The light blue walls at Port City Tattoo are barely noticeable underneath hundreds of framed tattoo designs with intricate hand-drawn lines and details.
Port City Tattoo, started over 10 years ago by artist Thomas Moser, employs some of the greatest tattoo artists in Southern California.
There are around 12 different artists at Port City who each specialize in different styles from American traditional and Japanese traditional to fine line, portraits, Chicano and more.
“We have some artists that can do every style…they’re pretty versatile. There’s somebody here that can do anything that walks through the door,” Pesqueria said.
Cole Strem, of Huntington Beach, has been working at Port City as a tattoo artist for about 3 years. He started tattooing in 2009 and has tattooed thousands of people since.
“I really enjoy having people’s trust and being able to just kind of get down and do my artwork on people that like my stuff,” Strem said. “It’s all about trust, ya know, and if you don’t have trust you never know what the hell you’re gonna end up with.”
Like many of the artists at Port City, Cole spends his free time exploring other forms of art, from water and acrylic painting to screen printing. Some tattoo artists at Port City even do work internationally.
“Everyone’s a good time, a lot of laughs, one big family it seems like,” said Long Beach resident Tiffani Frease as she was getting tattooed by artist Cody Miller. It is her second tattoo at Port City in four days.
Voted by students at Long Beach State as the “Best Place to Get Inked,” Port City Tattoo welcomes visitors with a laid-back atmosphere that meets professional artistry.
“You’re pretty much just hanging out with your friends and doing what you like to do, like everyone, we all like the tattoo culture,” said Port City manager Taylor Pesqueria.
Port City started in Long Beach and now has locations in Santa Ana and Costa Mesa. They take walk-ins and are ready to help newcomers and returning tattooees decide on a tattoo that will stand the test of time and that they will love.