Co-founder of Welcome Home, an all-female tattoo studio in Brooklyn, Tea Leigh eliminates the male gaze often present in the inking industry. Welcome Home also specializes in hand-poked rather than machine-made tattoos, giving it a second unique edge. Tea Leigh specializes in delicate designs, often motifs that draw from nature, and takes a therapeutic approach to her practice: “I help a lot of people reclaim their bodies from whatever they’ve been through, trauma or body dysmorphia… I’m just here to make you feel good about yourself. That’s all I care about. It’s a very intimate experience,” she told The Coveteur.
A graduate of Pratt, Parsons and Savannah College of Art & Design, Tamara Santibañez works primarily out of Saved Tattoo in Brooklyn. Her art, which spans a variety of mediums including drawing, installation and sculpture, is inspired by fetish, punk and Chicanx culture, probing the weight objects hold as symbols and cultural signifiers. She is also the founder of independent publishing house Discipline Press, a multimedia venture dedicated to sharing the narratives of marginalized peoples within subculture.
A pioneer of the watercolor tattoo movement, Amanda Wachob works on silk, canvas, fruit and of course, skin. Her work ventures into the abstract and eschews the typical black outline of traditional tattoos, a style that has garnered her both praise and criticism from fellow tattooers. “It was a very intentional act of rebellion and defiance against my industry to work that way,” she told The Coveteur. “There is a lot of group-think, and it’s actually very conservative.” Putting aside the negativity, Wachob’s unique style is a hit among most, as it’s nearly impossible to snag an appointment with her.
Photo: Lance Williams for LA Weekly
Also know as The Witch Doctor, Miryam Lumpini moved to Los Angeles from Sweden at only 21-years-old to pursue tattooing and illustration. Her vibrant, richly-colored work has garnered her a huge social media following, and she works with a group of four other women to manage her booming business. She boasts an impressive roster of clients including musicians Skrillex and Jhené Aiko.
Based in London and working out of Sang Bleu tattoo shop, Ruby Quilter specializes in intricate fine-line black and grey tattoos. One of her favorite motifs is the traditional long-stemmed rose, a tattoo she has perfected and that many of her fans request. Her style puts a delicate spin on the aggressive imagery, typically popular among tattooers working in the Traditional American style, that she favors including scorpions and broncos.