Tattoos are a common accessory these days. I use the word ‘accessory’ because our reasons for getting ink  is similar to why we wear jewellery – to represent our personality or if you’re sentimental, as reminders of something we don’t want to forget, and sometimes because it looks pretty.

Here are five artists around the Klang Valley, that tattoo enthusiasts or people searching for their first artist, should totally check out.

JULIAN OH
Instagram: @iamjulianoh
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iamjulianoh

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If you’re a scenester, the name should be familiar – he’s a pretty big deal. I personally enjoy the realism, water colour technics and graffiti marker strokes he uses for his tattoos. He has a pretty tight schedule and if you follow him on Instagram (which you should because he’s also a photographer), it’ll give you a glimpse of what I’m talking about. Check him out if you’re interested in getting coloured tattoos, and you enjoy modern art.

ALVIN
artofalvin.tumblr.com

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Finding an artist that specialises in portraits is a great task, but when I saw Alvin’s Freddy Kruger piece, my mind was blown. The detailing and shading is top notch, I’d be surprised if you weren’t a little impressed. If you aren’t a fan of cult movies, let’s divert our attention to the the dreamcatcher. I want to get one, just because the wolf is cute. I am shallow and I am proud. Check Alvin’s portfolio if you’re keen on old skool tattoos.

HISHIKO WOO
www.facebook.com/HishikoTattoo

Hishiko

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I discovered Hishiko when I was roaming around Sungei Wang two years ago, and immediately fell in love with her artwork. Specialising in conceptualization; Hishiko listens to your stories, then draws you a picture that represents it. Her principle is that she doesn’t replicate other artists’ work, she always puts her twist to it and makes it more personal for you. Check her out if you’ve been looking for just that.

LYNDA CHEAN
@pinktattoos
www.facebook.com/PinkTattoos

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Another popular name! Lynda is known for her meticulous attention to detail, and her love for owls. She’s great with text and can do just about any font that a computer can’t provide. Similar to Hishiko, she adds a personal touch to her sketches and is a magician with illustration. Many of her customers come out of the shop looking happier than usual (last picture). For more on Lynda, check out our 5 Mins with her.

TELWIN THONG
www.facebook.com/BloodyInkTattoo 

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Last but not least, another Sungei Wang gem, Telwin Thong. A lot of Bloody Ink customers go to Telwin for tribal design tattoos, but I think his style is versatile. Telwin looks slightly scary, but he’s not. He’s helpful, and tries his best to accommodate you and your tattoo needs.

With the prodigous skill and talent tattoo artists have, it’s without a doubt that they aren’t going to be cheap. Your tattoo is a lifetime investment, do you really want to be Scrooge McDuck for something that’s going to be on you, forever?  I didn’t think so either.

A few tips before I sign off:
#1. Communicate with your artist. If there’s something you don’t like, even if it’s just a little curve or shading, tell them. Remember, they’re FOREVER.
#2. Don’t be scared! A lot of times tattoo artists can look intimidating, but they’re the nicest and most friendliest people around. If they aren’t, you better run, son.
#3. Don’t bargain. This is what they do for a living; they need to eat too, so be kind.
#4. If you’re getting your first tattoo, bring something sweet to eat or drink. When your blood pressure is up, the pain isn’t all that much. (This is something my artist told me – I cannot guarantee that it’ll work for everyone).

More tattoo talk: Zoé gets inked

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Image credit: Julian Oh, Hishiko, Alvin, Bloody Ink, Pink Tattoos