Episode 1: Oh My God, He's Dying
(This didn't happen to me, but I was there when it did, heheheh.)
A lady comes into the shop I was working for at the time for a tattoo, (not sure what it was). She sits down with one of the artists and gets her tattoo. She liked it so much, she makes an appointment for her and her husband to get tattoos in the near future.
Tattoo day comes and the wife and husband arrive with daughter and boyfriend in tow. Now this is hubby's first tattoo, no problem, he's got this. After all, it's a small tattoo on the bicep, how bad could it be? Wifey, (who is a registered nurse, by the way), goes first. Bing,Bang,Done, no worries.
So hubby gets his stencil, settles in as comfortable as can be with legs stretched out front and slighlty reclined, looking somewhat anxious to feel the sting. As all hubby's crew is gathered, anticipating the first prick and dad's reaction, The artist begins tattooing. So far, So good, so boyfriend and daughter step out of the shop.
I have a client in my chair and I'm buzzin away on his piece, when all of a sudden, at the top of her lungs, wifey starts screaming "Oh my God, He's dying!" which commands the immediate attention of everyone in the shop. Luckily, the artist managed to get the chair reclined back to ensure the client doesn't slide out, before his wife throws a cup of water in his face, then proceeds to slap the shit out of him while screaming all kinds of shit. "Call 911, he's dying". The artist is unsuccessful at calming her down so he can handle the situation as we are equipped and experience this reaction from time to time. My client turns to me with great concern and asks, "Should I go over there? I'm certified CPR", I say no as I'm trying not to laugh, at least noticeably, This poor lady thinks her husband is dying and is desperately trying to revive him, Old West style. At this point she's showing no sign of letting up on her husband's jaw and I'm starting to think I need to grip her up before she breaks her hubands jaw. The artist conceded at this point, slumped back in his chair and is watching this RN's emergency skillset, in amazement, by the look on the artist face he must have said fuck it, I'll let her finish.
With hubby still out, she proceeds to place her hands around his throat and shake violently, I guess she learned that during clinicals. As she's still freakin out and yelling while choking hubby, the daughter and boyfriend come back into the middle of this shit show and immediately burst into hysterical crying, (you know, the type where you can't catch your breath). Rushing to her dad's aid, pushing the artist aside. The boyfriend about faced and headed to the door, like he didn't want no part of it. This poor fuck client has had the shit slapped out of, choked and shaken, now 2 frantic family members sucking the air out his face as they still think he's dying. Somehow, the artist managed to get the ammonia under his nose during all this craziness and actually revive him and quell the tears. After a couples minutes the husband was good to go, no more problems.
I guess this is why, as a general rule of thumb, medical professional should not tend to an emergency of family when others are there to act with out bias.
Wish we had that on tape. hehehe
Have you ever tried to guess what someone is thinking? That is exactly what it's like for your artist when a client is giving a vague description of their idea for their next tattoo. Specifically when the description includes " I want it to look beautiful," or "I want it to pop," beauty is a matter of opinion, or is in the eyes of the beholder. In other words, one person's idea of what is beautiful or visually appealling can and will vary from one person to the next.
The best thing you can do is bring reference pictures that visually conveys what you consider to be beautiful or appealing. This way, the artist has a clearer understanding of what you're trying to describe and not guessing what is in your mind's eye, If we could read minds we wouldn't be tattooing for a living. Even better, if you're able to sketch the general layout of your design it can be helpful for the artist to gain the basic concept of your idea.
Think of these simple guidelines toward your tattoo design and you're less likely to frustrate your artist. The last thing you want is a pissed off tattoo artist making permanent marks on your body, in return pissing you off because you didn't get what you were looking for in a tattoo.
Neckbone (Mike Harmon)
Shop Owner and Artist