Get Your Dream Tattoo: Top 10 Exclusive Chicago Tattoo Artists

tattoo artist
Are you looking for a tattoo artist who can make your idea a reality? Read our article and find the perfect one among the top 10 Chicago tattoo artists.

Everyone wants to get a unique and exclusive tattoo that will reflect all their desires and feelings. But it is difficult to find a tattoo artist who will be able to perform this work with dignity and quality. 

We offer you a look at the top 10 Chicago tattoo artists who have been surprising customers with their professionalism for many years. Don’t waste time and find your perfect tattoo artist!

Best Chicago Tattoo Artists

1. Christopher Li

This tattoo master has been impressing with his black and gray tattoos skills for many years. Despite the fact that a few years ago he performed tattoos with colorful elements, now he has focused on the style of Black and Gray, improving his skills.

His work is performed with a high level of accuracy. Images can be both flat and three-dimensional. In any case, he will be able to convey what you want. Human faces, animal faces, other plots – no matter what you want, Christopher will do it as well as possible.

Christopher Li

2. Tim DeRose

Tim DeRose is a qualified tattoo artist with over 15 years of experience. Usually, he works in American traditional and black and gray styles, allowing clients to create large designs even for the entire arm or leg.

He is a creative person who is not shy about experimenting and is very keen on creating handsome designs from scratch. In addition to tattoo activities, he often attends art shows to find inspiration and improve his already excellent skills.

Tim DeRose

3. Nestor Alvarez

Nestor Alvarez is the perfect artist for those who want a black and gray tattoo. His portfolio consists of similar designs. However, unlike other tattoo artists, he does not stop there. As Nestor says: “I don’t have a style because I’m trying to make the design exactly the way the clients want it.”

In addition to the above, Nestor participates in exhibitions and competitions for tattoo artists. In 2019, he took second place at the Tattoo Expo in Rosemont. However, since then, he has improved his skills and is ready for new challenges.

Nestor Alvarez

4. Shred’s Inferno

You won’t find a better portrait tattoo artist in Chicago than Shred. He will easily be able to immortalize the portrait of an important person on your skin. But also do not forget that he works perfectly in other techniques, such as traditional tattoos and the new school. 

Thanks to his extensive experience (more than 25 years) he has sufficiently improved his skills in every style and easily does tattoos of any complexity. He beautifully performs both black and white tattoos and colored ones.

Shred’s Inferno

5. Rob Goodkind

Rob has a lot of experience – he has been a professional tattoo artist for more than 15 years. His love of painting later grew into something more than a hobby, so later he began to do tattoos, and eventually launched his unique merch. 

He works in both illustrative and Japanese styles. His works look especially well when covering most of the skin. Due to the curiosity of the depicted plot and the use of soft thin lines, the image looks great on a large plane, looking very harmonious.

Rob Goodkind

6. Ben Ervin

Ben is a true master of harmonious illustrative images. Combining hard and dark elements with light and smooth ones, he achieves the effect of a clear and bright image in his tattoos. It’s important to mention that his fine line tattoos are so high quality and beautiful that they just can’t go unnoticed.

Also, he does well with images of women, along with some fantastic elements. So as a result, you can come up with a unique image that no one has ever made. Anyway, if you have a basic idea of your dream tattoo, Ben will be happy to help you improve the design and get your perfect tattoo.

Ben Ervin

7. Claudio Montecinos Salazar

Claudio Montecinos Salazar has over 100 works in his portfolio. He specializes in black and gray, color, and animal designs. However, among his works, you can also notice blackwork tattoos. Any master will tell you that creating such designs is difficult. It highlights Claudio’s professionalism once again.

Claudio’s portfolio includes a tattoo he did for Trevante Rhodes, a famous actor. Also, he participates in competitions and exhibitions, among which he won first place at the Rock Tattoo Arts Convention 2022 in the “unusual” category.

Claudio Montecinos Salazar

8. Ryan Flaherty

Ryan is the best in realistic images. And this means not just a qualitative transfer of images on the skin, but it is about real works of art, whole paintings that can be depicted on a large area of your skin. He has a unique color vision and what would be difficult for someone to draw with pencils on paper, he can easily do it with ink on the skin.

Especially often he makes the so-called sleeve tattoo, which means that the image occupies the entire arm. Due to his excellent reputation, Ryan is often asked by customers to make a sleeve, so his collection includes dozens of successful works done in a realistic and bright style.

Ryan Flaherty

9. Keara McGraw

Keara is one of the tattoo masters who will not only perform her job well, but will also be able to become a true friend and help you cope with traumas. Thanks to her black ink style of work, she can easily understand your wishes, visually interpret them, and in the process of work also help you morally. 

Although she works with black, she can often add red elements, perfectly reflecting the inner state of her client. So if you find it difficult to visually describe what you feel and want to portray, Keara will help you come up with this design and fulfill it with all your wishes.

Keara McGraw

History of the Tattoo Industry in Chicago

The tattoo business in Chicago began to develop actively in the 50s. In 1963, due to an outbreak of hepatitis in New York, Illinois changed the age for tattooing from 18 to 21 years. This was a severe blow to the Chicago tattoo industry, as people under the age of 21 were the most frequent clients of tattoo artists, so artists either left the profession or moved. 

According to the 1974 Chicago Guide, the city has moved from about 20 working artists in six stores along State Street to several. All of these salons closed, and many moved to Wisconsin, where the law still remained at level 18. The only tattoo parlor that remained was Cliff Raven’s.

There are now about 150 tattoo parlors in and around Chicago. People of all ages love to experiment and tattoos are extremely popular here. Now all salons hire professional tattoo artists, with extensive experience and perform tattoos in accordance with all standards of safety and sterility.


? Who Is the Best Tattoo Artist in Chicago?

Each tattoo artist is unique and works in their own style, so you can find someone who will do the tattoo the way you want. One of the best tattoo artists are Esther Garcia, Shred’s Inferno, and Ryan Flaherty.

? How Much Do Tattoos in Chicago Cost?

The lowest price of a tattoo is about $80. The average hourly rate is $150, but each tattoo artist sets the price himself. If the session lasts up to 4 hours, the price can reach $ 600 and above. If the tattoo is large and the session takes more than an hour, the price will reach $1,500. Again, a lot depends on the tattoo artist and the price can vary greatly.

? What Are the Best Tattoo Parlors in Chicago?

Chicago has more than 150 tattoo parlors. The most popular are Chicago Ink Tattoo & Body Piercing, Deluxe Tattoo, and Tattoo Factory.




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