Tattoo Artists Discuss When They Had to Refuse to Work on a Customer

I know that some tattoo artists out there will flat-out refuse to put anything offensive on peoples’ bodies…but there are also a lot of folks out there who will do anything for a buck, so you see a lot of tattoos that make you cringe.

But the artists with integrity are pretty adamant about their reputation and their beliefs.

Tattoo artists on AskReddit shared stories of when they had to tell customers NO.

Let’s see what went down.

1. Uh uh.

“A guy wanted “no” on his p**is.

Hard no on that one.”

2. Nope.

“The one that sticks out in mind was this 18 year old white girl went into his shop and asked him to tattoo her knuckles, neck, and do a full sleeve.

The reason he denied it upfront is because he knew she was basically attempting to ruin her social life and be denied jobs forever just because of it.”

3. Sicko.

“Oooo I got one!

I was requested to do a purple star on the a**hole.

He requested we be alone and he’d pay well but I was getting the feeling he wouldn’t pay enough given the uhh… attention he was wanting.

I also refuse hate symbols because I don’t want racists coming to me and my hands get shaky when I’m mad.”

4. Job stoppers.

“Anyone with no ink who wants an everlasting job stopper, hands or neck without a substantial amount of existing ink.

Hard no otherwise is teardrops on your face even if you have f**king killed someone.

Or partners’ names, which are a curse.”

5. Whoa.

“A dude was in the shop with his girlfriend telling me he wanted his name on her neck.

She seemed very quiet and didn’t have a lot to say about it.

It seemed a little weird and when the dude stepped outside for a second I asked her if she really wanted it and she shook her head.

What a d**k.”

6. That’s a huge no-no.

“Hells Angels MC logo.

A guy brought the picture in just cause he saw it and thought it was cool.

I would like to think I may have saved his life or just a serious beating.

I am pretty sure if they knew I did it they might not have been happy.”

7. No stars.

“I asked this question to the artist who did my tattoo.

He said they refused to do stars in his shop.

Apparently stars are for people who want a tattoo but don’t know what they want.”

8. Sounds fair.

“I know a tattoo artist who has a very firm rule about not tattooing hands or neck unless there’s no more room left on the person.

Always thought that was fair.”

9. Bummer!

“My tattoo artist refused to give a guy thigh length tattoos of squirrels going after the dude’s nuts.”

10. A curse!

“Girlfriends and boyfriends names.

Even husbands and wives names are kind of a bad idea as its not unusual for the relationship to go south after getting the tattoo.”

11. No portraits.

“I constantly refuse to do portraits.

I don’t enjoy doing them and if my heart isn’t into it then the customer isn’t getting 100%.

I believe they should to go to someone who loves doing them to get the job they deserve.

And for the record, it irks me that some artists do take on the job of portraits and aren’t good at them.

Stop flooding the industry with mediocre art.

By all means practice on mates who understand but charging top dollar for average jobs just isn’t on.”

12. Good idea.

“A friend of mine is a tattoo artist.

He won’t do any of the really well known gang symbols.

His reasoning is that the gangs have their own people to do it and someone coming into his shop is probably a poser who’s going to get killed for it.”

Have you ever had to turn down a customer for a tattoo?

Or maybe YOU got turned down?

Tell us your stories in the comments!