A Czech tattoo artist that dominated the most prestigious competition in the world

A Czech tattoo artist has dominated the world’s most prestigious competition. It’s akin to Slavia FC winning the Champions League by scoring three goals against Barcelona in the final.

“Igor Mitrenga, a dream chaser, smiles modestly at his achievement. He has won most awards at the NY Empire State Tattoo Expo in New York. As one of the Czech Republic’s most sought-after tattoo artists, known as Im_tattoo, securing an appointment with him is nearly impossible. He’s booked for up to two years. His domination at the New York expo has significantly opened the American market for him.

“I usually spend a month or two in the US tattooing,” Igor shares. “On my first trip, no one knew me, and I lost almost 6000 euros. By my fifth trip, I broke even. After my eighth trip, post-expo, I tattooed 20 clients in 4 weeks. The competition success boosted my career.”

Mitrenga has been participating in New York conventions for some time. This year marked his third appearance and his first in the ranked competition, thanks to an invite from his sponsor, Hustle Butter Deluxe.

The competition features several categories, judging finished tattoos and those created on-site. Mitrenga won top places for his back tattoos and original style, and secured another second place.


“Winning brings no money, but it’s a quality sign,” says Mitrenga. “The jury members are experts, and their recognition means you’re a skilled tattoo artist.”

He has only been tattooing for five years, starting after leaving graffiti art to avoid his work being painted over. His graffiti skills now enhance his tattoos.

“The tattoo interest is booming,” he observes. “Despite some still associating tattoos with prison, this perception is changing as tattoo quality improves. We can now replicate perfect photos on skin.”

He’s fully booked for two years and had to stop taking new appointments last year. Complex tattoos, often taking ten sessions and costing over 4000 euros, are in high demand.