Best Tattoo Artists in NYC: Find a Match With Your Style

Best Tattoo Artists in NYC
Planning to get inked? Check out our guide to the best tattoo artists in NYC — from minimalist to intricate realism, you will find a match for yourself.

New York is a haven for tattoo enthusiasts, rich in culture and history. Moreover, the city offers a diverse and vibrant art scene deeply entwined with a long-standing tradition of tattooing.

In this article, we will explore the world of inked artistry, spotlighting the best tattoo artists in NYC across various genres, from black & grey realism to fine line designs. We’ll also discuss prices to help you make an informed decision. So, if you’re looking for a tattoo artist for your next body art or just interested in flourishing NYC’s ink culture, our article is all you need to uncover.

History of Tattooing in New York

The tattoo industry in New York traces its roots back to the late 19th century, a fascinating journey through the city’s ever-evolving relationship with ink. 

It all began in 1870, when Martin Hilderbrandt aka “Old Martin” set up the first tattooing business in the United States. His shop was at 77 James St. in Manhattan, a location that today lies within New York’s vibrant Chinatown. In those early days, sailors seeking new tattoos frequently visited his shop.

By 1875, a new epicenter for tattooing had been established when Samuel O’Reilly founded his tattoo studio in Chatham Square. His place rapidly became a famous New York tattoo center. However, the pivotal moment arrived in 1891, when O’Reilly patented his first electric tattooing machine, setting the stage for the proliferation of ink shops.

Martin Hilderbrandt “Old Samuel O’Reilly

However, it is a little-known fact that there was a period when tattooing faced an unprecedented ban in New York, spanning from the 1960s to the 1990s.

The prohibition was rooted in a health crisis — Hepatitis B swept through the city, leading NYC officials to declare tattooing illegal. The use of unsanitary needles was deemed a significant health risk. During this period, tattooing was viewed as a health code violation that warranted penalties. And for 36 long years, it remained banned in New York City. Tattoo artists had to find ingenious ways to continue their craft, like working at night or in hidden places.

The turning point came in 1997, when the ban was finally lifted, marking the revival of the city’s tattoo scene. Parlors began attracting clients not only from the state but also from various corners of the country.

Nowadays, New York has seen a surge in the popularity of tattoos, with approximately 300 tattoo shops existing in the metropolitan area.

Best Tattoo Artists in New York

New York City, a center of culture and a hub of creativity, has long been a haven for artistic expression in all its forms. It’s not a secret that it is home to some of the most talented and innovative ink-slingers in the world. 

Below, we’ll take a look at the best tattoo artists in NYC, that represent the diversity and dynamism of the city’s tattooing scene.

Mattia Bretti — Best in Black & Grey Realism

Mattia Bretti, a Rome native, gained a reputation for his exceptional work in the industry. Fuelled by his passion for fine arts, he found inspiration in the works of iconic painters like Michelangelo and da Vinci.

At the young age of 17, he started his journey by traveling to multiple tattoo conventions to improve his craft. Today, Mattia Bretti’s black and grey realistic style is captivating fans and colleagues alike. 

With seven years of experience, he blends traditional art with contemporary methods to produce body artwork that leaves a memorable impact on clients.

Mattia Bretti — Best in Black & Grey Realism

Jessica Valentine — Best in Traditional & Fine Line Tattoo Art

Jessica Valentine is a well-known tattoo artist with over 15 years of experience. For a whole decade, she has devoted herself to mastering traditional and fine line tattooing. 

Jessica is also the proud proprietor of “Haven Studio,” a haven where individuality is celebrated, and judgments and shame find no place. Due to this, Valentine’s spirit has not gone unnoticed. She and her studio were highlighted by notable media outlets, including The New York Times and Elle Australia, for her impact in both the tattooing and body positivity realms.

Jessica Valentine — Best in Traditional & Fine Line Tattoo Art

Mal Zacharia — Best in Nature-Themed Tattoos

Located in the busy and artistic hub of New York City, Mal Zacharia is an imaginative person who is most enthusiastic about painting and illustration. She is especially drawn to the complex realm of background paintings, especially for printing and digital media.

Mal’s artistic approach reflects her love for the beauty of nature. Whether she’s doing vivid tattoos of plants or animals, her unwavering commitment brings the beauty of the natural world to life in vibrant detail.

Mal Zacharia — Best in Nature-Themed Tattoos

Bo Snow — Best in Neo-Traditional Designs

Bo Snow, a seasoned tattoo artist with over a decade of experience, is a true maestro in the realm of ink. 

Bo’s specialty lies in the captivating art of black and gray tattoos, a skill honed to perfection over the years. But his talent knows no bounds; he also delves into the dynamic world of neo-traditional tattooing and showcases expertise in cover-up tattoos, breathing new life and style into clients looking for a fresh, updated look.

Bo sees tattooing as more than just art; it’s a potent tool for people to showcase their cultural, spiritual, creative, and individual selves. He fuels his passion and stays on his artistic journey by continuously refining his skills while guiding his clients in this profound form of self-expression.

Bo Snow — Best in Neo-Traditional Designs

Roshi Pierre — Best Versatile Tattoo Artist

Roshi, a rising star in the world of tattoo artistry, is a gifted artist with an unwavering commitment to detail. His talent has not only captured the hearts of clients in New York City but also resonates with ink enthusiasts across the nation and even around the globe. Roshi’s artistic repertoire spans the realms of fine line precision, the artistry of lettering, illustration, and the classic of black and grey. 

In just two years, Roshi has gained a reputation in the tattoo industry for his extraordinary talent and quality of work.

Roshi Pierre — Best Versatile Tattoo Artist

Jainee Martinez — Best in Traditional Japanese & American Tattoos

Jainee is a tattoo artist based in Times Square Tattoo NYC. 

While her versatility knows no bounds, her main specialization lies in the captivating realms of traditional Japanese and American tattoo styles. The ability to seamlessly blend the rich cultural heritage of these two distinct traditions is a testament to her artistic prowess.

Jainee is an excellent artist who not only showcases her skills but also demonstrates her devotion to the clients by providing special deals and promotions. This ensures that everyone who wants a tattoo can do so without breaking the bank.

Jainee Martinez — Best in Traditional Japanese & American Tattoos

Uno — Best in Minimalist Tattoo Style

Uno’s journey as a tattoo artist is as varied and remarkable as his art. Coming from South Korea, he started tattooing with traditional blackwork before advancing to more complex techniques like lettering and colorwork. However, after years of practice, Uno refined his skills and discovered a distinct artistic style — a one-line approach he now employs to express his creativity. 

His tattoos aren’t just art; they visually embody life, sharing stories of strength, progress, and the aesthetics of minimalism.

Uno — Best in Minimalist Tattoo Style

How Much Does It Cost To Get a Tattoo in New York?

Tattoo prices in New York, similar to other locations, differ based on various factors. These include the design’s size and complexity, the artist’s experience and popularity, the studio’s repute, and whether the tattoo is in color or not.

Presently, anticipated pricing in 2023 is an hourly fee of $150 to over $300 for professional tattoo services in New York.  

For basic tattoos (that are small and simple) you might be charged a set price instead of an hourly rate. The fixed amount can range from $50 to several hundred dollars or more.

Discover the cost of your next tattoo with ease using the specialized tattoo price calculator.


In the bustling heart of New York City, a world of inked artistry awaits. We’ve selected seven exceptional tattoo artists, each a guru of their craft:

With their skills, they cater to a wide range of preferences, from those who appreciate the intricate details of black & grey realism to those who appreciate the timeless elegance of fine line art. So, if you are eager to get your tattoo, don’t wait any longer — check out one of these artists and let them turn your ideas into reality.


😎 Who Are Some of the Best NYC Tattoo Artists?

There are a lot of specialists who can impress you with their work. Some top tattoo artists in NYC include Mattia Bretti, Jessica Valentine, Mal Zacharia, and Bo Snow.

🔍 Where Do Celebrities Get Tattoos in NYC?

Celebrities in New York City often visit renowned tattoo shops to get their ink done. While it can vary, some of the famous parlors that have attracted celebrity clients are West 4 Tattoo, Bang Bang Tattoo, and Red Rocket Tattoo.

👀 Which Tattoo Artists in NYC Are Famous for Their Minimalist Designs?

Jainee Martinez and Uno are great specialists celebrated for their skills in fine line and minimalist tattoo styles. Their work often features delicate and precise lines, and understated designs, making them excellent choices for those seeking such tattoos.

🤑 How Much Does a Tattoo in NYC Typically Cost?

Costs can vary significantly and depend on factors such as size, complexity, location, and the experience of the tattoo artist. Generally, smaller and simpler tattoos may range from $50 to $200, while larger, more intricate pieces can cost several hundred or even thousand dollars.


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