Gastown is full of artists. Creativity is drawn to the neighbourhood to thrive within its fertile soil, and for a relatively small place, Gastown is big on beautiful art.

We have three tattoo parlours, all a little different with each offering some of the best tattooing services in the city.

The Vancouver Tattoo & Design Show opens this weekend at the Vancouver Convention Centre EAST. From Friday – Sunday (April 19-21) the show brings together industry vendors and suppliers along with artists from all over North America and Europe. Prominent artists from The Gastown Tattoo Parlour and Tradewinds Tattoo Co. will be participating.

Gastown Tattoo Parlour

Participating Tattoo Show Artists – Baily Howatt, Matthew McLaughlin, TioLu

Located on West Cordova, The GTP resonates with curiosity and creativity. Tattoo art covers the walls along with a fine collection of taxidermy and other weird stuff from shop owner Mitch Krilo.

Most of our staff are young and everyone’s passionate and really going for it. We are all a little bit of a younger crowd and we have a variety of artists who are all doing something a little bit different. Given the amount of space we have in the shop, everyone’s able to do just that; to express their individual style and creative expression”. (From Interview with Mitch Krilo).Descending down below into Mitch’s lair, there’s a sense of mad scientific experimentation to the daily goings on. Every artist is allowed to discover their own unique style, which creates a very special experience for customers.

Each artist consults closely with their client, to determine the best placing, design and aesthetic. Gastown Tattoo Parlour has been doing business for over 7 years now and regularly host guest artists and events in the shop.
Tradewinds Tattoo Company

Participating Tattoo Show Artists – Steve Dunford

Owner and artist Devin Stacey (and his Pug) of  Tradewinds Tattoo Company on East Cordova Street are open Tues to Saturday 12-5pm. Devin, along with a number of other independent artists, are available to create awesome custom art for their clients.

Liquid Amber Tattoo & Art Collective

While not participating in this years show, its totally worth it to check out Liquid Amber Tattoo & Art Collective on East Cordova Street. The studio is home to a diverse group of ten exceptional artists including: Justina Kervel, Ashley Horncastle, Milo Marcelo,  Miranda Boire, Diana Lin,  Amelia Vogan,   Lauren Carr, Nicki Lochmatter, Michal Wzorek and Ania Ray.This (mostly) female studio is a safe, supportive space for artists, guests and people of all walks of life. Owners Justina Kervel & Luvia Petersen, visioned the space back in 2000 after an inspiration trip to Paris.

Remembers Luvia:  “Justina had been sketching some tattoos while on holiday and eventually, I asked a local where a good place would be to get tattoos. She told us of the Kaplan Art Studio. Later that day, we went there and discovered this amazing artists studio with sculptures and paintings. In the middle of it all was a single tattoo bed. What we both loved about this studio was that it was made up of multiple art mediums. That blew our minds as we both had a conceptual understanding of what a tattoo parlour was: men, bikers, beards and flesh art. This studio in Paris had none of that and we thought: “What can we draw from this and bring back to Vancouver?” (From Interview with Liquid Amber).

Rarely will one walk by the open studio without seeing a willing customer settled onto the bed by the window, as one of Liquid Ambers’ skilled artists focuses intently on their creation in ink.

The space is immediately welcoming and the shop is unlike most other tattoo parlours. This is where creativity rules supreme, where art and free expression is everywhere. And it was this deep need to be in a true artist’s community that inspired the gals to locate their shop in Gastown.

Luvia remarks: “Gastown has that feeling in droves. This is an artist’s community. You can walk down the street and see art galleries, independent designers, crafters and entrepreneurs. We were deeply attracted to this welcoming community and truly feel at home here”.