Like in every form of craft there are the best of the best. Those who change the game or influence others. Today we look at the top five traditional tattoo artists.
Number 5: Oliver Peck
Oliver Peck is best known as a judge of Spike’s reality show Ink Master. a show that judges and critiques, you guessed it, tattoos. Unlike most tattoo artists in the late 90s, where they tend to go the route of either neo-traditional, Japanese traditional, or realistic portraits, Peck continued that old-school feel of bold lines and limited color pallet. In a way he helped bring old-school traditional back to its former glory. Peck owns and operates his own shop, Elm Street Tattoo, in Dallas, Texas.
Number 4: Dan Smith
Unlike Oliver Peck who does just American Traditional, Dan Smith does a variety of styles. He started out as a Japanese traditional artist but over in the past six years has he started to dip his feet in the old-school pond. A quick up and comer in the American traditional game, Dan Smith is an example that you don’t need to just start with American Traditional to be great at it! Currently owns and operates Capture Tattoo in Tustin, California.
Number 3: Quyen dinh
You might have seen her stuff on tumblr or instagram but she is indeed not at a tattoo artist! Quyen Dinh does not tattoo anyone, rather she paints and draws American Traditional art and has garnered a cult following throughout the tattoo world. Most who want to get a traditional tattoo usually uses her art as a reference point to what they want, and boy do they want her art!
Number 2: Herbert Hoffman
Herbert Hoffman wasn’t a American at all. In fact he was German but his influence around the world is with out a doubt extraordinary. He helped popularize the traditional tattoo art through out the world and with out him we wouldn’t see traditional art was we know it today.
Number 1: Sailor Jerry
Considered the creator of American Traditional, Norman Collins, better known as Sailor Jerry, introduced tattoos to American sailors in the late 50s and through out most of the 60s. He started the foundation of all traditional artists continue to follow to this day. Big bold lines, a limited color pallet, and American themes. Even 50 years after his death his influence still contiues in the likes of Dan Smith, Quyen Dinh, and Oliver Peck.