Getting a tattoo isn’t a decision you should make lightly. Here’s RVA Mag’s guide to everything from deciding when to get tattooed to figuring out where you should go in Richmond to get the best possible version of the tattoo you want.
A tattoo is a wonderful way to mark your journey, have a keepsake of something memorable, and use your skin as a canvas for beautiful art. If you’ve decided to get a tattoo, you’ll need a great tattoo artist who can bring your ideas to life.
Finding the right tattoo parlor and artist is as important as deciding what you want to have on your skin. That’s why we’re identifying the best places and artists in Richmond, Virginia, who ink some of the most beautiful designs.
Why Get A Tattoo?
An estimated 15 to 38 percent of Americans have some form of permanent body art. They do so to brand themselves with reminders of people and things they love, philosophies or mantras they believe in, as a form of self-expression and rebellion, to have beautiful artwork on their bodies, and even to cover up bodily imperfections.
Getting a tattoo is a personal decision. While there are many reasons to get one, there may also be reasons why it isn’t right for you. Consider the decision carefully.
If you do decide to go ahead with one, you’ll have much to benefit from this guide and list of some of the best tattoo studios in Richmond.
How to Find the Best Tattoo Artist and Tattoo Parlor
Your tattoos stay with you forever. If you care about your skin art, you’ll be meticulously screening tattoo artists who possess exceptional skill and talent for the kind of design you’re looking to have. How do you find the right one?
Factors to Cross-Check:
- Ask people who’ve gotten a tattoo you admire for recommendations. You can get an idea of how well a tattoo artist works by seeing their healed work in person rather than in a portfolio.
- Read reviews online and monitor their responses. Ensure they have a positive reputation. You don’t want to work with a tattoo artist who isn’t open to making changes and improvements along the way.
- Get a consultation for the design you have in mind. You can also ask them any questions you might have about the work you want done.
- Check how sanitary, safe, and well-maintained the parlor is.
By doing your homework, you’ll stand a greater chance of loving the tattoo you eventually get.
Six Great Tattoo Parlors in Richmond, VA
You might have scoured your area for the best tattoo parlors. Here are six great tattoo parlors to consider when in Richmond.
#1. Unkindness Art
Bring your deliciously dark and gothic visions to life with Unkindness Art. The owner, Teresa Sharpe, has over 300,000 followers on Instagram.
Apart from Teresa, Unkindness Art is home to a group of incredible tattoo artists, all of who are exceptionally good at what they do. You’ll find samples on the Unkindness Art website and links to the different artists’ social media accounts and/or individual websites. Since every artist handles their own bookings and scheduling, you’ll need to get in touch and make appointments directly with the artist you’re interested in.
Unkindness Art’s tattoo parlor offers a great vibe and sound system. They’re open from Monday to Saturday and accept cash, PayPal, and credit/debit cards as payment.
Loose Screw Tattoo is owned by Jesse Smith, an internationally recognized tattoo artist. Loose Screw has some of the best custom tattoo artists in the state. Their ability to breathe life into the most complex artwork is truly phenomenal.
Jesse Smith’s Instagram has over 250,000 followers, indicative of the loyal following he’s been able to amass with his works of art. The studio offers versatile tattoos in new school, black and gray, portraits, color realism, and lettering designs.
Loose Screw Tattoo artists have found national and international fame. They’ve been featured in over 60 magazines and received more than 50 awards for their work.
Two Pillars Tattoo’s slogan captures its fun and irreverent spirit: “We make great tattoos and are not assholes.” The atmosphere at Two Pillars Tattoo is laid back, with interiors that sport tons of cool art and decor. You can savor the complete tattoo experience here while getting your ink done by experienced and highly skilled tattoo artists.
If it’s your first time getting a tattoo, their website offers great resource articles, a portfolio of images, and links to the artists’ Instagram accounts. They are also home to three artists who create amazing and incredibly detailed designs. You can review the tattoo artist’s portfolio before you schedule a booking. The client reviews on their website speak for the kind of work they do.
Jason Stephan is one of the most prominent artists at Loose Screw Tattoo. Well respected for his uniquely beautiful designs, he has over 32,000 Instagram followers and more than 25 years of experience. Jason is known for his animal imagery and detailed art that uses clean and clear lines
Visit his Instagram account to see his masterpieces. He’s available Fridays to Tuesdays between 10 AM and 6 PM.
#5. Amy Black Tattoo
Amy Black began tattooing in 2000. She is a phenomenal talent and founder of the Pink Ink Fund, a nonprofit organization that helps people with post-mastectomy tattoos following breast reconstruction surgery.
With decades of experience and talent to back her up, Amy Black has successfully recreated areolas and nipples for women who’ve lost them to cancer helping them rebuild self-confidence and regain their sense of femininity. Of course, that’s not all Amy does. She can ink a variety of designs from whimsical to more lifelike depictions, each exceptionally well done.
Whether it’s through her art or her non-profit initiative, Amy inspires. Never take your life for granted, she says. “Enjoy every moment of it — the good and the bad — and tell the people you care about that you love them every time you can.”
Lucky 13 Tattoo & Piercing has been around for a decade. The artists who work in this parlor are all experienced, licensed, and can pull off a wide range of styles.
They offer black and grey realism, Japanese, new school styles, and more. You can consult one of their tattoo artists for a one-of-a-kind design if the vast selection of art in their studio isn’t what you’re looking for.
It’s best to book an appointment with them, though they accept walk-ins too. Lucky 13 also sells tattoo aftercare products from their studio at West Broad Street.
If you’ve been thinking about a new tattoo or getting one for the first time, these places and their artists are great ones to consider. Check out the different art styles they do, find one that suits and inspires you, and reach out to the artist for a possible booking.
These artists and studios are well-known in their own right for the amazing tattoo art they do, the professional and friendly service they provide, and the fantastic atmosphere in their studios.
By checking out different artists and doing your research, you’re sure to get a tattoo that you’ll be proud of and will cherish your whole life.