Mikey Vigilante is the founder, owner, and senior artist of Paper Crane Studio, roles that allow him both to tattoo new clients and to mentor our hand-selected team of artists. Whether he’s working on an Irezumi back piece or teaching artists how to make needles, his deep love for tattooing is the cornerstone of Paper Crane Studio.
Mikey has always been a passionate student of the arts. While pursuing a formal arts education at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, he made the decision at nineteen years old to leave school and dedicate himself fully to tattooing. His unbridled enthusiasm and raw talent have led to nearly two decades of experience in world-renowned tattoo studios, including Kari Barba’s Outer Limits on the Pike in Long Beach, Zulu Tattoo in Los Angeles, and Strange World Tattoo in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
As both a student and an artist, Mikey has a deep love of traditional Japanese tattoos. His extensive study in this field gives him an excellent knowledge base on which to draw from, both in the form of visual references and in parables that reveal universal truths. These truths allow him to evoke great depths of meaning in each piece he tattoos. His love for nature and his insatiable curiosity about the universe continuously lead him to explore our fractal universe and the metaphysical realm. He translates his discoveries by breaking down complex concepts into simple geometric forms.
Building on his broad range of experience in various tattoo shops, Mikey founded Paper Crane Studio with a commitment to excellence, both for our artists and our clients. His vision was simple: a studio where all people are welcome to be themselves and to creatively express their most authentic truths. This vision has become a reality, thanks to hand-selected artists and a deep commitment to customer service in all of our interactions.
Mikey returned to school and completed his BA in Art and Design in 2005.