Viking and Norse Tattoo Artists
Viking and Nordic tattoo artists vary in style, but what they have in common is they all use the same symbols– Nordic dragons, runes tattoos, Vikings, and more.
We will look closely at what makes these tattoo artists stand out from the others, and what makes them similar.
Most Viking and Nordic tattoo artists do large works that fill entire backs, or sleeves that turn into chest tattoos.
However, you will find that for some that is not exactly the case.
Some of these tattoo artists actually specialize in medium to small-sized tattoos.
However, even these artists do still tattoo large works.
Let’s take a look at some of the greatest Viking and Nordic artists from around the world and what makes them so special:
Gloria uses black ink to create highly detailed designs and artworks for her tattoos.
Gloria mainly uses black and grey or just black outlines in her work, occasionally with a brief touch of red.
She also mainly does large pieces such as a large tattoo filling the entire back, sleeves, or large chest tattoo pieces.
In order to accentuate the Norse tattoo symbols, she uses a lot of thick decorative lines, or knot tattoos, which weave in and out of one another in asymmetrical patterns.
These look like the weave of a basket or of a loosely knit sweater.
Sometimes, these thick knots weave in and out in odd formations, filling in the spaces in between Viking symbols.
As for the symbols she uses, there are Vikings in formation with their shields up and raising their swords in the air, as well as monsters, the helm of awe tattoos, Viking ship tattoos, and most commonly the Ragnarok.
Gloria has an impeccable style that is fit for anyone who wants to receive a Norse-inspired tattoo.
- Sean Parry
Sean’s tattoo designs often have a lot of white space, or space filled in with a light grey.
He often uses swirls within lines to create unusual tattoo patterns.
He also creates other unusual patterns, which he calls Iron Age details.
Sean tattoos sleeves that merge into chest pieces, hand tattoos, leg tattoos, and back tattoos, among others.
He uses symbols such as swords, mermaids, male warriors, horses, and Norse monsters, all accentuated with his swirling patterns and knots.
Sean’s work is worthy of calling him a successful Norse tattoo artist with a flair for style and the ability to cover a lot of ground while not giving up his unique way of tattooing.
- Broc Ó Diolúin
Broc displays fascinating tales of Norse mythology in layers of ink separated by areas of grey shading and grey dotted backgrounds.
Sometimes, he adds a bit of red or green ink, just a little, to add some variety to his tattoos.
He is known for his sleeves, chest tattoos, hand tattoos, and he has even tattooed many a bald head.
His favorite symbols to tattoo are scenes of warriors fighting each other amongst Norse-style snakes and wolves.
He also often uses runes in his large tattoos, tattooing them on top of each other and mixed up in interesting compositions.
He even uses warriors in scenes of making new swords with a blacksmith or riding giant dragon-like creatures.
All in all, Broc’s tattoos are always a thing of beauty with interesting displays of battle scenes and wonderful compositions.
- Villkat Arts
Villkat Arts is a tattoo artist from the UK that has a knack for symmetrical knots and designs in Norse fashion.
They are known for large sleeves leading into chest tattoos.
In one example, two monsters snarl out from beyond the shoulders, facing each other at the beginning of the chest.
Another sleeve that leads into the chest shows a Nordic beast as they call it tied up in Celtic knot tattoos.
Their tattoos have wonderful depth and shading.
For example, he did a tattoo of mountains encompassed by Celtic knots that was perfectly executed and reminiscent of the land of the Viking peoples.
Their tattoos as a whole are impressive and excellent examples of Viking and Norse tattoos.
- Cédric Ehleringer
Cedric tattoos in the self-proclaimed Nordic style and works at Tamata Tattoo, working out of Montpellier, France.
Cedric prides himself on simple tattoo ideas that make a big statement.
His simple knots, curling monsters, and Viking warriors are made with lines that have spaces in between.
These spaces are filled with light shading like chiaroscuro in the drawing techniques of Italians in the Renaissance.
It’s quite obvious that Cedric’s tattoos are highly skilled and rather interesting.
Among these different tattoo motifs, Cedric uses runes, and in one such tattoo, he had a background of shaded oblivion with the runes contained within a white space.
The most impressive of Cedric’s tattoos is perhaps one he did on the spine of a woman which contains connected swirls and black inked patterns following the shape of her spine.
Cedric’s tattoos are wonderful representations of Viking and Nordic tattoos.
- Walhalla Ink
Walhalla Ink’s tattoos are highly intricate and complicated in their nature.
They use lines with a clear opening that travel sporadically, almost frantically, around animals, lines of runes, and Viking warriors.
Their tattoos also can take a different kind of spin and be completely organized into open lines or lines with light patterning containing boxes filled with other patterns.
These rectangles and squares contain runes, Nordic monsters, Celtic knots, and other Nordic and Viking symbols.
Walhalla Ink has also used the Vegvisir symbol on the back of a client which is contained by two large birds of prey, and another which is white on a black background and is sitting above randomized and highly creative patterns.
In fact, Walhalla Ink is a completely artistic creation of Norse tattoo patterns and lines.
- Paula Cruz
Paula Cruz may be from Spain but she makes excellent Viking and Nordic tattoos.
Paula tends to do large works such as one that goes from the upper side of a woman to her lower leg, or a sleeve that leads into a chest tattoo.
She uses a lot of black space in her tattoos, allowing the symbols and patterns she adds to be illuminated by simply being blank spaces where the skin isn’t inked.
Many of the tattoo symbols are created by being outlined by black lines with blank skin creating the characters and patterns.
These tattoo symbols include runes, Viking warriors with shields, ancient creatures, and among these creatures giant dragon-looking snake monsters.
Paula Cruz creatively makes these monsters out of her imagination and no doubt research into Viking drawings.
Her tattoo repertoire as a whole is provocative and worthy of commendation.
- Anthony Fowler
Anthony Fowler, out of Melbourne, Australia, creates sleeves, chest pieces, and even has drafted the plans for a tattoo that will completely fill in the chest, stomach, and both arms down to the hands.
His tattoos are adventurous and highly intriguing.
For example, he did a back piece the starts off with some sort of hawk standing on the beginning of a group of intertwined knots which are lightly shaded and take up the top half of the back.
The background is also shaded and leads into a scene of a forest and more knots intertwined with a being ticking out its swirling tongue.
This is a typical Viking tattoo, symbolizing their love for nature and it says how even though the word can bring scary events to life, including being attacked by monsters or brought alone in a forest, there’s always going to be something or someone to protect you (even if that protection comes from your own bravery).
This is just one of the many meaningful Viking and Norse tattoos that Anthony has come up with, and we all look forward to what he has in store for us next.
- Peter Oakmund Madsen
Peter Oakmund Madsen loves runes, monsters, and Celtic knots.
He specializes in sleeves that transform into chest tattoos, as well as large back pieces.
In one back piece, he filled a man’s back almost completely with complicated knots intertwined with a Viking and a monster.
The two are barely distinguishable amongst the knots.
He doesn’t just use black ink– occasionally he throws in some red or even blue and orange.
On another piece, he fills an arm with brown-colored runes the blue seeping into the center of them.
Peter’s intelligent display of symbols mixed with an interesting use of color makes for amazing creations.
Pater Oakmund Madsen is a highly qualified Viking and Nordic tattoo artist and is recommendable to anyone.
Abel uses a high amount of shading in his work, as well as light elements of color.
Sometimes, he uses dots of black ink in the backgrounds of his tattoos to emphasize the Viking tattoo motifs.
He uses knot tattoos that sometimes are enlaced with runes.
He also shows Viking warriors running with swords, Viking women with bows and arrows, and even put runes tattoos on peoples’ fingers all the way to the nail.
Abel uses a highly complex style of tattoo design, composition, and uses his own unique style to captivate anyone who sees his tattoo work.
His artistry tattoo designs a new way of showing Norse mythology tattoos, and he is highly recommendable to anyone who wants this type of tattoo.
- Uffe Berenth
Uffe uses strong, dark shading, as well as dotted backgrounds to create his Viking and Nordic style tattoos.
He uses mainly black ink, sometimes with a touch of red, to create bold tattoos.
They are bold because he uses thick black lines and dark shading.
He is one of the few tattoo artists who add wolf tattoos to the mix, as well as, interestingly, roosters.
He uses a lot of runes, as well as Viking masks tattoos.
Around these mask-like depictions of Vikings, and other symbols, he creates his own unique patterns which create a strong background to emphasize whatever he wants to tattoo.
There’s no doubt that the clients that work with Uffe are happy with his work.
- Meela Rainey
Meela uses symbols such as the Vegvisir, Nordic dragons, and Nordic foxes in her work.
She also uses red ink to enhance her large chest pieces and sleeves, which are mostly black but have small elements of red in order to add an element of charm.
In just one piece, she includes a red rune and a Viking grabbing a long swirling line of snake tattoos.
Her work uses light spaces and dark spaces together to form symbols, designs, and patterning.
In one tattoo, she uses a Yggdrasil tree tattoo, where the branches are knots intertwined with each other.
The tree’s roots are also intertwined and twisted with a menacing snake tattoo.
This tattoo means that although life is all interconnected, there is not just good alive in the world but also evil.
Many of her tattoo designs have interesting meanings such as this, and they are all excellent examples of Norse-inspired tattoo designs.
- Marcus Hammer
Marcus Hammer is based out of Copenhagen, Denmark.
His work is different from most tattoo artists doing Viking and Nordic work because instead of doing large, bold pieces, Marcus makes tattoos that are medium-sized for the most part, and more new-aged and modern than the artists we have talked about so far.
For example, he did a realistic tattoo scene of a hawk flying across the sky with a full moon and a group of wolves below in a forest.
This scene is much different than the highly patterned tattoos we have seen so far which are all tied up in knots.
In another tattoo, he made the Helm of Awe tattoo surrounded by symmetrical lines of runes standing alone, without any knots or decoration, with two hawks standing on either side of the Helm of Awe.
This tattoo symbolizes protection, power, and sheer determination.
And its tattoo style is more simplistic– more modern.
Marcus Hammer has a way of modernizing Viking and Norse tattoos that is highly interesting– with him, there’s more than meets the eye.
- Tor Ola Svennevig
Tor Ola Svennevig is an artist based out of Bergen, Norway, who uses a yet even more modern take on Viking and Norse tattoos.
For example, he takes a version of the Web of Wyrd and has the bottom of it slowly fading into oblivion.
This tattoo means that past actions affect the present– almost a version of karma.
The fact that the tattoo is disappearing symbolizes the past heading into the future.
Another modern style tattoo is one of many runes individually tattooed in columns and rows up and down a man’s arm.
Using asymmetry as well as simplicity, this tattoo is like an abstract work of art.
Another, a tablet weave pattern, literally looks like something you would see at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
This interesting take of Viking and Nordic tattoos is something to be in awe of and respect incredibly.
- Colin Dale
Colin Dale works for a shop called Skin & Bone based out of Copenhagen.
He uses a mix of modern tattoo design and traditional Nordic design.
For example, in one tattoo design, he uses what appears to be a version of the Valknut in rows and columns which are symmetrical and asymmetrical at the same time on a woman’s side from the top of her stomach all the way down to her ankle.
On another tattoo, a large chest tattoo, he displays a large black pattern intercepted by Nordic monsters, a Viking ship, and a large circular center which is blank with a large black inked Vegvisir surrounded in a circle by runes.
This tattoo is more on the traditional side.
One last example, this one of a modern tattoo, uses red in an interesting way.
He tattoos a crude-looking Viking man who is surrounded up and down a man’s arm with red and black lines that look like they are painted or sketched in red colored pencil.
There’s no doubt that Colin Dale puts an interesting spin on Viking and Nordic tattoos.
- Kunsten på Kroppen Tattoo
Kunsten claims to be part of the oldest Nordic tattoo studio and is based out of Copenhagen.
They use many knots and patterns to create highly distinguish tattoos.
They say that although sometimes they are requested to do machine work, they prefer to work traditionally.
Some of the patterns they use are surrounded by blank space, such as one tattoo which loosely and lightly uses thick lines, maxed with gentle thin lines, all coming off of one thin line which travels from and woman’s chin down to her chest.
This interesting concept involves runs coming off of the line too, all perfectly symmetrical.
This is just one example of the unique designs that Kunsten creates.
Kunsten’s designs are light and more feminine than most Viking work.
All in all, Kunsten’s work is a great example of how interesting Viking-inspired tattoo work can be.
Obban, based out of Sweden, loves using runes and snakes in his tattoos.
He uses a lot of blank space, and instead of connecting symbols with an intricate series of knots and or patterns, he lets his symbols float in space.
This interesting idea is not alone– he also has an interesting concept of using extremely large symbols on long parts of the body, such as one such tattoo reaching from a woman’s neck to her posterior.
He used a Yggdrasil tree which is black with almost metallic-looking shading.
Both the tree’s limbs and roots are entangled with each other symmetrically, forming a wonderful tree.
Another interesting tattoo similar to this concept is a tattoo on the back of a man’s head.
This specific example is of a Vegvisir tattoo, which was meant to help guide the Vikings home.
As you can see, Obban has a specific style of tattooing that is interesting and highly unusual, which is what makes his tattoos so great.
- Morrigan Tattoo
Morrigan is based in the North of France, and uses a traditional style of Nordic and Viking tattoos, except for the fact that they make their designs incredibly tightly packed.
In fact, it is incredible that the patterns and symbols even fit in the closely-knit designs.
Sometimes, instead of patterns or knots, they use tight block dots as a background.
Also, sometimes, they use a splash of red.
Examples of symbols this artist uses are the Valknut tattoo, runes, the Yggdrasil, horses, swords, and the Vegvisir.
Their style is showing these symbols while accentuating them with dotted black backgrounds and knots and patterns.
Not all of their designs are so tightly packed, but most are.
Interestingly, one of their tattoos is on the back of a man’s head and reaches behind his ear!
This tattoo artist is highly talented.
- Jakub Vaniš
Jakub is a tattoo artist based out of Ohmnia Tattoos which is in Slovakia.
His tattoos are quite modern.
For example, one of his tattoos is a Vegvisir tattoo surrounded by fading red dots and with a conifer tree in red and black ink in the center of the Vegvisir.
This is an interesting tattoo design in the fact that the tree is in the center of this special rune and because of the slight use of red.
Many of his tattoos are small and simple like this, such as one that is a forest boi, or deer, whose body contains detailed patterns and runes.
Another even more modern tattoo is of a group of runes aligned in a row which encircles the arm but not completely.
These are just a few examples of how modern and unique Jakub’s work is.
Jakub is a great Norse tattoo artist and deserves recognition.
- Pradd Tattoo
Pradd is a tattoo artist who proudly proclaims, “From Russia, with Love,” and who also works in other areas such as Barcelona.
Pradd’s work is extremely bold with deeply rich black ink, and sometimes the addition of quite a bit of red coloring.
Pradd’s patterning involved lines that are tick are filled with more tattoo patterns which all snake around each other and intertwine.
One such tattoo has no symbols– only patterns.
These patterns are half in black ink, half in red.
Another example of Pradd’s tattoo excellence is a hand and arm tattoo which is all knots and patterns except for on the arm where he uses black ink to fill in most of the bottom part of a man’s arm and leaves blank space to create runes.
It is important to emphasize the fact that this artist uses highly bold lines in black ink– that seems to be his specialty.
Pradd is a great Viking and Nordic tattoo artist and cannot be faulted.
- Sigurboði Grétarsson
Sigurboði is an Icelandic tattoo artist with a vivid imagination.
He makes smaller tattoos than many other Viking and Nordic tattoo artists.
They use many different types of Nordic tattoo motifs, such as Nordic dragons, runes, Viking men, the Vegvisir, and a Viking ship.
Many of these symbols stand alone as their own tattoo, without any patterning, knots, and without even a background.
His style uses very lightly tattooed ink to make almost a greyscale on the symbols rather than using any dark lines.
This effect makes the symbols almost look ancient as if they were drawn on the wall of a cave many years ago.
This tattoo technique is for someone who wants their Nordic tattoo to look more, in a way, realistic.
This tattoo artist is quite an interesting artist and is highly recommendable.
Duggan is a tattoo artist out of Sao Paulo, Brazil, who unlike the previous artist uses highly bold lines.
He does small tattoos as well as large sleeves– he is a highly versatile tattoo artist.
For smaller tattoos, he has done a Nordic raven, various runes, and a Yggdrasil tattoo.
As for his larger tattoo, he has done sleeves that are mostly filled in with black ink with the blank space showing a Valknut tattoo and Vikings, as well as other Nordic tattoo patterns.
Another sleeve tattoo also has a black background with the blank space showing a large scene involving Vikings fighting, with a Nordic raven below the black space.
His tattoos tend to be asymmetrical and use a lot of thick black ink.
Because of his versatile nature with plain blank inked symbols in small areas of the body and then huge scenes on sleeves using a lot of backgrounds and symbols, this artist is highly accomplished.
- Andrew Ternoviy
Andrew is based in Eastern Europe and designs large works which are clean and show symbols without much of a background, patterning, or knots.
For example, he designed a tattoo which is a Nordic dragon’s skeleton which is done realistically with black and grey ink.
It fills almost the entire arm, standing alone as a great symbol of Nordic tradition.
Some of his work is more detailed, such as a back piece that fills the entire back with a scene of a Nordic dragon and other creatures fighting while a Viking ship speeds off into the sea.
His tattoos almost look like the illustrations in a storybook– realistic, yet appearing like a fantasy.
Andrew’s work is worthy of calling him a successful Viking-style tattoo artist.
Why Would Someone get a Norse Mythology Tattoo?
Now that we have seen what these Nordic artists can do, you may be wondering what’s so special about this theme of tattoos, anyways.
The Vikings were warrior people who built great ship, and great civilizations.
Runes are not only cool looking texts, but they are symbols from that great civilization.
However, it is important to note that aesthetically, these are cool-looking tattoos.
Perhaps the reason people get these tattoos is a little bit of both the meaning behind them and how cool they look.
Alyssa Renee Hardy is a writer, curator, and photographer who publishes articles on the topics of the arts, culture, and social justice. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a degree in fashion business and art history and museum professions. Her experience working with a variety of art institutions, her world travel, and her inquisitive nature provides her with a unique insight. Check out her about page, she would love to connect with you!