like Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Margaret Cho and Eve. With a net worth of $20 million, Kat’s tattoo studio charges $200 an hour for basic tattoo designs. She reportedly stopped accepting tattoo requests due to the overflowing list of clients already on her waiting list.
Dubbed the “founding father” of black and gray ink art, Irish-Catholic ink master Mark Mahoney is one of the most influential and respected celebrity tattoo artists in the world. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Mahoney began his tattoo career in 1977, during which he (illegally) tattooed gangsters, bikers, and outlaws, the target customers of tattooing at the time. He owns one of Hollywood’s most iconic tattoo shops, the Shamrock Social Club, home to a group of talented tattoo artists and artists.
With a career spanning over 40 years, California-based Mark Mahoney has signed massive names like The Notorious BIG and Tupac Shakur, as well as Hollywood biggies like Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Rihanna, Jared Leto, David Beckham and Adele. He is often seen in his West Hollywood tattoo studio working his magic on high profile clients.
With his legendary and iconic inking skills and beautifully custom monochromatic tattoo designs, he has amassed a fortune of $6 million so far. Mark charges $500 to $1,000 per hour for his time and labor.
Jonathan ‘JonBoy’ Valena
The reigning king of tiny tattoo designs and former youth pastor, Jonathan ‘JonBoy’ Valena is one of the most in-demand tattoo artists in the United States. The New York-based tattoo artist’s career rocketed to ‘overnight’ fame thanks to a tiny tattoo he drew on model and fellow church member Hailey Baldwin-Bieber in 2015.
With his own tattoo shop on the second floor of the Moxy Times Square Hotel, Jon Boy’s portfolio boasts over 20,000 satisfied and loyal customers that he has attracted over the years. Besides the life-changing tattoo he created for Hailey Bieber, he etched his understated yet compelling signature art on Kendall Jenner, Justin Bieber, Zayn Malik, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Sofia Richie.
Her delicately feminine and nearly invisible tattoo art style has been a go-to for models and actresses who want to get tattoos without altering their camera-ready physical appearance.
Valena charges her clientele US$1,000 to US$3,500 for her fine, delicate and understated handwork. His net worth stands at a whopping $1.5 million.
Hollywood-based tattoo artist Brian ‘Dr. Woo ‘Woo, was raised by hard working immigrant parents in a conventional and strict household in Los Angeles, California, USA. Originally wanting to pursue a career in fashion, he was steered in a different creative direction, thanks to a golden opportunity to apprentice under his mentor, Mark Mahoney, at legendary tattoo shop Shamrock Social Club. of the last.
At Shamrock, Dr. Woo tweaked his signature black and gray using thin, single-needle lines. This soon led to famous celebrities flocking to him on Sunset Boulevard to get tattoos. Eventually, Brian was inundated with so many tattoo requests that he decided to start his own tattoo shop called the Hideaway at Suite X inside the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel to meet the growing demand.
Praised for his realistic tattoos and attention to detail, Brain’s portfolio includes massive names such as Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Hailey Bieber, Ellie Goulding, Drake, Zoë Kravitz, Kendall Jenner, Harry Styles, Cara Delevingne and Chiara Ferragni. Along with this, non-famous clients find themselves on a two-year waiting list, dying to get inked by him.
Woo is slowly emerging in the fashion and beauty industry, with high profile collaborations with brands like Converse, Sacai, Nyden and Thierry Lasry. Along with launching his own skincare brand, Woo Skincare, in 2020, he’s also been spotted on guest lists at exclusive fashion weeks and designer shows.
With an ability to perfectly clone intricate reference images onto skin with ink, Woo charges around $200 to thousands of dollars depending on the nature and complexity of the tattoo. He stands at a net worth of $1.5 million.
Born in 1953, Jonathan Shaw is synonymous with pioneering and cultural change in the world of alternative body art, tattoos and literature. In 1976, Shaw founded New York’s oldest tattoo shop, Fun City Tattoo Studios, on St. Marks Place and MacDougal Street when tattoos were still illegal.
Navigating life not only as a tattoo artist, but also as a deep storyteller, artist and writer, Jonathan retired and settled somewhere in the Brazilian abyss of Rio de Janeiro in the early 2000s. He was also the first tattoo artist to guest star on the popular TV talk show, The Tonight Show Starring David Letterman.
Jonathan has inked famous celebrities such as Johnny Depp, The Cure, The Velvet Underground, The Ramones, Marilyn Manson, Jim Jarmusch, Joe Coleman, Kate Moss, Orlando Bloom and Tupac Shakur. Due to his artistry, high-profile clientele, and stellar reputation as a veteran of the tattoo industry, Shaw has earned a net worth of $3 million.
Born in 1977, New York-based Scott Campbell is one of the top tattoo artists in America and beyond. He started his career in body art in San Francisco, California. Campbell inked clients around the world, while traveling through Asia and Europe, which made him famous.
In 2005 he started his own tattoo shop in New York which eventually led him to do tattoos for movie stars such as Robert Downey Jr. Orlando Bloom, Heath Ledger, Helena Christensen, Courtney Love and legendary designer Marc Jacobs.
With tattoo studios in California and New York, Scott starts by charging clients $2,000 per hour, then adds $200 to each hour once it crosses the 1 hour mark. Scott’s net worth is $1 million.
We can’t finish the list without giving Oscar-nominated actress Margot Robbie an honorable mention because she moonlights as a tattoo artist. Robbie has inked his Justice League and Suicide Squad co-stars. She also appeared on the Graham Norton Show in 2017, where she tattooed one of the production crew members in front of the camera.
Robbie started tattooing his friends and co-stars as a wacky hobby, the result of impulsively buying a tattoo gun on eBay in 2016.
Even though she is not a licensed tattoo artist, curiously, almost 50 people amused her and allowed her to tattoo them, before she gave up pursuing this hobby altogether.
(Main and featured image credit: Keith ‘Bang Bang’ McCurdy/Bang Bang Tattoo)