When the parents of Bulldog Tattoo SF's artist told him to wait until he was 18 until he got another tattoo—they found out he had been lying about his age and getting inked since he was 14—there's a chance they thought he'd grow out of it. More than 20 years later, that's clearly not the case; his passion for the inked arts grew so vast that he found his way to the other end of the needle. Inside of his clean and sterilized parlor, the artist doles out a wide range of tattoo styles—from his favored traditional tribal artwork from exotic locales such as Borneo, French Polynesia, and the basement at Macy's to celtic knots and colored portraits. His versatility and skill, which can be viewed in his portfolio, can meet many requests, from black and gray designs to heavily colored artwork.
Cyclops Tattoo, in the very heart of San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood, is worth every penny of their $120/hour rate. After all, it’s not advised to skimp on something so permanent. The small two-person team of artists on staff at Cyclops are exactly that: artists. They’re painters, to be precise, and their friendly attitude and colorful demeanor creates a rich, entertaining experience, which makes getting your first ink job done a little easier to handle. The simple second-story studio should also put newbies at ease, with bright colors and lots of knick knacks on the walls to draw your attention away from the work at hand. No dark alleys or dirt-cheap work being done here, just quality tattoos from two Mission locals with a background in fine arts.
Founded in 1991, Diamond Club Tattoo specializes in traditional Japanese tattooing, but can handle any stylistic request if desired. With an eclectic venue and a multi-cultural staff, guests will find a range of experiences to take advantage of when aiming for a custom tattoo design. View the many pieces of artwork on the walls of Diamond Club Tattoo for inspiration. Junii, Bill, Kevin and Dr. Claw are the tattoo artists at Diamond Club and are happy to answer any and all questions as well as provide guests with an exceptional and friendly experience. The shop is open Tuesday through Sunday, and guests are welcome to email or call with any inquiries. Visitors are welcome to a consultation with one of the staff; appointments and walk-ins are accepted.
Shannon Archuleta Tattoo is much more than just a late-night, neon-signed parlor for anyone looking to ink up and move on. Housed within the arts collective Activspace on a quiet block in the Mission, Archuleta’s small studio is replete with detailed examples of her work, showcasing a seriously impressive versatility across styles and themes. Whether it’s a design honoring a cultural heritage or an example of visually witty Pop-Art whimsy, Archuleta will emphasize perfection, without reducing sensitive tattoo-getters to tears with painful, indelicate handiwork. Of course, this being a happy collective of soulful artists that share space with Archuleta’s studio, there’s always the stuffed Ouchy Otter to squeeze if a tinge of pain does come up.
Cesar Chavez Street has gotten a thorough renovation, but its mort artfully grungy spots remain. Less a standard tattoo parlor than an arts collective that happens to do tattoos, Skull and Sword is the place for sick sleeve tats, eye-poppingly massive designs and the types of corporeal adornments found on bikers, bassists and badasses. You don't walk in here on a whim, hoping to get a butterfly on your ankle. A tough-to-find spot that can be even tougher when it comes to booking an appointment, this unfailingly professional environment is as serious as a research lab for the future of body modification. Skull & Sword isn't for people who like art; It's for people who want to be art.
Whether for medical reasons or worries over aging, everyone’s skin needs a touch-up every now and then. For ten years, permanent makeup all-stars JuvEssentials has been restoring dignity to people afflicted with alopecia and scarring, and helping women feel beautiful. The soft whites and light woods of the salon help clients feel at home and at ease when entering, and that feeling continues throughout the process. The Lower Nob Hill beauty sanctuary’s expertise with cosmetic tattoos and natural-looking skin enhancements has earned them a devoted client base of confident women who know JuvEssentials emphasis on after-care separates them from lesser practitioners.