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Best Tattoo Artist 

Gold Winner Amber Thorpe, Adept Tattoos

Silver Winner Lydia Klenck (aka Stalingrad), Utility

Bronze Winner Andy Ferrier, Utility


A sure sign you’ve reached the top of your profession is when your clients will go to jail for you. “She just did my back piece,” comments a reader who voted for gold-winning tattoo artist Amber Thorpe, “and I’d be willing to risk getting arrested for walking around topless just to show it off.” Specializing in the use of bright, bold inks, Thorpe is so busy it can take three months to get in to see her, and she will turn away would-be customers. “One girl came in and asked for a sleeve,” about $3,000 worth of tattooing to cover a whole arm, says Thorpe. “But she had no idea what she wanted. I sent her home to think.” Just don’t tell Thorpe her studio sounds like a doctor’s office, because you’ll get an earful about sterile areas, disinfectant and waste precautions. “It’s cleaner than a doctor,” she says. “It’s like a dentist.”

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