Arts·Hi, Art

9 Canadian tattoo artists you've got to check out

Some of them may or may not have inked our crew. That and more in this week's newsletter.

Some of them may or may not have inked our crew. That and more in this week's newsletter

Tattoo by Montreal's David Peyote, one of the team's must-follow Canadian tattoo artists. (Facebook/David Peyote Tattoo)

Hello! You're reading the CBC Arts newsletter, and if you like what you see, stick around! Sign up here, and every Sunday we'll send you a fresh email packed with art, culture and a metric truckload of eye candy, hand-picked by our small and mighty team. Here's what we've been talking about this week.

Hi, art lovers!

About this time last week, while endlessly scrolling through our Instagram feed, we noticed something weirder than all the baby pictures and blurry posts of brunch platters.

We follow a lot of artists on Instagram, and while it was probably some fluke of the algorithm, artist after artist was posting photos of tattoos. Not tattoos they'd done, mind you, but snapshots they'd reposted from fans who'd gone and inked themselves with designs based on their favourite paintings and drawings.

That's why we got to work on this guide. It's a pretty comprehensive list of tips for folks interested in getting a tattoo based on a work of art.

Turns out it's a touchy subject. Depending on who you talk to, even asking a tattoo artist to copy something can be an insult. So, after interviewing several artists and tattooists from around the country, we compiled some advice. Follow it and nobody gets hurt. Well, except for the actual tattooing part. That'll definitely sting a bit.

Would you ever get a tattoo based on a work of art? Or maybe you already have one (or three dozen)? As of 2012, two in 10 Canadians had a tattoo, and in the CBC Arts office, that number is just a smidge higher — though we'll admit that none of us realized that July 17 was actually National Tattoo Day. Other outlets were a bit more clued in, so there's a glut of recent eye candy (skin candy?) listicles out there. The New York Times, for instance, ran a story this week that names the nine best places in the States to get a tattoo.

And because you definitely don't need to cross the border to find some stellar tattoo artists, our producers think you should know about some must-follow Canadian talent — some of whom may or may not have tattooed certain members of the team.

Here's 9 to get you started.


David Peyote (@thedavidcote) – Montreal


Tammy Kim (@tammykimtattoo) – Toronto


Marigold Santos (@marigoldasantos) – Montreal/Calgary


Tiff Lee (@tiffleetattoo) – Toronto


Michael George Pecherle (@mgptattoos) – Toronto


Charline Bataille (@charlinebataille) – Montreal


Yi Stropky (@chinatown_stropky) – Vancouver

Maybe you remember him (and his amazing brows) from this CBC Arts short doc...


Lindsay April (@lindsayapriltattoo) – Toronto


Curt Montgomery (@curtmontgomerytattoos) – Toronto

I He(art) my City

Getting emails from readers is one of our favourite things, and your local arts and culture tips keep rolling in. This week, say "hi" to Wendy Tippin, from St. Thomas, Ont., a burg just outside of London that's probably best known as Rachel McAdams's hometown. But it's also home to Wendy's must-see sights. After taking a drive around the city "through the eyes of a tourist," she sent us these tips. Thanks, Wendy!

What's the most magical spot in your hometown?

"I love the statue of Jumbo the Elephant located at the west entrance to the city. The other magical spot is the Elevated Park which is a work in progress. When completed it will be the first elevated park in Canada. So far, there are a number of unique sculptures on the bridge."

Who's your favourite local artist?

"My favourite local artist is the late Clark McDougall. He painted many pieces of local venues."

What's the best place to see art?

"The best place to see art is at the St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre located on Talbot Street in St. Thomas. Also there is an event in February called the Arts Crawl which has artists located at various venues around the city highlighting the many talented artists in the area — one of which is my daughter Katelyn, who also works at the Art Centre."

What's going on in your hometown?

Answer the questions above and send us an email. All summer, we'll be featuring readers' tips in Hi, Art as a companion to our travel series, I He(art) My City. (The latest stop? Edmonton!) You could be next.

You've got to see this

(CBC Arts)

You've never seen Toronto like this - Join Camille Turner and a squad of Afrofuturist tour guides as they go on a walk through downtown Toronto. The streets have a history of slavery, and Turner's art aims to make sure Canada reckons with it. Powerful stuff — especially if you know the Queen West area. Just watch.

(CBC Arts)

Ballet is brutal - Let a dancer from the National Ballet show you how to break in a fresh pair of pointe shoes. Warning: this video is not for the faint of heart. (Even the digital producer who published it is still recovering from all the carnage.)

(Sandra Chevrier)

What do you see in these portraits of superwomen? - Strong or fragile? Fans of Sandra Chevrier often find an empowering message in paintings like this one, and that came as a surprise to the artist. We visited her in Montreal, while she finished an epic new project for the city's MURAL Festival.

Follow this artist

Alex Garant (@alexgarantart) - We first met Alex back in 2016, when she shared the story of how a heart attack at age 30 changed her life. Beyond being an incredible pop surrealist painter, she's one of the experts who dished on tattoo etiquette this week.


Got questions? Story tips? Photos of your sick new ankle tattoo?

We're always around. Hit us up over email and we'll do our best to get back to you.

And if someone forwarded you this message, and you like what you've read, here's where to subscribe for more.

Until next time!


Sign up here and Hi, Art will arrive in your inbox every Sunday!


Leah Collins

Senior Writer

Since 2015, Leah Collins has been senior writer at CBC Arts, covering Canadian visual art and digital culture in addition to producing CBC Arts’ weekly newsletter (Hi, Art!), which was nominated for a Digital Publishing Award in 2021. A graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University's journalism school (formerly Ryerson), Leah covered music and celebrity for Postmedia before arriving at CBC.


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