Best Tattoo Artists
in Des Moines

Why These Tattoo Artists?

Our goal is to connect people with the best local experts. We scored tattoo artists on more than 25 variables across five categories, and analysed the results to give you a hand-picked list of the best tattoo artists in Des Moines, IA.

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Our Selection Criteria:

  • 1. Reputation

    A history of delighted customers and outstanding service.

  • 2. Credibility

    Building customer confidence with licensing, accreditations, and awards.

  • 3. Experience

    Masters of their craft, based on years of practical experience and education.

  • 4. Availability

    Consistently approachable and responsive, so customers never feel ignored.

  • 5. Professionalism

    Providing service with honesty, reliability, and respect.

5 Point Studios

5 Point Studios has been serving the Clive community with tattoo art since 2004. Clients can choose between three different tattooers who all excel in both color as well as black and white tattoos, including portraits and color realism. 5 Point Studios also offers a selection of artwork, body piercings, and jewelry, and the studio has a reputation for following extremely high standards of safety and quality in both its tattoo and piercing work. Co-owner and tattoo artist Craig Lee is a US Army veteran whose work has been featured in the coffee table book Cranial Visions: Exploring the Skull Through Artistic Interpretation by Mike DeVries as well as in the movie, Zach & Miri Make a Porno.

Clive, IA(515) 270-6902


Audrey Karine

Audrey Karine handles tattoo art in Des Moines. Ms. Karine focuses on custom tattoos and asks people to bring in anything they have to start the design process. Some work requires multiple sketches and meetings, and there is a consultation fee associated for this time. Clients can also opt for a free hand drawing, which can work well for large tattoos on the arm or back. Ms. Karine also specializes in cover-up tattoos using skulls, birds, feathers, bio-mechanical designs, and numerous other imagery to effectively distract from scars, stretch marks, and other desired areas. Symbiotic tattooing is a process the artist uses with clients who want a memorial or other tattoo to express their love, hurt, sorrow, honor, or other emotion with the designing through to the pain of the actual tat serving as a healing or binding event. The artist presently works at Permanent Collection, and clients need to call to make an appointment.

Des Moines, IA(515) 266-7460


Bombshell Tattoo Studio

Bombshell Tattoo Studio has been tattooing in Des Moines since 2011. The shop is known for taking the time to answer all client questions, for following guidelines to keep everything sterile, and for creating tattoos that are true works of art. The friendly staff and tattooers welcome people into the studio anytime to look around, schedule a consultation, and check out artist portfolios as well. One of the founders studied art at Iowa State University, previously owned Ink Addiction as well as Mojo, and specializes in cover-ups, patriotic style tattoos, and color designs. Another founder studied Graphic Design at Brown University, is a regular attendee to various tattoo conventions and specializes in neo-traditional work, realism, cover-ups, color pieces, and black and gray tattoos. Piercing is also available.

Des Moines, IA(515) 528-8111


Fine Art & Tattoos By Molly Rose

Fine Art & Tattoos By Molly Rose offers tattoos in the Des Moines area. The fine art tattooer creates custom tats for people at Creative Images, the oldest tattoo shop in Des Moines, and potential clients can contact Moly Rose via email or Facebook. Clients are kindly asked to write "tattoo" in the subject line of their email. Ms. Rose studied Painting at Instituto Allende in Mexico, previously was an employee at the object art, accessory, and furniture company, Sticks Inc., and today also works in various other mediums which clients can inquire about. A gallery of tattoos, paintings, and murals can be found on Fine Art & Tattoos' website, or interested parties can scroll through Ms. Rose's Facebook page for a better idea of her recent creations.

Des Moines, IA(515) 277-8288


Lucky Gal Tattoo and Piercing

Lucky Gal Tattoo and Piercing is a Des Moines tattoo parlor. The studio has a reputation for creating top-quality artwork, having a relaxed and friendly environment, and following strict guidelines of cleanliness for tattoos and piercings. Clients appreciate the custom tattoos provided by a number of in-house artists and can bring in pictures, drawings, and ideas to discuss their own unique piece of art via a personal consultation. A deposit is required at the time of scheduling an appointment, and individuals can phone or walk on in anytime. The owner studied Graphic Design at Grand View University and his, as well as other tattooer's work, can be seen on Lucky Gal's website. Aftercare instructions are provided online, and people can also purchase t-shirts and hoodies online or at the store.

Des Moines, IA(515) 528-8223


Pink Elephant Tattoo Studio

Pink Elephant Tattoo Studio offers tattoo artwork in the Ankeny area. Licensed and certified artists provide a variety of custom tattoos with a full online gallery for potential clients to look through. The studio features non-laser tattoo removal as well, which it claims yields far better results and much less pain than laser removal. Free consultations are available for tattoo removals, and clients have the option of lightening an existing tattoo to be covered with a new one or complete removal. Pink Elephant also offers full body piercing and sells high-quality jewelry such as dermal anchors and NeoMetal Tops. The studio has moved away from its downtown location but maintains the same line up of artists and professional service, and customers now have access to plenty of parking as well. Pink Elephant also donates to veterans' groups.

Ankeny, IA(515) 635-0045


Sacred Diamond Tattoo

Sacred Diamond Tattoo has been tattooing people in Des Moines for almost 10 years and is backed by over 60 years of combined experience in the field. The full-service studio provides artwork for any vision desired no matter the style, and potential clients can look through each artist's extensive gallery of various pieces before coming in. Previous customers have praised the shop's super friendly and patient service and have even come from hours away to get tattooed, and the owner Mike Diamond has previously worked at 1st Amendment Crew in California as well as with other local artists. People can submit an online form or email to request further information or to make an appointment, but replies may take five to seven business days. Alternatively, clients can phone the studio.

Des Moines, IA(515) 255-6902


Skin Kitchen Tattoo

Skin Kitchen Tattoo has been a tattoo parlor in Des Moines for 10 years. Clients can choose between five resident tattoo artists who boast over 50 years of combined experience. The lead tattooer has received awards for his art, has been published in numerous magazines, and takes clients by appointment only with a wait time often of a couple of months. Styles vary from artist to artist and include photorealistic black and gray, portraits, and color, and one tattooer holds a B.F.A. in Painting. People can peruse the team's respective work and style online before making an appointment or coming in. The shop is open on Sunday for walk-ins, and customers also visit for Body Piercing by DaVo at the Axiom Body Piercing Studio, which is right inside Skin Kitchen Tattoo.

Des Moines, IA(515) 255-4430


Tattoos by John Hintz

Tattoos by John Hintz brings 15 years of tattooing experience to Waukee residents. John Hintz is a US veteran and today owns the Warrior Tattoo Studio where he caters to artwork of any size, but the shop specializes in large custom pieces. Mr. Hintz has worked previously at Sacred Skin, Skin FX, and Randy's Ink Spot as well as at various conventions and has tattooed alongside the likes of Earl Ramey, Matthew Delamort, Aaron Moore, and Doq. Mr. Hintz' tattoos have been seen in Tattoo and Tattoo Flash, and potential clients can look through an extensive online gallery of past work. The website also features a number of photos of Mr. Hintz' service in the military and of when he was a member of the band Painface.

Waukee, IA(515) 918-6702


Yankee Doodle Dandy Tattoo

Yankee Doodle Dandy Tattoo brings over 45 years of combined experience in tattooing to Des Moines clients. The studio caters to pretty much any style including drawn on, traditional, floral and sacred geometry, traditional portraits, black and gray work, and custom pieces, and the stream of guest artists to the studio has included Freddy Corbin, Matt Rousseau, and Veronica Stice. One of the resident artists was twice named one of the Best Tattooers in Tucson, Arizona by Tucson Weekly as well. Owner Dan Koenig has received tattoos as well as been tattooed all over the world and assisted with managing Ed Hardy’s Tattoo City San Francisco before opening Yankee Doodle Dandy. Mr. Koenig also refurbishes old bikes and makes electric cycles at Ichi Bike.

Des Moines, IA(515) 274-4469


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