Bold holds. American Traditional tattoos are known for strong lines, distinct color schemes, careful skin breaks and solid shading. Tattoos have been around for centuries and whether you own one, or simply admire them, traditional American tattoos are one of the most iconic styles out there. That's why we decided to start our LA city Tattoo Guide with this genre. There are plenty of tattoo shops in town, but when it comes to permanent art, we value quality over quantity. Take a look at our top picks of shops and artists within them!
The Martlet Tattoo Parlor
The Martlet offers an array of tattoo styles, but the hand-painted flash sheets that line the walls of the shop are a testament to the artist’s true, traditional talent. Owner Bryce Oprandi and fellow artists Travis Furton, Aron Dubois and Justin Klegka each provide their own unique, sticker-worthy pieces that are built to last. The roster is unshakeable - Oprandi with an insane knack for texture and design, Furton with tattoos you can spot and admire from a mile away. Dubois has a distinct juxtaposition of black and grey work and Klegka has an uncanny ability to blend fine line with bold like no one we’ve ever seen. You can bring any tattoo concept here and walk out with something better than you expected.
Flash by Adam Warmerdam
Dark Horse Tattoo
Opened in 2010, Dark Horse Tattoo has been creating art for nearly a decade. Owner Bryan Burke along with Aaron Garcia, Adam Warmedam, Martina Major, Derrick Snodgrass and Candi Kinyobi all make up the core team at Dark Horse. The pieces produced here are consistently clean and bright and created with careful skill and application.
Off the beaten path in Redlands, Rendition Tattoo is worth the drive. Founder and owner Brian Seghers currently hosts Rawbert Samuel, Josh Wischovitch, Jake Hodson who are all well-versed in the art of American Traditional. Follow them on Instagram to keep tabs on availability and most recent pieces. You won't see any shaky lines or lack of color here, just displays of true talent.
The Honorable Society Tattoo Parlor and Lounge
The Honorable Society Tattoo Parlour has a half dozen resident roster of artists including Kristen Fancher, Marco Cerretelli, Miguel Toxtle, Emily Effler, Monty Siam. All staff is dedicated to providing an inviting atmosphere so that all you have to think about is the art! Marco's style grants itself to black and grey American Traditional but still keep an eye out for guest artists as they rotate often.
Oliver Peck is a voice of authority when it comes to American Traditional tattoos and it would be a disservice to this list to exclude his Hollywood shop, True Tattoo. Ian “Jonezy” Jones tattoos in a variety of styles but his traditional work is solid. He often travels so even if you’re not in LA, chances are he might be in a city near you. Little Dave has a gift for crafting beautiful profiles and bright pieces. Karen Costleigh masters out-of-the-box concepts; the list of artists and skills goes on, you can always count on a great American Tradition tattoos at True Tattoo.