Anyone that follows the ever competitive and advancing field of tattooing has no doubt come across some of the amazing realistic portrait work that is constantly growing in popularity. I myself am a huge fan of this beautiful style.
Tattoo’s used to consist of old school two dimensional designs usually reserved for sailors, bikers, and criminals. Well, it is certainly a new age in tattoos and tattoo acceptance where everyone from doctors to congressmen are sporting at least one tattoo.
The work of today’s top tattoo portrait artists rivals that of the best painters in the world. Tattoos are finally gaining acceptance as a viable art medium and tattoo exhibits as well as tattoo award conventions are completely dedicated to this wonderful art form, and attended by thousands of tattoo enthusiast every year. The attention to detail that goes into these tattoo pieces is second to none and don’t forget a tattoo artist’s “pencil” has no eraser.
Specialization In Tattoo Portraits
Don’t get me wrong, there are hundreds of top tattoo artist in the world and I can not possibly showcase them all in this small article, but here are some of the top names in realistic tattoo portraits working today. Don’t be upset if your favorite artist didn’t make the list, I can only write an article so big.
Nikko Hurtado – A Californian tattoo artist who has distinguished himself as one of the worlds best portrait tattoo artist with his dramatic use of color and shading that brings his pieces to life. Nick Hurtado has one of the strongest dedications to his craft in the tattoo world, always striving for the best and even he will admit, he is his worst critic. Nick can be found tattooing in his Apple Valley tattoo studio, Ignition Tattoo or traveling the tattoo convention scene.
Moni Marino – Originally from Germany with just under 20 years of tattooing under her belt Moni Marino has risen to the top of the tattoo portrait niche. Her intense use of color and attention to every detail makes her pieces stand out as though they were oil canvas. Your best shot of getting a piece by Moni Marino is to get a passport and start paying attention to the tattoo convention scene. Her work is world renowned and there is likely a few people already ahead of you.
Liz Cook – If you know your tattoos, you can instantly spot a Liz Cook portrait. Liz is an American tattoo artist hailing from Dallas, Texas. Her intense use of color and precision makes her pieces one of a kind. Each face seems to jump off the skin as though you caught it in mid motion. Liz can be found touring the world offering her skilled services to anyone with an appreciation for awesome tattoos. You might want to get a hold of her prior to showing up though, I’m sure you aren’t the only one that wants to be drilled by Ms. Cook.
Cecil Porter – A regular on the tattoo convention scene, Cecil Porter’s work is sought after by tattoo collectors around the world. His tattoo portraits show a love of art and detail that is unrivaled in the tattoo field. He can regularly be found inking on tour or if you are lucky enough to catch him in his private studio in Temecula, California you too could have a portrait that looks so real you swear it breathes. Cecil’s work is sought the world over for his incredible portrait skills.
Mike Devries – Another California tattoo artist, but arguably the best portrait tattoo artist in the country. Mike Devries has won well over 100 awards for his gorgeous color portrait tattoo pieces. In many cases his tattoos look better than any picture you have seen of the subject. Mike Devries is very sought after for his style and approach. If you want work by him you should start checking the tattoo convention schedules and make some calls, becasue there is always a line to Mike’s tattoo chair.
Why Should I Waste So Much Money?
I hear this all the time. “Why should I drive all that distance to get an expensive tattoo when I could just go down to Joe’s Tattoo downtown and get it for a fraction of the price?”
My advice to you is that if you want something awesome on your skin, don’t just look at what Nate Beavers tattooed yesterday and expect your local tattoo shop to replicate it perfectly, It’s just not going to happen. Never forget, “Good Tattoo’s Aren’t Cheap, Cheap Tattoo’s Aren’t Good, And Great tattoo’s are downright expensive.