Featured Norfolk/Virginia Beach Artists
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Here are some of the best Norfolk tattoo artists and shops according to our research. If you think we should add anyone to the list or if you see anything that should be edited, contact us by clicking here
Tattoo Styles: Realism, Portrait, Custom
Tattoo Profile: We have very talented artists working here, and between them they can certainly cover all of your tattooing needs! Our team is fully equipped to tattoo any style you could ever want, and execute it beautifully. We are also one of the last remaining true street shops, meaning we do take walk-ins every day, as well as take appointments.
Fuzion Ink Tattoo
Tattoo Profile: Established in 2007, Fuzion Ink Tattoo & Body Piercing Studio is one of the top award winning studios in the Hampton Roads area and the first to operate legally in the City of Norfolk in over 55 years! With a refreshingly unique atmosphere, our first-class studio is unrivaled in style and quality. With over 4,000 sqft of creative space, the first-time collector or the long-time enthusiast can appreciate this professional and clean upscale environment.
Ocean Mystique’s Ink Gallery
Tattoo Profile: Premier Body Piercing and Tattooing in the gateway to Ghent. Custom tattoos, flash, & cover-ups.
Red 5 Tattoo
Tattoo Profile: Red 5 is a tattoo studio located in the heart of Virginia Beach, VA and Hampton Roads. Award winning artists for every style of tattooing.
Tattoo Profile: A premier tattoo studio in Hampton Roads where each customer is offered a unique experience, simply due to the interaction between the artist and the customer.
World Famous BHS Ink
Tattoo Profile: Our goal is to provide a high quality service in a safe, sterile, and comfortable environment for anyone wanting to get a new tatto or piercing.
Otzi Tattoo Agency
Tattoo Profile: Otzi Tattoo Agency is a custom tattoo parlor that is located in the Chelsea Business District, West Ghent Norfolk Virginia. We specialize in custom tattoos. Visit our shop if you are interested in body art from one of our artists.
The Independence Tattoo
Tattoo Profile: Virginia Beaches newest tattoo parlor. Over 50 years of combined artist experience specializing in classic, bold, tattoos that last a lifetime!
One tattoo shop in Norfolk that most locals have heard of is Ocean Mystique’s Norfolk Ink Gallery, which employs some of the highest-rated artists in the area. This is a large and open studio, so you won’t get claustrophobic while getting a tattoo here like you will in some of the other tattoo shops in Norfolk. On top of all of that, they are also known for offering some of the best prices around, so it’s not surprising that many people in the area think this is the best tattoo studio around.
If you live in or visit the Norfolk area, you will see that there are quite a few top notch tattoo shops to choose from, and one of those might be a better fit for you than Ocean Mystique’s Norfolk Ink Gallery. You can start off by going to some of the top tattoo shops’ websites to get a feel for what they offer, but in the end you’ll get the best information and be able to make the best decision if you actually visit some of the shops you’re most interested in. You’ll want to make sure that the shop is clean and that you are comfortable with the overall vibe in the building. Taking these extra steps will greatly increase your chances of having a great tattooing experience in Norfolk and coming away with the tattoo that you wanted.
There are also quite a few great tattoo artists in the Norfolk area. Some of the most well-known artists include Shannon Stoner, Dave Lukeson, Chris Garcia, AJ Gavin, Taylor Morrison, and Gabriel Cece, among others. Most people would be very happy working with any of the artists mentioned here, but the truth is that you might find that a new artist actually has the type of style you’re looking for. Just like with tattoo shops, you shouldn’t necessarily pick your artist just because they are a bit more popular than other Norfolk artists. That’s why we always recommend looking through a lot of tattoo artists’ portfolios since you want to be sure that you find someone who can do an excellent job on your specific design.
Norfolk may not be the most talked about city in the country or even the state, but most locals are often very proud of their city and sometimes show it through their ink. Some of the Norfolk tattoos that people will sometimes get include ship or shipyard tattoos (Norfolk had the first shipyard after all), Navy tattoos, Old Dominion University tattoos, and beach tattoos, among many others. If you are thinking about getting a Norfolk tattoo so you can show your pride in your city but you are having a hard time picking just one element, you might find that mixing in two or more Norfolk designs into one larger design does the trick. What’s great is that most of the tattoos artists in the Norfolk area have a lot of experience making these types of designs, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding one that can make a great tattoo for you.
History of Norfolk
Sir George Yeardley was the Governor of the Virginia colony and incorporated four jurisdictions in 1619 and dubbed them ‘citties’ so the colony could develop. What this did was create the basis for colonial representative government in the new House of Burgesses. The Elizabeth Cittie incorporation is what created what we know as Norfolk.
King Charles I reorganized the colony into an arrangement of shires in 1619. What used to be known as Elizabeth Cittie had now become Elizabeth City Shire. Adam Thoroughgood was granted a gib land holding through the system of head rights after persuading 105 people to come to the colony and settle. This happened in 1636 and his property would lie along the Lynnhaven River.
After the portion of the shire called South Hampton Roads was separated, Thoroughgood recommended suggested a name for the newly created New Norfolk County and it was after his place of birth. It was divided into two different counties over a year later. These two counties were Lower Norfolk and Upper Norfolk, and this was done mainly on the suggestion of Thoroughgood. The area we are talking became the place of men of the Virginia Company of London and also became well known as being the hub of entrepreneurs.
In the late 17th century, Norfolk had developed as a “Half Moone” fort. It was built on 50 acres of land that was attained by trading 10,000 pounds of tobacco to the Powhatan Confederacy (the local natives). The “Towne of Lower Norfolk County” was founded in 1680 by the House of Burgesses. A final county subdivision happened in 1691 when Norfolk County was formed by the split of Lower Norfolk County. Norfolk County would include Chesapeake, parts of Portsmouth and Norfolk.
In 1705, Norfolk was incorporated and in 1730, Norfolk was the home of a tobacco inspection location. George II granted Norfolk royal charter saying it was a borough in 1736. By the time 1775 came around, the city had evolved into what many considered the most affluent city in the state of Virginia. One reason for this was that it was a major port for exporting goods to many places but mostly the British Isles. Norfolk was considered a strong base for Loyalists support during the American Revolution, mainly because of it’s many trading ties with different parts of the British Empire. The Royal Governor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore, fled the colonial capital of Williamsburg and tried to retake power over the colony from Norfolk. He won a compiled a few small victories at Norfolk, but the Virginia militia soon drove Dunmore into exile. The militia was under the control of Colonel Woodford and him driving Dunmore out put an end to British control of Virginia that had been in place for 168 years.
1776, New Years Day, was the day when Lord Dunmore bombed the city of Norfolk with his fleet of three ships. Fires spread by the Patriots and started by the British, were combined with gunfire and together they destroyed around 800 buildings which only left a third of the city unharmed. What was left of the city was destroyed by the Patriots for strategic reasons in the upcoming month. The only structure that survived the attacks was the Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church. You can still find a cannonball from the attack lodged in Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church’s wall.
20th Century to Now
The Jamestown Exposition and the Virginian Railway came to Swell’s Point in 1907. There was a big Naval Review at the exposition which what was needed to make the decision to make Norfolk home to the biggest naval base in the world. It was a favorable location and therefore, was picked to be the prime location. The tricentennial anniversary of Jamestown’s founding was being commemorated with the exposition featuring many high ranking officials, including different diplomats from 21 other countries, members of Congress and Theodore Roosevelt. As the United States prepared to get involved in World War I in 1917, the former exposition grounds were used to construct the Naval Air Station Hampton Roads on it.
During the first part of the 20th century, Norfolk expanded via the process of annexing some other areas. Norfolk annexed Berkley in 1906 which made Norfolk cross the Elizabeth River. Then Willoughby Spit, Campostella, Sewell’s Point and Ocean View was absorbed into Norfolk in 1923. Norfolk included miles of beach front property on the Chesapeake Bay and Hampton Roads, in addition to the Navy Base. The current boundaries of Norfolk were finalized after they had a land swap with Virginia Beach in 1988 and a small annexation in 1959.
Moving forward, the city leaders of Norfolk started to push for a revival of the urban core of the city. Norfolk leaders chose to focus on the warehouses and decaying piers on the waterfront while Granby Street went downhill. Many buildings in less affluent areas were destroyed including warehouses and obsolete shipping facilities. In the place of these objects, city planners built a new road, Waterside Drive, along which many beautiful buildings and sky high rise buildings were built. The Rouse Company and the city created the Waterside festival marketplace in 1983 in hopes of bring people back to the waterfront and spark the development of more downtown areas. In the following years, many other buildings started being erected and opened up including the home of the Norfolk Tide, a Triple A baseball team for Baltimore Orioles, called Harbor Park. The park was named the best stadium in the minor leagues by Baseball American in 1995. The continue to keep up with the renovations and keep this park looking as good as the they did on the first days it was opened.
Baseball isn’t the only thing you and your family are going to see when you chose to visit Norfolk. Between their modern amenities and historic sites, you and your family are going to be very busy trying to see all there is to see in beautiful Norfolk.
Norfolk, Virginia has a rich tattoo history. Featuring shops such as Ocean Mystique’s Ink Gallery, Otzi Tattoo Agency, Studio Evolve Tattoo, Fuzion Ink Tattoo Studio, and Trinity Tattoo, Norfolk is a great destination if you’re looking for some new ink. With a population of around 245,800, there are lots of potential customers for the parlors in town. Yelp currently lists 31 different shops when searching for “tattoo” in Norfolk. Google Places lists 110 different tattoo shops in the Norfolk area, which shows how competitive the city truly is. When doing research for your artist, we suggest not paying too much attention to price because quality is much more important when you’re going to be living with the artwork for the rest of your life.