A good tattoo artist?

tattoo photo illustrationChris asks via Twitter:

Hey @alloveralbany I am looking to get a second tattoo & looking for suggestions from people with positive experiences in the area...
Definitely interested to see where people have gone & if there is someone they trust!

We had a similar question a bunch of years ago. And things change. So it seemed like a good idea to open it up again.

Got a suggestion for Chris? Please share! And bonus points for a sentence or two about why you like that place.


Rich Van at Lark Street Tattoo does amazing work and he's a pleasure to be around (kinda important if you have to sit there for hours). Rich has done 4 of my 6 tattoos. T-Bone, also at Lark Street did a piece for me years ago as well.

I'm also a big fan of Lark Tattoo. Kara does my work and she's also fantastic. She's got a great eye for art, does amazing custom work and will take her time to make sure you get exactly what you want.

Don Demers - Full Effect Tattoo
No nonsense great work. Cannot say enough good things about him.

Tom from Tom Spaulding Tattoo on Central is great!

Dustin Horan from Dead Presidents Lounge. He is hands down one of the best tattoo artists in this area. They just moved their location to behind Bruegger's Bagels on Madison Ave.

http://www.deadpreztattoo.com/ on South Allen. Plenty of artists to suit any style and amazing shop overall.

Great idea to get a list like this!

There are so many tattoo places these days.

I'd think long and hard about what you want and make sure the artist has the credentials and experience to get you exactly what you want. Because, removing tattoos is no easy process. Laser devices can be some success but it takes a lot procedures -- sometimes 10+ sessions.

Prices can start at $400 for each session depending on the size of the tattoo and colors. You also have to wait between six and eight weeks between each appointment.

Also, the laser can’t remove all colors equally, so you may end up with a faded mess.

How do I know? It took 12 sessions and a year to
"remove" the tattoo from around my ankle. Several thousand dollars later, it's faded and it doesn't look 100% great. But it's a lot better than the tribal mess I got when I was 22.

Don't do it! This is a fad and you are young. When you are older
( by 6 months, 6 years, 10 years) you will have those tats (or scars) that you will always regret.

It has always seemed to me that wherever anyone went for their tattoo, they name that shop/artist as the best. I'm glad so many people are happy with their experience but it doesn't help much when looking for a place to go.

Nick at Miss Dixie's in Troy/Wynantskill. He's awesome. See?


Nick Reinert at Ms. Dixie's Tattoo & Pin Up Parlor in Troy is a fantastic artist who's easy to talk to and really knows what he's doing. He'll work with you to give you the best tattoo(s) you've ever gotten.

Some of his work is here: http://instagram.com/pixelsandpints

I love Lark Street tattoo, but I'd recommend looking at individual places and their Facebook pages. A lot of parlors have albums set up for individual artists, so you get really good feel for what they're capable of.

It really depends on what you're getting that should determine what artist you go to. A lot of the better artists in the area have certain styles that they excel at.

Third vote for Nick Reinert at Ms. Dixie's!

I love Dead Presidents lounge in Albany. I've gotten two tattoos there and love both of them!

Tattoo from Fantasy Island was always my favorite

Dan at Dead Presidents Lounge did an amazing job on my shoulder piece. All of the artists there are super friendly as well. No better choice in my book

I second Rebecca's comment. I go to Dustin at Dead President's, and I love his work. But, it's a good idea to first know what style tattoo you are looking for. Is Chris looking for Japanese style, new school, American traditional? That will determine what artist you look into. Then of course, you want to find a clean, professional shop and it is always nice if your artist is pleasant to be around and really listens to what you want. I will also say that I have much respect for an artist who will NOT do certain things. An artist may (should) give you input on where a design will look best, what colors may or may not work, etc. Good luck!

I have to jump on the Lark Tattoo train, specifically Rich. I went in with a fairly specific idea of what I wanted, but since I have zero artistic ability, the drawing was left to him. The tattoo wa s larger piece with a fair amount of detail and I could not have been more pleased with the outcome, the price, and the entire experience in general. Several of my friends have gone to him based on my recommendation and all have been happy with their tattoos as well.

I'm partial to T-Bone at lark tattoo - he's been doing work for over 20 years and when you have that much experience you know what you're doing!! But I've also seen plenty of phenomenal work from very talented artists at Lark Street Tattoo and Impulse Tattoo in Glenmont. I would agree with the commenter who said USE FACEBOOK and do some research! Most shops have portfolios of their artist's work, and when you see a style you want, look for an artist who specializes in it. Also, totally ignore Bob's comment, tattoos are no longer something people do that they'll regret in 10 years - they're special to the person who is getting one for a variety of reasons, and opinions like his are like a**holes...
Good luck!

I actually have to jump in and say I did not love my experience at Lark. (Some reference: I have gotten two tattoos at Lark and six elsewhere.)

I went to Lark for my first tattoo with them and the artist who took me on ended up not being comfortable with drawing or tattooing what I wanted. Which is fine, and I really respect that he was upfront about it. He suggested another artist at Lark. My issue is that I waste probably two hours sitting around with him the day I was coming to get it/look at the drawing.

Once I got my tattoo from another artist, I loved it. It was perfect, the artist did a great job and it healed well (still looks good years later). So I went to this artist a second time to get another tattoo retouched and the experience was not good. I think, in retrospect, that the artist did not like the tattoo I had and didn't want to do the work, but took the job for the money. He "fixed" aesthetic aspects in the tattoo that were personally unappealing to him, which made the tattoo look worse than it did when I walked in.

I really wish the artist had just said, Look, I don't feel comfortable doing this work, and sent me along my way, because I wasted time, money, and pain (this was a pretty big tattoo.)

So overall, yeah, I got one good tattoo out of them, and that's great, but I felt like the service left something to be desired (in both the first and second tattoo) and I am really unhappy with how they handled my second tattoo there.

I would agree with everyone that is saying figure out the style tattoo you are looking for and then search for the artist in the area that specializes in that style.

I personally had a great experience with Josh (not me) at Modern Body Art new the TU center in Albany. He specializes in Gore type tattoos and did a great job on my arm. I went with to him with an idea and he came back with something that was above and beyond my expectations. The price was right, the experience was great, and the outcome was phenomenal.

Good luck.

My husband and I go to Richie at Lark Tattoo, and highly recommend him to everyone who will listen. In my opinion, he's the best if you are looking for realistic / portrait work!


Everyone is right! Except for Tom Spaulding guy! I mean really?

It depends what you want.....Everyone at Dead Prez is nice, but they have their specialties. Dustin is my dude. You want your torso done, full leg, full back.. He is your dude.

Richie Van lark Street, equally nice..

Don Demers and his son Matt they both bring it... Cant go wrong with any of these guys.....

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