James Samuela, Tattoo Artist in Tahiti, Island of Moorea

Born James Samuela on the island of Tahiti, it was a dare with his neighbor at the age of 12 that led to his first tattoo. Little did he know, that first blob of ink would lead to his becoming one of the most popular tattoo artists in French Polynesia. James has now been tattooing professionally since 1998. In addition to Moorea, he has tattooed in France, Spain, Switzerland and the United States. Perhaps it’s only natural James ended up tattooing, as he is the direct descendant of some of the first tattoo artists in the Marquesas.


James has studied extensively the ancient tattoos of his Marquesan ancestors. This combined with his studies of 5-years at L’Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts in Paris, give him a broad and unique background in the arts. Also a painter and sculptor, James has a strong understanding of proportion and symbolism.


Today, James is the only tattoo artist in French Polynesia currently practicing the traditional art of tatau. As such, he is quite busy and an appointment is absolutely necessary.