Crystal Lake's Best Tattoo Shops

Crystal Lake in the one town in McHenry County that is known for creating the best tattoos. So many people will walk around town with the most amazing and creative pieces on their bodies. If you were to ask where they had their tattoos done, they will answer one of the two best-known shops in the city; Area 51 and Dark Heart Tattoo. Both shops have creative and talented artists who continue to blow us away with their amazing work.

Area 51

Area 51 is a tattoo shop down in Downtown Crystal Lake. It opened its doors and opened for business in 2002. The owner, Khalid, got hooked on tattooing since he was 14. Once Khalid finished his apprenticeship and decided to create his own business, he always wanted to have it be in the heart of downtown Crystal Lake. Since then, it has been one of the best shops to visit and an absolute go-to place for people looking for a tattoo. Area 51 has won eleven awards for their work, including nine Best of the Fox awards. Aside from Khalid, there are three other tattoo artists in the shop; Desirea, Dakota, and Talia.

Desirea knew Khalid from the shop he finished his apprenticeship at and was asked to join Area 51 soon after that shop had closed. She is known for her variety of designs in her work. Dakota and Talia soon joined Area 51 in 2017, as apprentices, and are now professional tattoo artists. Dakota is known for pop culture and cartoon tattoos, exclusively with video games. Talia, on the other hand, is more known for her floral and skull tattoos. Despite their different styles, all of these artists want to give their clients the best tattoo possible. Each artist will also keep in touch if there are any questions about the tattoo or aftercare. They make their clients feel well taken care of so that their tattoo can heal and look amazing in the end. The best part of getting a tattoo here is once the tattoo is finished, the client is guaranteed a free touch up for life. Area 51’s goal is to make sure the client feels at home and receives the best tattoos possible. To this day, they’ve lived up to that goal and continue to do so.

Dark Heart Tattoo

If people haven’t gotten their tattoos at Area 51, they most likely got it at Dark Heart Tattoo. Dark Heart started in 2014 and is owned by award-winning artist Joe Beatty. Joe started his tattoo career in 2005 and has created some of the best pieces of art tattoo enthusiasts have ever seen. He is joined with five other amazing artists as well. Those artists are Marky Hladish, Rachel Garrison, Chuy Gomez, Ashley Camper, and Zac Blevins. Some of the more recent yet very talented artists are Marky, Ashley, and Zac.

Originally a professional Illustrator and graphic artist, Marky became an apprentice at Dark Heart in 2015 and is well known for his realism, composition, and grey and black tattoos. A year after Marky’s apprenticeship started, Zac started his apprenticeship. Zac is well known for his famous variety of traditional American imagery work. A year later, Ashley joined Dark Heart as another apprentice. She is known for her cartoon tattoos as well as her traditional and illustrative art. The two older, yet very well known, artists are the amazing Rachel and Chuy. Rachel has been tattooing for 20 years and at one point owned a shop in New Hampshire. She is known for comic and film-related art, black and grey, and color realism, and pop culture tattoos. Aside from her incredible work, she is also experienced in tattoo removals and permanent beauty cosmetics. Last, but certainly not least, is the crazy talented Chuy. He has been tattooing since 2010 and can tattoo almost anything that is asked of him. He is known for his new school colors and art-based around horror and anime-related topics.

All of these amazing artists design the best of the best tattoos and will make sure your tattoo is taken care of properly. The best part about Dark Heart Tattoo is that they don’t just specialize in tattoos. They are known for micro-blading as well as tattoo removals. So for the tattoo lovers who are looking for a shop with more original and creative pieces, Dark Heart Tattoo is the place to go to. From day one to today, Dark Heart Tattoo is for sure one of the most reputable and unique tattoo shops in Crystal Lake.