Vancouver has a thriving tattoo culture. The artistry and diversity of styles available in the private studios around the Lower Mainland are incredibly impressive and some tattooists have months-long waitlists just for their flash pieces - let alone any custom work.
Fine line, American traditional, illustrative, watercolour? There's something for everyone. Even cosmetic tattoos like eyeliner and freckles.
When it comes to quintessential Vancouver tattoos they seem to fall into one of two categories: the stereotypes and the love letters.
The stereotypes group is the one with the tattoos that bartenders name cocktails after. Joe Casson, the bar manager at Bar Susu, had a drink called 'Not Another Rose Tattoo' on the menu back in the summer. Compasses, mountain ranges, trees, and waves also fall into this category. Basically, anything that pays homage to nature in the Pacific Northwest.
And before you get mad, I have three of the four of these tattoos and love them.
The second category, love letters, is for the tattoos that are a little bit more specific to Vancouver and that showcase features of the city, be it a piece of art, architecture, or the skyline.
This gallery and the tattoos below are some of the coolest Vancouver-themed tattoos we could find. Do you have any Vancouver ink? Let us know, we'd love to see it.
The East Van Cross
The East Van cross is a popular one in this category with some people staying true to the original Ken Lum artwork and others putting an original spin on it.
Lions Gate Bridge
Another popular choice is the iconic Lions Gate Bridge either on its own or incorporated into a design.
But some people get really creative and personal. This nod to post-and-beam architecture that is so prevalent in Vancouver's design culture is subtle and inventive.