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10 Top Tattoo Artists in ABQ

In a town where the tattoed might just outnumber the non tattooed, one can find a tattoo shop in every corner. If you are considering a tattoo, it is wise to do some research on where and, who to go to. To give you a starting point, I've compiled a list of the top tattoo artists in ABQ, all well known for their creativity, professionalism, and just simply amazing work. 

Please note that this list is in random order and it is not meant to rank the tattoo artists. 

Like any other art category, tattoo artistry is very subjective and I may have left some of your favorite ABQ artists out, so would you share them with me? Who is your favorite and why? 

1. Brian Everett

Photo by Eric Williams for Weekly Alibi

Awe yes, Brian Everett. There is no talking about tattoos in Albuquerque without talking of him. This amazing pioneer artist in known as nothing less then the "Godfather of tattooing in New Mexico". Along with a few others, he  gave wheels to the single-needle art movement back in the 1970s and opened one of the first tattoo studios in the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico nearly three decades ago.And he is still going strong. He is well known for his incredible black and grey portrait type tattoo, and his portfolio is filled with simply amazing, photo-perfect tattoos.   

To learn more about Brian and his work, check out Route 66 Fine Line Tattoo

2. Greg King

Greg King, artist and owner of Albuquerque’s King’s Kreation Tattoo, has been tattooing for over fifteen years. Having won many awards from conventions in different states, it seems he can tackle - and quite well -  a variety of styles, but what really catches my eye from this artist is his innovative, new school tattoos, true pieces of art. 

To learn more about Greg and his work, check out King's Kreation Tattoo

3. Jason Willis

If what you are after is a Day of the Dead tattoo, look no further then Jason Willis, the owner and main artist at Tinta Cantina. He is the best of the best on the category, and some insist he is actually the one who invented such style of tattooing. Whether or not this is true, I am not sure, but I do know that his style is unique, and his work is top notch.

To learn more about Jason and his work, check out Tinta Cantina

4. Chris Partain

Co-Owner of Star Tattoo and tattooing since 1992, he is, in my opinion, the king of traditional tattooing in Albuquerque.  If what a traditional style of tattoo is what you seek, you must see this guy's work. But don't confuse traditional for outdated - this style of tattoo is still amongst the most requested by costumers around Albuquerque. 

To learn more about Chris and his work, check out Star Tattoo

5. Johnny Mac Howell

Image courtesy Johnny Mac Howell

Very well known in the area, this extremely busy Tinta Cantina artist does the most amazing Japanese themed tattoos I have ever seen, thus it is not a surprise he has received many awards in the category. Watercolor art is another style he has under his belt, turning people's skins into the most beautiful, flowy, colorful art that you just have to see for yourself.   

To learn more about Johnny Mac and his work, check out Tinta Cantina.

6. Jespah Torres

In the industry now for 20 plus years, he has tattooed in some of the best, high profile shops in the southwest. His styles are quite broad, and his use of color is impressive to say to least. In 2010 he opened his own shop, Archetype Dermigraphic Studio, with the intention of providing the very highest quality tattooing, while also providing a gallery space for many of the areas local artists who deserve exposure. 

To learn more about Jespah and his work,  check out Archetype Dermigraphic. 

7. Rudy Lopez

Rudy is somewhat new in the tattoo scene by comparison, but he leaves absolutely nothing to be desired. Originally from Gallup, he can now be found tattooing here in the ABQ. Strong artist, his work definitely screams realism.  He likes his work to be original, and won't replicate a tattoo done by him or by another artist. 

To learn more about Rudy and his work, check out Tinta Cantina

8. Bale Sisneros

Native New Mexican and founder of Duke City Tattoo Fiesta, this owner of Por Vida Tattoo is simply amazing at his craft, specially his black and grey traditional art. I would say that of all the artists I am familiar with, he is the one that stands out to me as a true representation of the Latino tattoo movement in Albuquerque.

To learn more about Bale and his work, check out Por Vida Tattoo.  

9. Gina Marie Scarkino

In a field that is still made up of mostly males, this flower certainly shines through. Raised in Hawaii but now a New Mexico resident, Gina MArie is quite the talent. A quick look through her gallery and you will be amazed by her versatility, attention to detail, and clear control over her needle.

To learn more about Gina and her work, check out Star Tattoo.  

10. John Henderson

Keep and eye out for this up and coming local talent. John Henderson's love for the art of tattooing shows through his work, be it a traditional or new school piece. Though he hasn't been around for very long, some of the more seasoned tattoo artists in town say he is the one to look out for, as his talent, put alongside all his hard work, is likely to keep him in this list for many years to come.

To learn more about John and his work, check out Ascension Body Mod.