Local tattoo artists praised as best in the world

Two Grand Junction tattoo artists are getting praise from some well-known figures as some of the best tattoo artists in the world.
Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 4:54 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Two Grand Junction tattoo artists are getting praise from some well-known figures as some of the best tattoo artists in the world.

Arlo DiCristina and his wife Ryan Ashley DiCristina are the owners and operators of Elysium Studios in Grand Junction. Their shop sits on 7th Street, in what used to be a church. One of Arlo’s arguably more notable clients is entrepreneur and investor Daymond John, best known for helping other entrepreneurs chase their dreams on ABC’s Shark Tank.

“He’s one of the best in the world,” said John, who flew into Grand Junction just to get tattoo work done. “I can fly to over a million tattoo artists, right, but not one of the best in the world.”

John said he’s had DiCristina work on his various tattoos over the years because he brings a realism to his art and knows the deeper meaning behind each of them.

“So, it comes from a place of common ground to understand why he’s a he’s a true artist,” said John. “I started looking and I wanted somebody who can really capture eyes, bring out three dimensional art, and his name kept coming up.”

John said he met with Arlo and the two became friends.

“It feels good. It always feels good to have your work appreciated,” said DiCristina. “Especially from somebody who’s obviously takes a lot of pride in their own work, and holds themselves to a really high standard.”

DiCristina’s wife, Ryan, is also an artist at the shop. She’s garnered a reputation for herself, appearing on multiple seasons of the show Ink Masters and eventually became the first woman to win.

“She won Ink Masters and she’s been on Ink Masters for eight years. You’re not on a show like that for eight years,” said John. “She also will highlight tattoos and put things on veterans who may have a limb, that loss of limb, and she will put something beautiful around it.”

For DiCristina, his love of tattoos really began back in his school days.

“The only subject I was really good at was art,” said DiCristina. “I always had some interest in tattooing. Maybe as a side job, because at that time it wasn’t really a practical type of career path.”

But that all changed once he got a tattoo machine when he was 17 years old, which he borrowed from a friend.

“I just kind of fell into it, and then I realized, oh, actually, we can make a living,” said DiCristina. “At that time, the most freedom was being a tattoo artist, and being able to do your art and showcase your stuff.”