Tattoos have gone from elements associated with rockstars and wrestlers to beautiful body adornments that can be considered as art in their own right. Now actresses, models and other famous people sport and celebrate them publicly. As a result, many tattoos have become as famous as the people they belong to, like Angelina Jolie’s calligraphy going on her back and Rihanna’s many tattoos.
Who could forget the “Thug Life” that the late rapper Tupac Shakur had across his belly or the cute hanger that supermodel Chanel Iman has on the back of her neck? Famous tattoos also mean that artists become famous, to the extent that several tattoo parlours and artists have their own TV shows. This shows us just how far this art-form has gone and just how popular some of these artists have become. Here are a few:
Kat Von D
Kat’s superstar client list includes Miley Cyrus, Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Jared Leto. She became famous when she starred on the hit reality show LA Ink and since then she has risen to superstar status, and she even has a book and her own line of make-up sold at Sephora! With her brilliant portrait tattoo skills Kat has managed to take the lead in an industry that is dominated by men and she continues to make history one tattoo at a time.
If you’ve ever wondered where Rihanna got her rib cage tattoo and where supermodel Cara Delevingne got her famous lion head tattoos, the answer is BangBang, who first inked Rihanna when she was 18. BangBang (real name Keith McCurdy) has also famously inked model Jourdan Dunn, Justin Bieber and he also did the ballerina on the back of Rita Ora’s arm, making his work quite popular with young celebrities. His ability to draw tattoos that are both beautiful and quirky means he will probably continue to ink his way to superstardom.
He is certainly one of the most sought after tattooists in the world after inking the likes of David Beckham, Ellie Goulding, Drake and Brad Pitt. The formally trained violinist, turned fashion buyer turned tattoo artist can be found at the Shamrock Tattoo Parlour where you might see some famous faces waiting to get inked! The beauty of his work and his ability to ink pieces that are both artistic and meaningful, can be seen on his Instagram page
Mahoney is a tattoo legend and the mentor of Dr Woo. He has inked famous people like Tupac Shakur and Johnny Depp making him one of the earliest tattoo celebrities in the industry. His studio is based in West Hollywood, the perfect location for all those famous people to pop in and get some ink. Getting a Mahoney masterpiece can cost you well into the thousands but this hasn’t stopped people who come from far and wide to get tattooed by this body art genius.
If you want to get inked by Ami James you have to be willing to pay about $500 for every hour you sit in his chair! The world famous tattoo artist first gained popularity on Miami Ink and NY Ink and today he has shops in these cities and another one in London. Ami James has inked the likes of Tila Tequila and TV starlet Shenae Grimes. James also has a successful clothing line called DeVille and considering that he’s worth about $5 million it’s clear that tattoos have been really good to him.
Tattoo artists have become celebrated and admired individuals as tattoos have become more mainstream and popular with people everywhere. Gone are the days where people were afraid to get tattoos because they wouldn’t be able to get good jobs, today millions of people including professionals are getting inked. Artists that have become famous have turned their craft into million dollar careers and on top of inking celebrities they have become celebrities in their own right.
When you watch TV shows like Miami Ink, you see fans who travel from other countries just to get a tattoo done by a famous artist. This is the same as someone travelling to meet a celebrity or watch a concert. As more celebrities get inked it’s clear that the people who ink them will gain fame and have groupies of their own. This shows how much tattoo artistry has graduated over the years to become a booming industry and an incredible way people celebrate beauty, art and life.