Most travelers and adventurers collect art, photos or bits of memorabilia from their trips around the world. Although we do the same, I tend to be a little more literal, and take a more permanent memory home with me…tattoos.
Having received tattoos now in five different countries, I’ve met some amazing people and Artists in the various Studios I’ve visited and come to make friends along the way. Here’s a few of my personal recommendations, but by no means a complete list, of the Studios I have chosen, and the work they do, for those of you that are looking for a place to start.
Chiang Mai Skin Art – Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chris Kamhoms, is the Sole Owner and Artist of Chiang Mai Skin Art. Located just outside the Old City wall, his small but cozy studio is a must stop and requires a reservation for any consultation or work. A definite must for any ink aficionado, his work is wonderfully graphic, and what I would describe as Thai modern, with amazing attention to detail in geometric and fine line designs. This gifted Artist never replicates a design, giving each client a truly unique and individualized gift that no other person will ever wear.
Get in touch here:
La Marca Tattoo – Havana, Cuba
Looking to grab a Cuban souvenir besides a bottle of rum and a cigar? Then look no further than the heart of Old Havana and to the crew at La Marca. Artist Leo Canosa, with an amazing staff of four in-house artists, as well as famous visiting international inkers, has developed a real cultural art revolution within Cuba. The La Marca crew have a wide variety of talents and design influence, including Old-school, fine line and photo realism, among other styles, all mixed with a dash of Caribbean culture, creating a truly memorable experience for any visitor. All that and we haven’t even mentioned the constant party atmosphere with DJ’s, Musicians and other Art and Cuban cultural events going on in this incredible gem of a place.
Check them out here:
BKK Ink – Bangkok, Thailand
In the heart of Bangkok, just at the end of the touristy Khaosan Road, lies BKK Ink. Opened in 2009, BKK Ink has over eight Artists with a wide range of design styles from Thai traditional motifs, Old-school, photo realistic or black line work. Whatever style you choose, the talented Team here has got you covered. Always super busy, definitely make an advanced reservation. My artist Ballin’ hooked me up twice with beautiful Thai style black line work that always gets wonderful compliments and is a constant reminder of my love for Thailand and its incredible people and culture.
Get in touch here:
Giant Panda Tattoo – Shanghai, China
Although he may look young, Owner, Yi Xiu, is an incredibly gifted Artist with years of experience inking clients from all over the world. His small Studio is located on the Puxi side of town on the corner of Baoqing Lu, near Fuxing Zhong Lu, and is right in the heart of it all. Well versed in Chinese traditional designs with a modern twist, Yi Xiu’s designs are wonderfully balanced and detailed, no matter whether he is filling in a full back piece or inking the small of a woman’s wrist. Incredibly humble and soft spoken, he’s a cool guy to hang out with on a busy Shanghai afternoon and let the City pass you by while getting some beautiful work done.
Get in touch with Yi Xiu here:
Or on WeChat @ yixiu-tattoo