1The tattoo artist who lost an arm and now uses a prosthetic to ink his clients
JC Sheitan Tenet lost his arm when he was just a child. You'd think his dream of being a tattoo artist was dead—and you'd be wrong.
Since he was right-handed, he not only had to learn how to perform tasks with one hand but with his non-dominant hand. JC didn't allow the setback to stop him from pursuing a life as an artist. He taught himself how to draw and then progressed to tattooing.
In 2016, he acquired a badass prosthetic arm that doubles as a tattoo machine. JC partnered with Gonzal (Jean-Louis Gonzalez), a fellow artist and engineer, to make the first prototype.
2The 12-year-old tattoo artist from Panama
Most teens like to keep their hands busy with video game controllers, smartphones, or tablets—not Ezrah Dormon. This 12-year-old is already a popular tattoo artist.
Tattoo parlors are usually off-limits to kids but walk into the Honolulu tattoo shop in Panama City, and you may see a cute long-haired kid painstakingly working on a client's tattoo or honing his inking skills on a grapefruit. His name is Ezrah, and he is already one of the most in-demand artists in around. His career as a tattoo artist began while watching Honolulu owner Ali Garcia ink a flower onto his mother's hand.
3The world's oldest tattoo artist
Whang-od Oggay, the last mambabatok tattoo artist in the Philippines, is 100 and the recipient of a National Treasures Award from the government for her work. She is the oldest, and possibly last, practitioner of the "batok" style of tattooing. Her hometown of Buscalan is now a popular tourist destination for those who wish to receive some historically significant body art.
Whang-od's technique for tattooing people dates back over a thousand years and is relatively painful compared to the more modern ways of tattooing. The style uses ink composed of charcoal and water and is tapped into the skin via the thorn end of a pomelo or calamansi tree.
4The tattoo artist who specializes in ugly tattoos
26-year-old Helena Fernandes likes to draw, but she is not particularly good at it. But did that small detail stop her from opening a tattoo shop? Of course not! If anything, her poor drawing skills contributed to her success.
Helen did her first tattoo about a year ago when she inked her boyfriend for fun. Apparently, their friends found her work appealing, because it was natural and different, and some of them asked her to work her magic on them as well. She started working as a professional tattoo artist just a few months ago, inking people at a studio she set up at her home.
The vast majority of her clients sought her out specifically for her unique style. She just draws things on a piece of paper, and regardless of how they turn out, then inks them onto the client's skin. There are no retries or no touch-ups—just childish doodling that becomes a permanent tattoo.
5The man who tattoos with his feet
Brian Tagalog was born without arms and, despite that limitation, he became a professional tattoo artist. His shop, which he calls Tattoos by Foot, is located in Tucson, Arizona. It's an appropriate name because he does everything with his feet—from gloving up, lining up stencils and loading his tattoo needle, to inking perfect designs on his clients.
6The controversial artist who tattoo clients for free if they agree not to look
Scott Campbell, a tattoo artist, based in Williamsburg, has created the ultimate test of trust in his work—he offers free tattoos as long as he gets to choose the design and not reveal it until it's done. The trust people place in him when they stick their hands through the wall for a free tattoo isn't unfounded. Campbell has tattooed celebs like Marc Jacobs, Orlando Bloom, and Penelope Cruz. Nonetheless, he thanks each person for their trust in him and his art.
7The world's youngest tattoo artist
If you think Ezrah is too young to be doing tattoos, wait until you meet Ruby. She is only four years old, but she is already making her mark in the world—with tattoos.
The "ink-credible" Welsh toddler may be the world's youngest tattoo artist, according to published reports. At an age when most kids only think about playground swings, Ruby takes tattoo lessons after nursery school. She also practices with a toy kit in her father's tattoo shop and, according to him, Ruby is nearly able to draw a complete version of her favorite design, a spider.