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13 Amazing Tattoo Artists Inspired By Tradition

Tradition is strong. That's why Sailor Jerry is taking a look at some awesome tattoo artists who've kept with the old school tradition. Not to mention determination, perseverance and passion. Take a look at how these talented artists made it to the top!

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Danielle Distefano (Only You Tattoo - Atlanta, GA)

Danielle has defied the odds in a male dominated industry. Being fascinated by tattoos since childhood, she has achieved her goal as a class act artist. Now Danielle has been tattooing for over four years, and currently works at Dare Devil Tattoo on the Lower East Side.

Corey Summers (Saint Tattoo - Knoxville, Tennessee)

Corey takes great pride on his strong and clean style of tattooing. It all began back in 2000, when he started an apprenticeship at Saint Tattoo in Knoxville, Tennessee. It was then that he realized he had found his true passion.

Nick Rodin (True Tattoo - Hollywood, California)

It’s no stretch to say that Nick Rodin’s journey in tattooing has been from the ground up. Right out of high school, he mopped floors at a local tattoo shop for only 20 dollars a day. Two years later, he landed his first apprenticeship and the rest is history. As a tried-and-true tattoo artist, Nick believes in working hard, learning as much as you can and keeping the tradition of old school tattooing alive.

Jeremy Riley ( Funhouse Tattoo - Canada)

Sailor Jerry's designs helped him learn the basics; then he just started drawing outside the box. Jeremy thinks that ultimately finding your own way of expressing yourself, is the only way to succeed. Obviously worked big time!

Andre "Dre" Perales

Having spent many years on the road, Dre’s tattoo style is directly influenced by his show experience. He believes that "Tattooing is complete with aficionados, rivalries, heroes, martyrs and villains. It's living and the people you meet are the art."

Michelle Myles (Michelle co-owner of Fun City Tattoo, East Village and Dare Devil Tattoo, Lower East Side)

Originally from St Louis, Michelle moved to New York City in 1989 and started tattooing in 1991. Michelle is one of the most well-known female tattoo artists and co-owns Fun City Tattoo, which is the oldest tattoo shop in NYC. As an old school tattoo enthusiast, she specializes in traditional tattoos like pin-up girls and swallows.

Sawdust (Tried & True Tattoo - Arroyo Grande, CA)

Sawdust first became interested in tattooing in '92. But instead of doing an apprenticeship like most, he ended up teaching himself the ropes. He began professionally tattooing in 2003 and opened up his own shop by 2004. Sawdust prides himself on his Modern American Traditional and Japanese style art.

Scott Campbell (Saved Tattoo - Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

Scott Campbell was two-and-a-half years into becoming a biochemist when he realized it was not what he wanted. After briefly working in pharmaceuticals, he dropped out of school and ran away to California. It was the freedom to travel that drew Scott to tattooing and eventually led him to open his own shop in Williamsburg, BK.

PJ Ferrante (Energy Tattoo - Santa Barbara, CA)

Along with his passion for tattooing, PJ also has a love for helping others. And while learning the trade, PJ worked a separate full-time job assisting people who had been injured and were now living with severe brain trauma.

Henry Lewis (Everlasting Tattoo - San Francisco, CA)

Henry's a bit of a legend in the tattoo world. It all started when he moved to San Francisco to pursue a career in tattooing, illustration and painting. Since then, he's worked on many collaborative projects as well as shown his work at many galleries all over the country. Henry is currently a featured tattoo artist as the world-renowned tattoo studio, Everlasting Tattoo.

Alex McWatt (Three Kings Tattoo - Brooklyn NY)

For tattoo artist Alex McWatt, the fascination with art started at an early age. Growing up, Alex was scribbling on every surface he could get his hands on. By 1999, he had scored an apprenticeship at Fly Rite Studios in Brooklyn, where he spent two years learning the trade. Today, McWatt's work is reminiscent of the old-school Sailor Jerry style of tattooing. And along with owning his own shop, Three Kings Tattoo in Brooklyn, you can also find his work on skateboards, t-shirts and the walls of many art galleries.