Welcome to the vibrant world of tattooing in SF, where the imagination knows no bounds. Here we’ve collected the stories of seven best tattoo artists in San Francisco, who have left an indelible mark on the city’s thriving tattoo industry.
So, if you already have an idea in mind for your tattoo and are looking for someone to entrust the work to in San Francisco, we advise you to pay attention to these artists. It brings together people who work in a variety of styles, from detailed and elegant fine lines to mystical grotesqueries.
Featured San Francisco Tattoo Artists
- Kim Stace Thomas — Best Floral Designs
- Sheena Wood — Best Ornamental Compositions
- Guilherme Assumpcao — The Most Experienced Ink Virtuoso
- Mario Delgado — The Most Diverse Works
- Rigers Hamz — The Most Mystical Designs
- Genevieve — The Most Impressive Nature Scenes
- Millie K. — The Fine Line Storyteller
The Rich History of Tattooing in San Francisco
San Francisco was a key city for the growth of the tattoo art form, hosting many influential artists who shaped the industry. It is home to many tattoo studios and artists, each with its own unique style and approach.
One iconic figure in San Francisco’s tattoo history is Lyle Tuttle, a legendary tattoo artist trailblazer who played a pivotal role in bringing tattooing into the mainstream during the 1960s. His work became a haven for individuals seeking not just tattoos but a form of self-expression and rebellion against societal norms.
Tuttle had many famous clients such as Janis Joplin, Paul Stanley, and Jo Baker, which made San Francisco a popular destination for those looking for both artistic talent and countercultural importance.
Best Tattoo Artists in San Francisco
These artists don’t just tattoo. They use their tools and inks to paint stories, emotions, and passions, transforming each piece into a work of art that is deeply personal and beautifully profound.
Our picks will be a real find for those who adore floral motifs in their tattoos, so brace yourself for the magic of SF’s tattoo artists!
Kim Stace Thomas — Best Floral Designs
Meet Kim Stace Thomas, a talented tattoo artist located in the heart of San Francisco. Originally from Chicago, Kim has immersed herself in the Bay Area’s vibrant scene for the past 8 years, with over a decade of experience in the art of tattooing.
Kim’s artistic skills extend to various media, both traditional and digital, often utilizing a mixed-media approach. She specializes in animal, floral, botanical, black and gray, and color tattoo styles, bringing a touch of nature’s beauty to each element of her works.
With a passion ignited by stacks of vintage comic books, Kim draws inspiration from her colleagues, art history, and the modern zeitgeist to refine her skills and ensure that each piece she produces is a true masterpiece cherished by her clients.
Sheena Wood — Best Ornamental Compositions
Sheena Wood’s expertise lies in the art nouveau, neotraditional, black and gray, color, ornamental, and realism styles. With abackground in Illustration, Sheena holds a versatile portfolio shaped by 4 years of dedicated experience as a tattoo artist in San Francisco.
Her preference leans towards decorative and ornamental designs, and if you share an affinity for these styles, Sheena is the artist you’ve been looking for.
Guilherme Assumpcao — The Most Experienced Ink Virtuoso
The next guest will delight you with his knowledge, as he has the most experience among all the other artists on our list, with an impressive 20 years of background behind him!
Originally hailing from São Paulo, Brazil, Guilherme has left an indelible mark on the tattoo world. His artistic prowess shines through in his preferred styles — floral and black and gray tattoos. If you’re drawn to the beauty of classic designs, Guilherme Assumpção is the artist to turn your tattoo vision into a stunning reality.
Mario Delgado — The Most Diverse Works
Mario’s artistic range knows no bounds, as reflected in his diverse portfolio that spans illustrative art, realism, portraits, cover-ups, and re-works. As the owner of the Moth and Dagger Tattoo Studio, he’s been providing top-notch tattoo services since the studio’s inception in 2009.
His collaborative approach with clients ensures a personalized experience, where he navigates a harmonious balance between his artistic suggestions and their original ideas. As a detail-oriented tattoo artist, he takes the time to meticulously craft each illustration.
Rigers Hamz — The Most Mystical Designs
Rigers is the gothic-inspired tattoo maestro with a penchant for black and gray masterpieces. Hailing from his homeland in Albania, he embarked on his creative journey after receiving a grade from the University of Fine Arts in Tirana. With over six years of tattooing under his belt, Rigers has left his mark across Europe and the United States.
Rigers has an eye for capturing the essence of the Medieval and Victorian eras in his work, including portraits, realism, black and gray, and the bewitching world of gothic art. If you’re looking to adorn your skin with a piece of art that carries the essence of history and gothic allure, Rigers H Strange is the artist to make it happen.
Genevieve — The Most Impressive Nature Scenes
Genevieve’s ink blooms with a unique blend of botanical beauty and artistic finesse, with a touch of inspiration taken from the roots of traditional Polynesian ornaments, her native land.
With ain painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, Genevieve brings a rich background in both colored and black & gray ink. Genevieve’s deep connection to floral and botanical imagery has seamlessly translated into the delicate and vibrant tapestry of her tattoos.
Millie K. — The Fine Line Storyteller
Millie is an exceptional tattoo artist with a passion for transforming stories into intricate works of art. Born and raised in Singapore, Millie’s journey into tattooing began in 2013 after navigating the realms of graphic design and advertising in her hometown, Singapore.
With a background as diverse as her designs, Millie’s artistic repertoire spans realism, minimalism, black & gray, and detailed lines. Each of her designs is tailored to reflect the individuality of her clients.
Best Tattoo Studios in San Francisco
Tattoo shops are similar to department stores with various styles, while individual artists are like your preferred boutiques that give exclusive and reliable designs. The choice depends on whether you want diversity or a more unique and distinctive look.
But studios can also function as a shared space for several tattoo artists and an efficient approach to save on rent expenses! Renting a studio for just a single artist can be quite costly, and being an artist working at home is just unprofessional, not to mention illegal. With a hub tattoo studio, artists have a way to work in their styles without breaking the bank.
Here we’ve got some of the best tattoo studios in San Francisco:
- Seventh Son Tattoo — this studio is known for its talented artists and diverse styles. The shop has recently gained popularity for hosting an event known as the ‘Year of the Tiger’ — a collaboration of artworks dedicated to 2022’s guardian.
- Moth and Dagger Tattoo Studio — Moth and Dagger is another well-regarded tattoo shop in San Francisco. It’s known for its skilled artists who specialize in various styles, including traditional, black and gray, and illustrative.
- UNDRGRND — Judging from the name, you could already guess that this studio bursts with avant-garde aesthetics. The shop showcases a range of artists with modern and diverse artistic approaches, showing the true power of personal expression.
- Mission Ink — located in the Mission District, this studio is home to many talented artists. Being featured in many local magazines, it has a reputation for creating quality work despite the hard times of the massive COVID shutdown.
If you are looking for an adventure in San Francisco, you can also add to your memories by looking for tattoo artists in the Bay Area. And if you’re wondering which tattoo artist or studio to look for, we’ve brought together the seven best tattoo artists in San Francisco.
We hope that this review will help you in your tattooing journey in SF, and if you are fond of our tattoo artists, be sure to check their portfolios and book an appointment!
💸 How Much Does It Cost To Get a Tattoo in San Francisco?
Tattoo prices in San Francisco can vary based on size, complexity, and the artist’s expertise. You might expect to pay a deposit beforehand, and the work itself ranges around $300 per hour. Remember, it’s not just about the cost — quality matters. Take the time to find the best tattoo artists in the Bay Area, whose style resonates with you.
🩹 How Can I Ensure a Safe Tattoo Experience in San Francisco?
Researching is the key, and that’s what Ink-Match can ensure you with. Our reviews include only entrusted tattoo studios and licensed artists. But aside from reviews, make sure that the artist uses sterilized equipment and follows proper hygiene practices. Don’t hesitate to ask about their safety measures, a professional artist will happily address your concerns.
⚖️ What Is the Minimum Age for a Tattoo in San Francisco?
In San Francisco, the minimum age for getting a tattoo is 18 years old. This is a legal requirement to ensure that individuals are making an informed decision about permanent body art. Always be prepared to show a valid form of identification that confirms your age when you go to get a tattoo.
🌟 Who Was the Legendary Tattoo Artist in San Francisco?
San Francisco has been home to many legendary tattoo artists, but one name that stands out is Lyle Tuttle, his legacy has left a lasting impact on the tattoo scene in San Francisco and beyond.