Top 5 Influencers to Follow in the Tattoo Community

Elissa Mae
9 min readJun 1, 2019

Within recent years tattoos have become increasingly visible throughout American media. So what are they? Fashion statements? Cultural Representations? Decorations? Meaningful pieces of art? The truth is, all of those are absolutely correct. Tattoos are and mean whatever you want them to. This idea of tattoos being whatever you want them to be has exploded throughout media, while tattoos have been intertwined in American culture for centuries we started to see a slow and steady introduction of tattoo based shows and artists pop-up online and television.

One outlet that started to introduce tattooing to television was Ink Masters. Ink Masters aired on January 17, 2012 and has had a total of 153 episodes since. So after all this and the rise of social media like Instagram and Facebook, you see new tattoo artists every day it can be overwhelming to narrow down who exactly you want to follow and maybe even receive a tattoo from.

So… if you want to find some artists but are overwhelmed what now?

No need to worry! We’ve prepared a list of the 5 most influential tattoo artists to follow. While not all of these tattoos artists are well known in the community, they are all growing at an incredibly fast rate.

Without further ado… let's jump start into it.

Ryan Ashley Malarkey

Inked Magazine Ryan Ashley

Ryan Ashley Malarkey is a well known female tattoo artist that has been on not only Ink Master Television show, but is also a frequent on the Inked Youtube page, and has been on the cover of Inked magazine. Malarkey often shares her experience with being a women in the tattoo community and also gives advice to newcomers hoping to make it big. Malarkey does the majority of her work in black and grey realism. What makes Malarkey’s work stand out is the detail that she puts into each of her tattoos. You may also notice that a lot of her tattoos include jewels, beadwork, and lace work.

Growing up in Dallas, Pennsylvania Malarkey learned all about art and drawing from her mom. Like most tattoo artists Malarkey did not start out tattooing right off the bat. After leaving her job in New York Malarkey came back to Pennsylvania to pursue a career in tattooing.

Instagram @ryanashleymalarkey

So you may be wondering, why is she on this list? Well, Malarkey has a very unique style that cannot be found anywhere else. Malarkey mentions to multiple outlets that she bases a lot of her tattooing on victorian furniture and fashion. Malarkey is also a notable role model for women making their own tattooing career. Malarkey not only is she a full-time successful tattoo artist, but she also owns a merch business with her boyfriend bringing her net worth to $2 million.

Instagram @ryanashleymalarkey
Inked Tattoo Youtube

If you want to learn more about Ryan Ashley Malarkey visit her site at , find her on instagram @ryanashleymalarkey, or see her videos on Inked Magazines Youtube!

Monikka Velvet

Instagram @monikkavelvet

The next tattoos artist on the list is Monikka Velvet. Velvet is a New York based artist that specializes in fineline, black and gray, and micro tattoos. Velvet has also been on Inked Magazine and the Inked Youtube channel. Velvet may be a smaller tattoo artist but she is making great strides and an LGBTQ tattoo artist of color. Velvet is currently at Red Baron Tattoo working in a team of five but often travels as a tattoo artist, she currently has a trip scheduled for Miami from July 2nd-9th.

Instagram @monikkavelvet

Some of Monikka Velvet’s best tattoos consist of fine lined tattooed animals. While these are tattoos that we see a lot from Velvet she has also done very vibrant watercolor tattoos and shows a variety of different tattoos styles on her instagram.

Inked Tattoo Youtube

The best way to contact Velvet is by email at While Velvet does not have her own website she does have a very expansive instagram that showcases her artwork. You can find her on instagram @monikkavelvet.

Mike Randazzo

Facebook Mike Randazzo Tattoos

The next tattoo artist on the list is Mike Randazzo. Randazzo is based in Orlando, Florida and has a very specialized style. Randazzo specializes in only Anime themed tattoos. All of Randazzo’s tattoos are vibrant in color and are so big that they usually have to be done on an arm or a leg. Randazzo has a huge following and uses his platform to show the artistic form of anime.


Randazzo’s platform is special because he can use it to unite anime fans across the nation. Many anime instagram accounts constantly repost his tattoos as they are all greatly executed and are all characters that we know and love. One anime that we see frequently from Randazzo is Naruto. Many of Randazzo’s fans have started following after they see his many tattoos on the Naruto Anime.

Randazzo also sometimes makes merch and shoes that uses his pervious tattoos as designs. Randazzo’s merch site is not open currently but he has expressed interest in opening it again when he has time.

Instagram @mikendazzoart

Randazzo’s books are currently closed because of the rush of clientele. Fear not Randazzo has an instagram full of current tattoos and also a list of the ones that he wishes to do in the future. Make sure to keep an eye out for when his books finally open! Randazzo’s Instagram is @mikendazzoart and his Twitter is @Mikendazzoart. You can contact him at for potential bookings.

Michela Bottin

Scene360 Michela Bottin Interview

Michela Bottin is a tattoo artist from Italy that moved from Italy to come tattoo in New York. Before moving to New York Bottin has been traveling to many places in Europe and the United States to tattoo. Bottin has been chosen as one of our influencers because she is not only a great tattoo artist but her body has a very unique story in how it was tattooed. Bottin used to have a full body of tattoos that she ended getting blacked over by the Brutal Black Project. A little background on this project is that it was started by two artists for the purpose of blacking out people’s bodies. The tattoo artists have full control over over what they tattoo and how they tattoo it. While the Brutal Black Project definitely deserves an article of it’s own, we will not go into it much further in this article. If you would like to learn more, please click here on The Brutal Black Project.

Bottin herself is an artist that specializes in cartoons and anime style. UNlike the previous tattoo artists Bottin loves Disney and has done multiple Disney tattoos with her own spin on them.

Instagram @michelabottin

Bottin has not only done cutesy tattoos of anime characters but has also done big full length tattoos that cover big parts of your body. Bottin mentions in her interview that she absolutely loves these types of tattoos because you have to really love and connect to an anime/disney character in order to get it tattooed.

Instagram @michelabottin

Bottin also has her own shop where she sells prints of her work, so even if you are a fan of tattoos but aren’t yet ready to get your own, get her prints!

Bottin has also been on Inked Magazine’s Youtube Channels to share her ideas on tattoos and dos and don’ts when it comes to getting tattooed.

If you are wondering at this point why we picked Bottin , it is because she not only very open about her own tattoos and body modifications but she is very openly supportive about all types of tattoos. Bottin also shares her story about growing up in rural Europe and it has affected her tattoo journey and self expression.

If you want to contact Bottin she accepts emails at You can also follow her instagram @michelabottin and personal instagram @bottinmichela.

Frankie Sexton

Frankie Sexton Facebook Page

Another up and coming tattoo artist is actually based in Singapore. Frankie Sexton also specializes in anime and gory tattoos, but his style is widely different than the previous two tattoo artists. Sexton doesn’t do color tattoos and most of his tattoos contain a lot of fine linework. Sexton is heavily influenced by Junji Ito. Much to his clients and instagram followers happiness, Sexton posts many of the tattoo’s that he is interested in doing on his instagram story. Sexton aslo invites anyone to share a tattoo idea with him especially is it involves some type of Juni Ito influence or any gore.

Instagram @frankisexton

Besides Junji Ito’s influence Sexton also has a huge collection of his own art that he uses for his tattoos. One extraordinary thing about Sexton is that all of his tattoos are widely different from each other and add their own story to his instagram page.

Instagram @frankiesexton

Sexton is undoubtedly one of the best tattoo artists in his field and you can see that all through out his instagram and Facebook profiles. Sexton has taken apart in a limited edition with the Culture Cartel, you can see the short Youtube video below.

Culture Cartel Youtube

As our last artist we would like to mention the Sexton is helping bridge the gap between cultures and tattoos. Sexton accepts clients from all around the world and is a good model on how great tattoo artists are not just limited to their own country.

If interested in Frankie Sexton’s work be prepared to travel! You may contact him on Instagram @frankiesexton, or on his facebook page Frankie Sexton.

So… now that you have seen what we chose as the most influential what about you? Feel free to share who you think is a new and upcoming tattoo artist and how they are shaping the community for the better.