Image Source: Getty/Olga Pankova
If you're like us, then you were on TikTok one day, minding your business, and somehow landed on #tattootok. Normally, this side of the app would be where you start to find some inspiration for your next tattoo design or maybe scope out some of the latest trends in the space, but it turns out that there's quite a bit of drama happening instead.
For a quick rundown of the three-part series, a woman named Courtney Monteith wanted a tattoo from Ontario-based artist Lindsay Joseph. After charging Monteith a $180 (approx. £145) consultation fee, the artist also told her that she charges a fee to design the actual tattoo. Said fee is structured in three tiers. The first option cost $1500 (approx. £1,200) for a "concept" sketch that allows one minor change and then a final design that you review. The second cost $3500 (approx. £2,800) for two concept sketches, additional changes, and a final design review. The last option was $6000 (approx. £4,800) and involved multiple sketches, reviews, and changes, as well as a canvas of the tattoo concept. Monteith chose the first option and revealed that Joseph also said none of these prices would go toward her final tattoo cost.
The issue arises when Monteith gets the concept sketch back and realises that it looks nothing like the picture she showed and discussed with Joseph. When she flags the issue via email, she's told that in order to make the changes, Joseph would have to charge her the difference between the tier one and two design prices. After some back and forth, Joseph tells her that the tiers were optional, which Monteith says was not made clear. With over now eight million views combined, Monteith's public review has gone viral and people have been leaving negative reviews on the artist's page.
However, Since the videos have caught on steam, Joseph has made her Instagram private, and tattoo artist Matt Vaught has offered to do Monteith's design completely free of charge. POPSUGAR has reached out to both Monteith and Joseph with the latter declining to comment, and the former having yet to respond.
While this saga seems to be headed toward a happy ending, there is a big lesson here: consider your options and trust your gut. It's highly unusual for an artist to charge a fee that does not go toward the cost of your final design. So if one claims to do this, check with others in the area to see if this is a common practice near you. That way, at least you can be prepared with backup options should you decide to go somewhere else.