While some people shop for prices when looking to get ink, (shame on them,) others shop for artists. While there are countless stand-out artists in your relatively-local area, we are highlighting these 25 insanely talented Korean tattooists, each standing as their own reason to book your trip to Korea for your next tattoo session.
@tattooist_banul’s designs are whimsical and colorful. Featuring feminine designs like fairies, Disney characters, and flowers, Banul’s elegant pieces look almost like drawings with their soft and smooth lines.
@zihee_tattoo’s semi-surrealist style is experimental, and her diverse portfolio nails both blackwork designs and colorful creations.
3. Zi O
@handitrip, located in Busan, on South Korea’s southern tip, Zi O’s delicate designs are more than worth the trek.
@ziwha_tattooer is known for her intricate flowers, and her designs are the perfect mixture of intricacy and elegance. Ziwha’s tattoos are delicate, detailed, and rely on the subtle contrast between black ink and the skin. She hails from the Hongdae-based tattoo collective known as Reindeer Ink (that houses a small group of experienced artists who can all communicate in English.)
@Ildo_tattoo’s pieces are unique with his intricate lines and shading. He’s known for his darker characters, most notably his skull-faced figures. When he’s in Seoul, he works out of the Hongdae-based studio Lucent.
@ha._.ku Haku’s Japanese designs are unique and irresistable. With only 26 posts on Instagram, the tattooist has amassed more than 40k followers.
@hugotattooer’s thick, dark lines shows a more lighthearted side to blackwork. Having lived in the U.S for a few years before making a name in the Seoul tattooing scene, he also speaks fluent English and is well-travelled.
@tattooist_ziho puts the fine in fine art. This detail, oh god this detail.
@pitta_kmm makes traditional art look cool, by adding in an even cooler modern touch. Using the traditional Korean Obangsaek colors (black, white, blue, yellow, and red,) pitta creates striking artwork from simple swirly clouds to famous art pieces like “The Kiss.”
@tattooist_silo’s floral designs are blooming with beauty, and Silo’s work is an absolute Must Have.
11. Hong Dam
@ilwolhongdam’s elegant line work and detail-oriented designs replicate paintings. While Hong Dam also does skillful lettering and calligraphy tattoos, as well as wonderful watercolor florals and lifelike animals.
@tattooist_wonseok makes incredible watercolor pieces, and has (rightly) gained more than 72k followers on Instagram. Wonseok creates “splatter effect” and geometric shapes, while perfectly blending color.
13. Heo Woo Hyun
The tattooist behind his tag @woolovesyou, Heo Woo Hyun creates awe-inspiring quirky tattoos, with comedic characters like The Pink Panther, contorted to take the shape of hearts, pretzels, and skulls.
@tattooistsion in South Korea uses red in all the right places. From delicately beautiful Japanese fans, to feathery birds and flowers, we are all dying to get into this artist’s books. This artist can be reached at email@example.com
@oozy_tattoo’s signature style is a unique mixture of fine dots and lines. Also known as OOZY, Woojin Choi’s blackwork is absolutely killer.
Graffittoo Tattoo Studio’s tattoo artist, River, is making a name for himself with his unique minimalist designs. His portfolio mostly consists of flowers with a watercolor/woodcut feel to them, and manages to achieve impeccable detail while using vibrant colors.
@tattooist_ida is known for her ability to creatively transform ordinary designs into dainty, but jaw-droppingly beautiful pieces.
@tattooist_doy is another expert tiny tattooer, who creates incredibly clean work. From sharks teeth to knights on horseback, Doy dabbles into many subjects, turning them into his own.
@nandotattooer stands out from the large list of Seoul’s floral tattooists. Nando’s delicate geometric-meets-floral blackwork are feminine and fantastic.
@soltattoo is one of the most popular Korean tattooist for his realistic, as well as cartoonish, animal portraits. However, you’re in safe hands with a human portrait, as Sol can do it all.
While @tattoo_grain is masterful with his cover-up work, Grain’s original work is is mesmerizingly beautiful. While Grain adds colors thoughtfully, his black and grey work is perfection.
@seoeontattoo delivers adorable watercolor fill into her tiny designs black-line designs.
@ch.tattoo.ahn delivers adorable yet vintage-style pieces. Chaehwa’s signature style features squiggly lines instead of the usual over-sketched edges.
@nemo.tattoo’s tiny tattoos are packed with detail and are incredibly cute.
25. Tattooist Flower
@tattooist_flower favors the watercolor fill technique and only serves female clients. Making a name for herself with her beautiful floral tattoos, her eye for detail and color palette screams bright, even in her non-floral pieces.