Step into the realm of Nordic tattoo artistry with Northern Black, your gateway to exceptional ink. Nestled in Whitley Bay, just 61 miles from Lindisfarne where the Vikings first raided England in 793, our studio is not just a space for tattoos and related products; it's a testament to the rich history that inspires our craft.
For those unfamiliar with us at Northern Black, consider this your warm welcome! We are more than just a tattoo studio; we are storytellers, weaving tales of heritage and culture onto the canvas of your skin, and more recently, into pages of books. Our journey in the world of tattoos is fueled by a passion for art and a commitment to it.
In this blog, we take you on a global tour, introducing you to five of our favourite Nordic tattooists of the moment who have passed boundaries and left a noticeable mark on the art form.
So, whether you're a seasoned tattoo enthusiast or a curious newcomer, join us on this journey as we celebrate the talent, dedication, and ambition of these leaders in the Nordic tattooing scene. Without further ado, let's dive into the inspiring world of our top five Nordic tattooists from around the globe.
Edgaras Bekeris: @edbe.handpoke
Storytime: Edgaras began his career in tattooing by going on what can best be described as a sojourn - hitch-hiking from Lithuania to India. During his travels, he started to learn about the folklore of the world, and to see the beauty of the cultural arts.
He draws his inspiration from his surroundings, people, festivals, old pagan books, folk history clothing, arts and crafts. He is a true nature spirit, hiking in nature whenever possible, and enjoys swimming in the ice cold waters in wintertime, as well as testing his limits, by engaging in extreme sports.
Location: Lithuania, Kaunas
Gaby Skøll: @gabyskoll
Storytime: Gaby started tattooing around 7 years ago, even though she was very fascinated by the world of tattooing long before, especially the old ways of this practice. After spending some years travelling, she started getting her own tattoos and plunged herself into art school for the first time, right before her 25th birthday. Finally, she ended up on the other side of the needle. She is half French and half Danish, well familiar with both Scandinavian and Celtic cultures of Europe. This background has clearly influenced her sense of aesthetics and way of life, as well as the choice of artist name Skøll.
She does not define her work as exclusively Nordic, more in the path of Tribal or Neo-tribal, as she has always been very attached to the tribal aspects of tattooing, seeing it as an ancient and powerful act. She collects inspiration from many cultures and art-styles, being heavily influenced by Runes and ancient Norse symbols.
Location: France, Paris
Mark Quinn: @treubhan
Storytime: Mark Quinn, known in the world of tattooing as Treubhan, is a specialist in Celtic and Pictish art and tattooing. He was interested in these art forms since he was a child, growing up in his hometown of Edinburgh, Scotland, surrounded by both styles in the shape of historical and contemporary work. Scotland has a rich and diverse history of art, with stone carvings being a monumental part of what one encounters daily, and living amongst this got him interested in Celtic as a tattoo form.
Location: UK, Brighton
Johannes Folke B: @jfolkeb
Storytime: Johannes, based in Sweden and more precisely Växjö, is an incredible illustrator tattooist. His work reminds us of really dark turn-of-the-century pen and ink illustrations from history books and Norse mythology.
His work truly has its own personality and its own life-like features, which are distinctive to him.
Location: Sweden, Växjö
Mikhail Kolesnikov: @mikeamanita
Storytime: Born and raised in a small town in central Russia, Mike was in love with the beauty of the world from childhood, and tried to describe this love through expressions. He eventually found a path for this in painting, and this later led to the road of tattooing. This started at the age of thirty, around 14 years ago now, and he still sees it as just the beginning.
He is an active artist, has travelled the world, especially his home country, and he is fond of the beauty of Asia. Philosophy, yoga, mysticism, traditions, Slavic and Russian fairy tales are all keystones to inspiration, none of which he will turn away from.
Location: Russia, Moscow/St. Petersburg
I’m sure it comes as no surprise that highlighting only 5 artists was an impossible task. That’s why we’ve created a whole book dedicated to all the incredible artists worldwide. Our book, The Nordic Tattoo Vol.2, provides a trusted artist network, vetted for their skills and adherence to traditional techniques and designs. No matter where you are, you can find a skilled tattoo artist near you who specialises in the intricate art of Nordic, Celtic, Pictish, and Anglo-Saxon tattoos.