When I have something I want to add here on OV it generally takes me a few days to gird up the motivation to get it online. Sometimes longer if there’s something good playing at the local cinema. I get distracted, with my attention space somewhere in the ‘ferret’ range on the best of days.

When Cian at Swallows & Daggers asked me to make a list of Tattooers to watch in 2015 and gave me a full week to get it written, I had it done in under ten minutes. I’m sure there’s a valuable life lesson in there somewhere.

My five to watch list has two artists I’ve known for over 20 years, three who’ve tattooed me and two younger fellas that are putting out good honest tattoos. I wish I would have had more room for honorable mentions- there’s just so many amazing people out there putting on good tattoos that it’s really a great time for people looking to get quality work.

Swing on over to Swallows & Daggers and check it out!



One comment

  1. Hey! The page seems to be missing- so apologies for not digging up images, but here’s the list!

    Most of my ‘Tattooists to Watch” have been kicking around for a while; guys who’ve put their time in and who do clean, honest tattoos.
    It’s such a great time for tattoo culture; there’s so many options out there for really amazing tattoos. I’m glad to see the new generation come up, but as always, I like to keep one eye on the past.

    Shawn Porter/Occult Vibrations

    John Himmelstein. (Instagram: @himmelworks)
    Hands down one of the best illustrators I’ve ever met, John is coming up on 30 years tattooing professionally. His style is more Ralph Bakshi than Sailor Jerry but he still adheres to bold will hold with strong lines, black shading and packed in color. John is an often overlooked influence on some of the best tattooers to come out of the early 1990s, but his work has never been more on point and I think that the next few years will see John finally getting his own.

    Chad Chesko (Instagram: @chadchesko http://chadcheskotattoo.com/)
    Chad nails every tattoo that walks through the door, but his biomech is always killer. A nice guy and someone who you should absolutely get tattooed by.

    Jacob Des. (Instagram: @jacobdes Truth and Triumph Tattoo Dayton, OH)
    Jacob’s art is unapologetically strange; traditional American style tattooing meets 1950s advertising art with a very large portion of ‘what the hell am I looking at’ thrown in. I’m not sure if he’s even concerned with challenging what’s acceptable for ‘tattoo imagery’ so much as he’s confidently doing his own thing without concern for uniformity. One of my top five favorite working tattoo artists.

    Josh Hoffman (Instagram @j_hoffman)
    Josh is my absolute favorite Philadelphia based tattooer. He’s always put on really outstanding work, but the last two years he’s been on fire. I can’t wait to see where his art goes next.

    Mike Moses. (Tumblr: @sufferme http://thedrowntown.com)

    Mike is the most niche tattooist in my 5 to watch; his work owes more to illustration and graphic art than tattoo iconography, but every piece that he drops on his tumblr page makes me reevaluate the plans I have for the remaining tattooable skin I have available.


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