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Dawn Cooke: 13 Female Tattooers You Should Know About

Dawn Cooke: 13 Female Tattooers You Should Know About

I have been making contact with other female tattoo artists. And before you groan, like, “Oh geez… Not another feminist rant… boo!” Give this a chance because I think you might be at the very least slightly impressed or inspired by more than one of these women, I sure am! Please bare in mind the truth that there was a time when it was far more rare to see a woman tattoo artist who could lay down a solid tattoo. These days we are luckier than those who came before us and paved the way. Plus, there have always been terrible male artists also, but they never got that much attention anyway. So the focus seems to have been harder on the ladies. Attitudes toward the sexes are ever-changing…

So I have included pictures with the permission of every artist in the list. Some of these ladies I was unable to reach in time or just plain couldn’t get a hold of. I included their names because you should know who they are anyway! This list is comprised of ladies who have been tattooing for a long time and some only for a short time. They were picked because they are under-represented and amazingly talented and I happen to know them or their work. Some of them contributed a lot to the art or craft of tattooing. Some are just beginning to, but either way I think they should be recognized.

On a personal level, it is only recently that I began taking an interest in female artists in particular. I never cared either way before but I’m wiser now and I think it is true that the ladies often get over-looked by the greater tattoo community. Even though their clients and local community remain loyal. I am not sure why that is, but I think it’s about time that we include the ladies in the club…Let’s make it a co-ed club.

So here they are in no particular order:

Megan Hoogland
“My new shop Mecca Tattoo has been open since Feb. 2011 in Mankato… I’ve been tattooing 16 yrs this Dec. I am in love with black and grey, but consider myself equally good at color. I can also reproduce anything as well if not better than a copy machine…”

Mecca Tattoo
418 S. Front Street
Mankato, MN USA

Deb Yarian

Eagle River Tattoo
11127 Old Eagle River Rd
Eagle River, Alaska 99577

Jen Carmean
“I am the owner of Monarch Tattoo in Newfoundland, New Jersey. I can be reached there most days (973) 697-0032. I also can be contacted at this e-mail ( or via Facebook: I also have the shop’s webpage: I have been tattooing for 17 years as of this fall. I love tattooing in all styles but I’m extra fond of Japanese themes, pin-ups and large-scale floral work. I have a soft spot for black and grey too.”

Monarch Tattoo
2915 State Rt. 23 South
Newfoundland, NJ 07422

Nikki Lugo
“I have been tattooing since 2003, about 8 1/2 years. I’m from Queens, NY. Did my first tattoos in a shop in Chinatown, Manhattan at Sacred Tattoo. I then worked at a few shops around N.J. and N.Y. before settling into Tattoo Paradise here in Washington, D.C. I love traditional American style tattooing… Tattoos that are easy to read and that are built to last!”

Tattoo Paradise
2444 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009


Virginia Elwood
“I’ve been tattooing at New York Adorned in Manhattan for the past 4 years and have been greatly inspired and influenced by everyone there. The past couple of years, I’ve been able to loosen up a bit and not take tattooing so seriously. My realistic portraits have given way to a more illustrative style that I think will hold up on the skin for longer… And with that pressure gone I certainly have more fun tattooing them! Working with people like Dan Santoro, Damien Ross, Brian Randolf, Stephanie Tamez and Katja Ramirez (to name only a few), taught me to capture the spirit of a tattoo instead of struggling to make everything perfect. My focus has shifted to a more traditional style of tattooing…”

Stacy Ann Gards
“I work at Five Star Tattoo, Fremantle, Western Australia. I have been tattooing for 7 years. Work I like to do is Traditional and I enjoy painting ladies”

Five Star Tattoo
8 Manning Arcade 
121 High Street
08 9431 7888

Megan Fernandez
Panama City Beach, FL

Katie Davis
Years Tattooing: Roughly 9

Salvation Tattoo
819 W Cary St
Richmond VA 23220
Phone 804 643 3779


Jessica Swaffer
“I have been tattooing 6 1/2 years. I work at Third Eye Tattoo in Melbourne, Australia. Or find me on Facebook!”

Third Eye Tattoo
700 Nicholson St Fitzroy North VIC 3068
Melbourne, Australia
Email Us:
Phone (03) 9486 1333

Marina Inoue
“I’ve been tattooing for 4 years, currently working at Classic Tattoo in Richmond, VA. I mostly focus on American Traditional and black and grey.”

Love – N – Hate Tattoos
2302 SH 121 #150
Lewisville, TX

Dawn Cooke
In case you don’t know who I am… Owner of Depot Town Tattoo Ypsilanti, MI. Tattooing 15 years Neo-Traditional American/Japanese color tattoos. I’m not scared of anything!

Here are some more amazingly talented ladies you should know:

  • Diane Mansfield
  • Annette Larue
  • Valerie Vargas
  • Jill Bonny
  • Christina Garcia
  • Arianna Settembrino
  • Cindy Leal
  • Jacci Grasham
  • Katja Ramirez
  • Debbie Lenz
  • Tamara Santibanez
  • Elizabeth Dibois
  • Stacy Hill
  • Karen Rose
  • Calamity Jane
  • Cindy Stroemple
  • Stephanie Tamez

If you know any other great artists not mentioned here, either male or female, feel free to post their names and share the information!


  1. You all might want to check out PEACHY. Not only is she real cute but a rad tattooer as well for only being in the game a few years. . She works at Tattoo Alchemy in Cali.

  2. Check out Ashley Love at twelve28 tattoo in Brooklyn NY

  3. A great lady and tattoo artist that complements this list is Christy Brooker. She owns Damask Tattoo in Seattle.

  4. Lana Gooding Virtue Tattoo Houston Tx

  5. You should see / meet some of my talented sisters in ink:

  6. Try Eva Humber, she can be found at and is also embarked on a project ’12 sleeves in 12 months’ which you can follow via her website and twitter [@12sleeves52week]

    Nicole Lowe she has some amazing skillz with her interpretation of traditional japanese style work.

  7. No list of top female tattooists is complete with out Deirdre Doyle at Pino Brothers. She s far and away the best in Boston and has that perfect mix of artistic skill, creativity, tattooing chops, and the ability to be a perfect therapist. Her work is simply awesome.

  8. Angel Sanders, Flesh Tattoo Company, Fallston, MD, USA. This girl deserves to be amongst the heavy hitters of the industry..she is a truly talented artist and I am lucky to wear her work.

  9. my favorite female artists not listed are:

    -Annie Frenzel at Lowbrow Tattoo in Berlin, Germany.
    -Emily Rose Murray in Melbourne, Australia.
    -Allison Manners at Black Throne Tattoo in Brisbane, Australia.
    -Rachi Brains at Black Throne Tattoo in Brisbane, Australia.
    -Sarah Schor at Kings Ave NYC.
    -Darcy Nutt at Chalice Tattoo Studio, Boise, Idaho.
    -Hayley Lakeman at Fu’s Custom Tattoo in Charlotte, NC.
    -Ashley Love at Thicker Than Water Tattoo (just moved from Twelve 28 in Brooklyn.)
    -Vicky Morgan at Bodycraft Tattoo in Nottingham, United Kingdom.
    -Tiny Miss Becca at Jayne Doe Tattoo in Hornchurch, United Kingdom.

  10. Glennie and India at Pearl Harbor Gift Shop in Toronto. Highly recommended!

  11. Two ladies who I think are doing some amazing work are Sarah Schor from Kings Ave, NYC and Allyson Bennett from Mr. Tattoo, Portland, OR.

  12. Michelle Myles @ Daredevil tattoo!!!

  13. Dawn Grace at Tattoo Factory in Chicago is the lady to see for beautiful tattoos in the Windy.
    Her black and grey is mind blowing, her mehndi work is incredible.

  14. Charlie Grrl at Hidden Hand in Seattle
    Erika Jones and Andrea Ottlewski at Slave to the Needle in Seattle

  15. I’m a female I just started apprenticing at a wonderful shop here in Louisiana called Bizarre Ink *that has SEVERAL female apprentices and artist* but before that I had every male tattoo artist in the town RAGING at me for even getting interested in tattooing.Which was totally unexpected even male artist I had tattoo me and was above and beyond supportive of their work.I even lost friendships over it.Which again really blew me away.I have heard horror stories from my fellow FEMALE apprentices and artist about the way the guys have treated them. Because of this I started a female tattoo artist group on FB so at least the girls can band together and support themselves because lord knows most of the guys aren’t
    Ugly Shyla

  16. Heather Bailey @ Spider Murphy’s in San Rafael CA.

  17. Betty Rose in New York City is one of the top female tattoo artists in the area. Her work is solid, rich and creative!

  18. Check out the documentary about female tattooist called “Covered”:

  19. You should check out Carla Hopkins in Philadelphia:
    She’s fantastic!

  20. What a great resource this is! Thanks for sharing the info.

  21. Hey feel free to check out my work on Facebook. Im 23 years old only being tattooing for around three years and about to open my own shop… I love my saturated colour work and pretty faces.. Love Love. Miss Jade

  22. Check out Tegan Beyer……she is amazing! Going through cancer treatment and still creating amazing artwork!

  23. Nice blog dear and very helpful and nice picture gallery.I really like it.
    tattoo essendon

  24. I am looking for a baad ass female artist that does portraits in color or b/w, located in MD, Wash. D.C., VA

  25. If you are in Asia, I highly recommend my artist, Ms Apple Qu at Travelling Tattoo Asia! I really dig her water color style tattoos and has a chance to get inked while in Singapore. My last check was that she now travels a lot throughout Asia and does gigs in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore Malaysia, and many other places. Visit her website at

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