Thank you for your question.
As a Bay Area resident myself, for years and years I have heard about Lyle Tuttle"
Lyle Tuttle Tattooing
841 Columbus Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133-2307
Cross Street: Mason Street
As Prick Magazine notes:
Forefather of modern tattooing
by Chuck Brank
...Late one evening, during the second day of the Atlanta Tattoo Arts
Festival, and after a fair amount of $2 Bass beers, I had the
privilege to sit down with a man who has seen the evolution of
tattooing during the last half century - Lyle Tuttle. Although Tuttle
no longer tattoos, he still attends the conventions, giving seminars
on tattoo machines and maintenance and is considered a legend in the
industry. While we sat down in the hotel restaurant, sipping coffee
and smoking cigars, Tuttle gave us his views on the tattoo past and
present. Among his many talents, he is a gifted story teller as you'll
hear for yourselves ...
Now, even though he does not personally tattoo himself, I have to
believe that the employees that work under his name are qualified. The
article also links to:
Very interesting site. Searching the Bay Area, I located these links
for California with Fairfield, Oakland, Hayward, Berkeley and perhaps
Sacramento being within a reasonable range for you to travel:
Alpha Omega - Fairfield
Avalon Tattoo - San Diego
Body Graphics - Temecula
Chris Cockrill - San Diego
FTW Tattoo - Oakland
Hot Stuff Tattoo - Hollywood
It's My Body Tattoo - Jackson
Jeremiah Barba - Orange
Lucky 7 Tattoo - Kings Beach
Outer Limits - Anaheim/Orange
Pat Fish - Santa Barbara
Peters Tattoo - Hayward
Studio City Tattoo - Studio City
Tattoo Archive - Berkeley
Tattoo Infinity - Sacramento
Tattoos By Advance - Fremont
The Hole Thing - Santa Rosa
Visual Tattoo - Arcata
Ye Olde Tattoo Shoppe - Studio City
You can click the links to these sites here:
I think you will enjoy seeing some of the work samples on their pages
and there is lots of good information to read.
Searching for reviews, I came across the following:
Soul Patch Tattoo
1599 Haight St Ste B
San Francisco, CA 94117
Cross Street: Clayton Avenue
"...i had my hips tattooed by suzanne and the script is perfect. super
ghetto fabulous lettering and stars and shiners. she did an amazing
job listening and making suggestions, and ultimately we came up with
the perfect tattoos for both my hips. i would most definitely see her
again and again..."
"...I came into Soul Patch during my vacation in SF for a tattoo and
they were just excellent. They took my appointment over the phone,
Susanne was great and she did a wonderful job of my anklet tattoo.
Great shop, reasonable prices, and great people to deal with. If I am
ever back in the area, I will definitely go back!.."
"...I just can't say enough good things about this place. I visited 5
different tattoo shops and Soul Patch had BY FAR the friendliest
staff. Max and his staff are not only very skilled at what they do,
they are quite CARING. Their prices were the best, but I would have
chosen them even without the price difference. Tattoos are a very
personal and painful process, so it's important to feel comfortable
with the artist. I went with three friends, one is a real pain wimp,
and she was fine because Max was so reassuring with her . . . and we
are all happy with the way our designs turned out. Do yourself a favor
and GO TO SOUL PATCH for your next tattoo. :)..."
There are most words of praise for this shop.
Sacred Rose Tattoo
491 Guerrero St Ste A
San Francisco, CA 94110-1020
"...If you're going for a tattoo, this is the place to go. I got my
first tattoo about two weeks ago, and am glad I came to Sacred Rose.
Jill was the artist and she took a lot of care to ensure the result
was what I wanted, through consultation and discussing my vision. She
was genuinely as enthusiastic about doing the tat as I was to have it
done. She brought to life a dream I have had for more than ten years.
Thanks Jill, you're Awesome!..."
District: Alamo Square
813 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117
"..."I can't tell you how many compliments I've gotten on the amazing
tattoo I got done by George Campise at Everlasting! I gave him a very
rough idea of what I wanted and I had an old tattoo I wanted to
incorporate and he did an amazing job with the design. I didn't even
see the coloring until he was finished - I'm so glad I trusted his
instincts to create the tattoo I love! I've recommended him to
everyone I've talked to who wants a tattoo. He's awesome!!!"..."
"..."I will be going back for more!
First of all, when I first walked in to Everlasting I had that great
feeling that comes from being in a space that has been transformed by
an artist. It is a beautiful space.
Henry is funny, chill and has great taste in music. He did the
traditional hearts on my chest and I get tons of compliments for them.
Simple, beautiful and in the right spot! Placement is perfect.
I recently saw the Everlasting team's paintings at White Walls gallery
and these guys a VERY talented. This is an amazing hot bed of artistic
The Insider pages list tattoo parlors in the Bay Area with reviews as well:
There are 107 establishments listed!! And there are negative reviews
that will help steer you away from more questionable places.
Hopefully the above will give you a great start on zeroing in on
exactly the right tattoo artist for you. Do remember, they are ARTISTS
and while someone may be talented, their style may not fit your
desires. So do spend some time viewing their past works to be sure you
have found a good match.
tattoo +"san francisco"
tattoo +"san francisco" +tuttle
tattoo +"san francisco" +review
I trust my research has provided you with a number of local
possibilities. If a link above should fail to work or anything require
further explanation or research, please do post a Request for
Clarification prior to rating the answer and closing the question and
I will be pleased to assist further.
Clarification of Answer by
21 Dec 2005 23:39 PST
In checking further, it seems that this is something regulated (or not
as the case may be) by the states and with no state mandates fall to
the counties or cities. So, checking California I found that this
seems to be regulated and inspected by the counties.
November 9, 2005
"...San Mateo County, San Francisco, supervisors have ultimately
passed the ordinance imposing regulations on tattoo artists. The
lawmakers and health officials were working on the ordinance since
?Tattoo artists and body piercers will come under increased scrutiny
from county lawmakers and health officials following the unanimous
passage Tuesday. The ordinance exposes tattoo parlors to unannounced
inspections from the health department at least once a year.?
Risks associated with tattooing are a serious concern and a
comprehensive law throughout country regulating tattoo parlors can
make the ever increasing business of tattooing safer..."
The entire article is here:
The San Francisco Dept of Public Health has this page on tattooing:
Recently enacted State law authorizes the local health department to
register all persons (practitioners) applying tattoos, body
piercing(s), or permanent cosmetics.
The Environmental Health Section of the Department of Public Health is
responsible for overseeing this program. This includes, but is not
necessarily limited to, the following:
conducting yearly inspections of all facilities for general
maintenance and cleanliness, proper sterilization procedures,
maintenance of pertinent documentation
maintaining registration documents of and issuing registration cards
to all active practitioners
promulgating (publicizing) new or revising existing ordinances and regulations
The page was created 11/29/05, so evidently this is a rather newly
passed regulation. It seems that regulation and inspections of tattoo
parlors are just beginning and many may not have yet had their first
inspection in the Bay Area and had an opportunity to reply and correct
An organization called the National Tattoo Association has 1,000
members and has standards for quality and professionalism.
Their members page is here (though I did not notice any members in the Bay Area):
You might ask some of the shops on the above lists if they are members.
I would read the reviews of the shops I have listed, call a few,
visit, and perhaps even email some of the reviewers for opinions on
cleanliness and sanitation. Personally, I would tend to trust those
that have been in business continuously for long periods of time as
likely meeting the health safety needs of their customers.
I hope this has helped.