A number of high-profile female tattoo artists are leaving their marks on the world of body ink. (Illustration by Nymera Nicole, Academy of Art University)

If you feel like actually living those memes about getting a new piercing or tattoo instead of actually facing your mental issues, then you’ve come to the right place.

But seriously, if you’ve decided that it’s time to get some new ink for any reason (or maybe absolutely no reason at all), then why not support female artists while getting inked? To make your search for the perfect artist easier, here are a few insanely amazing female tattoo artists creating waves in the body art scene.

1. Emily Kaul

Emily Kaul’s self-titled website describes herself as a “tattooist, lover of nature, believer in magic,” and her tattoos reflect as much. A combination of splashes of watercolor, intricately drawn plants and beautiful animals, Kaul’s body art represent her definition of a meaningful tattoo. Kaul says, “Tattoos allow us to embody something beyond the physical, a symbolic representations of something much greater. It is up to the artist and the wearer to bring to life the marriage of those two, spirit and form.”

All of her tattoos are influenced by the beauty and flow of the natural world. The ink guru shares her art and her love for her clients on her Instagram page, @emily_kaul. A recent post from late December reads, “Foxglove and eclipse ~magic~ for Katie. Thank you so much, I am truly honored that you trusted me to make such a special piece for you.”

Not only does Kaul love her art and the influences of it, she extends that gratitude to her clients, who allow her to express it. With over 27,000 followers on Instagram, Kaul’s tattooing clientele is only growing and her books close very quickly after they open. If you’re down to make a trip to Portland for some new nature-inspired ink, be sure to check Kaul out and maybe she’ll share her magic with you.

2. Rita “Rit Kit” Zolotukhina 

Many tattoo artists and fans around the world already know Ukranian tattoo artist Rita Zolotukhina by her Instagram name, @rit.kit.tattoo. With over 635,000 followers, Zolotukhina’s popularity is for good reason.

Her love for nature caused her to look for a way to transfer the beauty of plants directly to skin. She started dipping live leaves and flowers in tattoo stencil ink, pressing these directly onto her customers’ bodies and then using the resulting shape as her blueprint to completing the tattoo. She uses her Instagram account to show just how identical the tattoos are to the original plant in addition to showing the process she goes through to get the desired result.

Zolotukhina’s passion for her art has customers bringing leaf cuttings to her from all over the globe so she can tattoo them forever onto their bodies. However, in addition to people coming to Zolotukhina, her fame also means that she is constantly traveling, looking for new plants and visions for her tattoos as she visits new places. Her Instagram bio always shares where she is, and it will often read something along the lines of “now in Bali.” She’s a busy creator, but hopefully someday you can get your favorite flower or leaf forever etched into your skin by her talented hand.

3. Pony Reinhardt

New York City-based tattoo artist Pony Reinhardt of Tenderfoot Studio is known for the way she intertwines geometry and the elements of the universe. Her tattoos are spectacular symphonies of plants, alchemy, space and animals, all of which are made from black lines and come together on the body to create a story.

Reinhardt has shown her artwork in the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art, and her various accolades include the U.S. Presidential Scholar of the Arts, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship and The National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts Silver Award. Her studio, known as Tenderfoot Studio, is a private appointment-only studio in Brooklyn that is woman and LGBTQ+ owned and welcomes all people from all backgrounds.

Reinhardt posts her work on her Instagram account, @freeorgy, for all 411,000+ of her followers to see. She also always includes detailed descriptions of what the tattoos consist of. In a piece from early December 2018, Reinhardt shared an image of one of her tattoo works with the description: “Red-crowned crane in the midst of the snow dance, on a nest lined with wool, intertwined with a sugar beet, with giant leopard moth and rhinoceros beetle.”

With the amount of effort she puts into her art, it’s easy to fall in love with Reinhardt’s ink. In case you’ve fallen too deeply in love but can’t make your way to Brooklyn to get a tattoo, Reinhardt also sells merchandise with her art printed onto it. Even if you can’t get a sleeve from Reinhardt, you can still wear one of hers.

4. Alice Carrier  

Alice Carrier is a tattoo artist and the owner of Love Bird Tattoo in Portland, Oregon. Her website presents Carrier and her work as “Born on the winter solstice, left handed, descended from Salem witches, her work is inspired by natural science, overgrown gardens, witchcraft, and herbalism.”

Carrier’s tattoos often portray large, richly colored flowers that seem to bloom from somewhere beneath the skin. However, other pieces consist of detailed small sprigs or larger-than-life sized insects, all of which indicate the range of Carrier’s talent.

With over 126,000 followers on her Instagram, @alicerules, Carrier’s books are always filling up. The best way to stay updated on when to snag an appointment is by following her Instagram story where she often shares what she’s doing throughout the day as well as new projects like tarot cards, her thoughts and some perspectives on the life around her. Whether you’re looking for a new tattoo or someone who’s simply in love with the world, Carrier is definitely the one you’re looking for.

5. Chrissy

Twenty-one-year-old Chrissy, known better by her online handle, @lunachrissy, is a Sydney-based apprentice tattoo artist who has gained popularity through her art, which has been shared online many times through different channels. Although her career as a tattoo artist is young, it’s off to an amazingly promising start.

As an apprentice at ATLNTS Studio in Sydney, Chrissy has been growing and expanding her portfolio. Her Instagram account follows her artistic journey, with posts that highlight her work so far, most of which are profound works that explore the dichotomy of red and black. Other tattoos show Chrissy’s work and expertise with stippling, a process that consists of creating patterns and images with the repetition of small dots.

Yet another source of inspiration for Chrissy comes from the works of Japanese Studio Ghibli, which is known for creating well-known movies such as “Spirited Away” and “Princess Mononoke.” Not only does Chrissy create tattoos inspired by Ghibli, she also plays music from the movies on her keyboard and guitar.

Beyond the art that she creates for and on others, Chrissy’s own tattoos are perhaps some of the most recognizable and entrancing. The ink covering her arms and lower collar is symmetrical and immaculate, a testament to Chrissy’s own work. Sure, old is gold, but lunachrissy is fresh, inventive and will have you feeling over the moon.

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