Selecting the best tattoo artist in the world? The crazy plan behind the Chaudesaigues Award

Awarding one of the best tattooists in the world, even the best tattooist in the world not just for a single tattoo but for their entire career – this is what some would call a crazy, and others an outrageous endeavour set by the Chaudesaigues Award.

A concept that goes beyond a simple tattoo competition

The Chaudesaigues Award is part of one aim: to award a tattoo artist for their constant involvement in tattooing, their technical ability, and their artistic creativeness. This stands out from all other tattoo competitions based on the founding principle – a bit like a César in French cinema – rewarding an artist’s entire career. Here, there is no notion of best tattoo or top tattoo as often seen in specific magazines, but a profound desire to recognise long-term efforts by rewarding the person who could legitimately claim to be the best tattoo artist in the world.

An international competition open to tattoo artists the world over

The Chaudesaigues Award is an international award: any country in the world can see their ambassador win. The trophy can equally reward the best tattooist in Paris as the best tattooist in London, or the best tattooist in France as the best tattooist in the US – the aim is to simply and subjectively reward the best tattooist in the world with no geographic limitations. This has been proved with James Kern and Matteo Pasqualin, the first prize-winners were American and Italian respectively.

An award given at Cantal Ink in Chaudes-Aigues

The Chaudesaigues Award is a trophy awarded once a year during a tattoo festival and competition: Cantal Ink. The Chaudesaigues Award is given in the village of Chaudes-Aigues at a competition during the town's tattoo festival, created and presided over by realist tattoo artist Stéphane Chaudesaigues. The award, a sculpture known as Le Cœur des marguerites, is given every year on the first Sunday of July, just before the end of the Cantal Ink festival. What are the criteria for taking part? Tattooing during the festival in Auvergne and never having received the prize before.

You are the ones who vote for the best tattooist in the world

Most tattoo competitions have industry professionals decide on the best tattoo during a convention. The Best of Show organised during Cantal Ink follows the same principle. However, with the Chaudesaigues Award, we’ve left it up to YOU and no-one else to decide who wins. Only those who vote online can decide who they truly deem to be the next best tattooist in the world. Your job is to choose your candidate on our website from the list of Cantal Ink tattooists. A great way to take part in the wonderful and exciting story of French and international tattooing.

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