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Business Feature: Black Rider Tattoo

Black Rider Tattoo won the Georgia Straight 27th annual vote for Best Tattoo shop of Vancouver 2023, and it’s really no surprise.

Opening its doors in 2015 by co-owners/artists Alison Lilly @a_lilly_art, and Paul Gardiner @paulgardiner, Black Rider Tattoo added artists Eric Brunning @ericbrunningtattoos, and Jesse Williams @jessewilliamstattoo soon after, and more recently newcomer Peter Ferguson @trillnye_thescienceguy joining the artist team, but you can’t forget about Chelsea Leier who manages the front of shop, rounding out the familiar Black Rider experience, and is usually the first and last person you see with each shop visit. It’s a solid team of neighborly folks that are one of the most consistent, and diverse art teams in the Vancouver area.

The shop has developed a solid reputation for it’s creative, friendly, and welcoming atmosphere, quality soundtrack always on play, and a quality of work from each artist you can trust.

 Check out their website and Instagram for examples of each artist’s latest work, and booking options!

“The calibre of skill at our shop is very high, we offer a wide range of styles. We create unique custom tattoos. We are an inclusive tattoo shop and do anything from small wrist tattoos to back pieces. We provide a safe, fun environment for our clients.”

-Alison @a_lilly_art (Co-Owner/Artist)

Black Rider Tattoo takes its name from the brilliant 1993 avant-garde album by music legend Tom Waits. Waits wrote The Black Rider as a collection of dark carnivalesque, and experimental songs for the play by William S. Burroughs of the same name, which is itself based on the German folktale: Der Freischütz, about a Faustian pact with Satan that leads to violence, tragedy, and death. So knowing that, it gives a context to the level of unique art lovers that work at Black Rider Tattoo. Adding to the artistic atmosphere, and creative edge in our neighbourhood.

“There is a real sense of community, and multiculturalism here in the East Village Vancouver area which is great to be apart of. 

Our neighbourhood clients are generally very reliable, and supportive. It’s been great to experience the improvements to the neighbourhood over the years:  bars/restaurants, coffee shops, art spaces, and the renovation of Pandora park, alongside seeing the businesses thrive that have been here for many years, and are the foundation of the neighbourhood.”

-Alison @a_lilly_art (Co-Owner/Artist)

This holiday season Black Rider Tattoo is proudly helping the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau’s holiday toy drive. The shop is collecting brand new and unwrapped toys of a minimum $25 value (with receipt) by Dec 20th. By giving, you’ll receive a select tattoo designed by Black Rider Tattoo artists Paul Gardiner @paulgardiner or Peter Ferguson @trillnye_thescienceguy at a discounted price. It’s a noble, and novel opportunity to give to kids who have less this holiday season, while also getting something awesome in return.

“We’d love your help giving back to our communities to make these holidays a bit more special for the kids! (and give you something cool too while we’re at it!)”

-Peter @trillnye_thescienceguy (Artist)

Article: Paul C. Panko (EVBIA)
Photos: Michal Urbanek
Black Rider Tattoo
2255 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V5L 1V3
Email: blackridertattoo@gmail.com
Shop: (778) 379-9970
Store Hours
Monday-Saturday – 12:00 to 6:00

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