8 Popular LGBTQ and Queer Tattoo Artists to Watch

queer tattoo artists to watch
Credit: Minuit Dix Tattoo

In the last 5 years, queer tattooers have been taking the industry by storm—consider both an increasing amount of people seeking out more inclusive shops and studios and as well as tattooers with more inclusive politics. There are even online spaces dedicated exclusively to queer tattoo culture and queer tattoo artists, including @queer_tattooers and the new @qpoc.ttt. And with so many talented people to keep track of, we wanted to call your attention to some of our favorite LBGTQ+ tattooers making amazing work today. Here are eight queer tattoo artists worth checking out and considering when it comes to booking your next piece.

Em-16, Brooklyn, NY Scarlet Letter

Em-16 has been creating great tattoos over the last 7 years. Her background in fine arts informs the tattoos she makes and its apparent from the illustrative quality they posses. Owner of Scarlet Letter in Brooklyn, this is a tattoo and art studio where LBGTQ+ people and feminism are celebrated and come first. Em’s tattoos are detailed, thoughtful and feature a mix of bold and delicate line work depending on the image she is tackling. From intricate floral designs, anatomically correct animal skeletons, to Art Nouveau inspired lady’s heads, Em can do it all! And with over 31k Instagram followers it’s not hard to see why so many people are flocking to Scarlet Letter to get tattooed.

In addition to Em, the studio also features another openly queer-identified artist Clarissa Liu. Liu has been tattooing for 3 years and is an artist, which is apparent in how she attacks her tattoos. Additionally, the studio features a number of guest tattooers throughout the year to accommodate their growing clientele.

Adrienne Haberl, Spirited Tattooing Coalition, Philadelphia

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Located in the city of Brotherly Love, the Spirited Tattooing Coalition in Philadelphia has been working hard to make everyone who walks through their doors feel welcomed and supported. Their website states, “We want marginalized voices, artists, and identities to have sanctuary while making those connections and bearing down to their deepest layer.” Founding artist Jasmine Morrell, as well as eight other artists work alongside her full time to accommodate their clientele and to ensure their shop’s dedication to inclusivity.

With such a robust roster of artists, each of the diverse styles can cater to just about any tattoo you could be looking for. Adrienne Haberl combines her love of scientific and botanical illustration in each tattoo she makes. Haberl’s attention to detail and the ability to go from full black and grey to color is amazing.

Esther Garcia and Stephanie Brown, Black Oak Tattoo, Chicago

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One healed, one fresh! Thank you, Janna ❤️

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Based out of Chicago’s Logan Square, Black Oak Tattoo is an oasis in a usually busy city. It is cozy, intimate and caters to an LBGTQ+ crowd and posses and inclusive message. This all female-run studio is producing some of the best tattoos anyone will find across the US. With a current roster of four artists including Tine Defiore, Stephanie Brown, Esther Garcia, Cloey Zikmund as well as a guest artist, whatever you could be looking for, they’ve got you covered. Stephanie Brown’s work is some of the most detailed, voluminous tattoos you can find today and with almost 90k Instagram followers, it’s not hard to see why. The colors she creates jump off the skin and give the impression that you are looking through an illustration book rather than someone’s tattoo. Esther Garcia’s work posses a really beautiful draftsman like quality infused with surrealist imagery.

All of Black Oak’s artists alone are worth a follow on Instagram, but collectively they make up one of the strongest shops in the industry today.

Charline Bataille, Montreal

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something lil 🌹

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Charline Bataille is quickly becoming the queer tattoo darling of the Canadian scene. Tattooing at Minuit Dix Tattoo in Montreal, Bataille has been inking her way to the top over the last several years. Minuit Dix Tattoo also advertises itself as being a “queer safe space” according to the website and makes an effort to be open to all people. With over 98k followers, Batallie’s bright, realistic, often comical, and illustrative tattoos have gotten a lot of attention from people across the globe. From a black-and-grey, eerily realistic Prince portrait to cute and kitschy animals, Bataille caters to a wide variety of interests with ease and humor to boot.

Stephanie Tamez, Saved Tattoo, Brooklyn, NY

Co-owner of NYC’s famed Saved Tattoo, Stephanie Tamez has been making a name for herself in the industry for the last two decades. With an arts background and nearly 20 years of tattooing under her belt, this badass tattooer has also taught courses at the School of Visual Arts. Tamez’s intricate detailed designs span subject matter and the imagination from what she can lay down on someone’s skin. She is truly a master tattooer and can seamlessly create anything any could ever want! And with stints at the now defunked Adorned as well as prestigious shops on the West Coast, Tamez has also consulted for various museum exhibitions in the last 5 years about tattoo history.

Stephanie Higgins, Union Tattoo, Wellington, NZ


Working predominantly in black and grey, New Zealand tattooer Stephanie Higgins has a light touch that packs a lot of punch. Her bold designs, delicate line work, and detailed images of birds, butterflies, portraits and more are gorgeous, intricate and thorough. She creates pieces that require you to keep looking to take in everything she’s been able to create within a tattoo.

Francisca Silva, New York City/ Switzerland

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Francisca Silva has been gaining attention over the last three years for their bold, poetic, and oddly Keith Haring-esque style of tattooing. Utilizing strong lines, sometimes, words, and other imagery Silva has a unique style. Silva’s designs have even recently been used as part of a collaboration with Love Your Mom in the form of hoodies and sweatshirts! With over 30k Instagram followers and they’re constantly testing the bounds of tattooing, this is one queer tattooer to be on the lookout for.

Related: Why Jes Valentine Is Creating Safe Spaces for Women

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