The "Drake Tattoo" Question
"You get the tattoo you deserve."
It's a belief held by many, and hell, I've said it from time to time. In tattooer interviews, you'll often find discussions on what tattoos the artists won't do. For example, in my Q&A with Jack Rudy for Inked mag, he said:
I try to stay away from racist stuff, religious blasphemous stuff, and really negative things that I think could come back and bite that person in the ass real hard. I'd rather not be a part of that even if they insist on having it. There are people that'll do anything on ya--you can always find people that will just do whatever the customer may want--but those are a few things that I really try to avoid.Then there are others who say that if the client is going to go elsewhere, it's best that they do it themselves and get it right. With regard to racist tattoos, some artists just don't want to spend any time with a bigot in their chair, while others will do the tattoo so society knows just who they are dealing with. And of course there are people who will do anything for cash.
Tons of ethical dilemmas arise re: putting on a tattoo that a client may likely regret. The latest tattoo that has caught the most buzz is the "DRAKE" lettering across a young woman's forehead. It's been posted on tons of blogs, in a point & laugh kind of way, but we're digging this Vice article, which interviews the man who did the infamous facial work. The tattooist, Kevin Campbell, of Will Rise studio in LA describes the experience and responds to those who say he should have never done it. Here's a bit of that interview:
Do you feel sort of bad about it after the fact?
Read more here.
While I disagree with Campbell, I was understanding his arguments to a certain degree. ... That is, until the very final line of the interview: "She was on a pretty good one when she came in, but I think by the time I finished she was coming down, because her attitude changed pretty drastically once the tattoo was finished."
So, in essence, the problem here is actually tattooing someone who is high and unable to make clear decisions. And in these cases, the client does not get the tattoo he or she deserves.
What do you think? Comment on this post in our Facebook Group.
UPDATE: Kevin Campbell says that his reply to Vice was misinterpreted, and the woman was in fact sober. I posted his response in the group forum linking this post.