I have been wanting to get another tattoo for quite a while, and finally decided it was time. I asked Mr. Vox for a gift certificate at a particular shop for Christmas, and he got it for me. In the meantime, I settled on a design, which incorporates three pansies of different colors in a very vintage seed catalog sort of style.
I e-mailed the shop yesterday, requesting the specific artist I wanted, and attached a file that contained the picture above, the color motifs that I wanted the flowers, and an example of the style of tattoo that I really like, where there are no black outlines and the whole thing looks more like a watercolor. I had a voice mail later in the day from their receptionist, and she said that the artist I wanted, Bill*, was not accepting new clients because he had a list of people who were partially inked by him and he needed to finish those jobs first. (That there were a bunch of incomplete jobs is not that unusual, as larger pieces take a LOT of time and people will go in for multiple sessions and then need to heal up again before they go back to get the next section done.) In short, I couldn’t get the guy I wanted to do my tattoo.
I was totally bummed, because I didn’t think the other two artists in the shop had styles that matched up with what I wanted to do, and I wasn’t sure they’d give me a refund on the gift certificate. I didn’t want to ask for a refund and find that they wouldn’t give me the money back, forcing me to get inked by someone I didn’t really want marking me up for life. I fretted about it a lot over the last while, but decided to at least call and talk to them today.
When I called this afternoon, the receptionist gave me quite a song and dance about how the files I sent were super specific and that Bill would only accept clients who were a lot more flexible than I was willing to be and who appreciated his artistic license. I was a little bit confused because I really don’t think I’m all that high maintenance and that what I was asking for wasn’t very extreme. But I figured that if he didn’t want me for a client, I didn’t want him for an artist. I was super nice and asked if they’d consider a refund of the gift certificate so I could go to my second choice for the ink. She said that was totally fine and asked for my gift certificate number so she could make a note on their file to refund it. I gave it to her and got off the phone.
Thirty minutes later, the phone rang and it was the receptionist. She said, “This is [Anonyvox], right? And your design was of pansies?” I said it was, and she said, “Oh my god, I owe you a HUGE apology. I had you confused with this woman who has been driving us crazy here at the shop and we really, really don’t want to work with her. When you gave me your certificate number, I looked it up and saw your name. Well, her name is [really similar to Anonyvox], and when I first said we couldn’t do your tattoo, it was because I thought you were her.” I started laughing. She went on and said that the lady calls the shop almost every day, and has sent over fifty e-mails with very, very specific images that she wants replicated exactly. The artist has told her flat-out that he doesn’t think he can do what she is asking for, because what she wants won’t translate onto living skin the way she thinks it will. The receptionist told me she explained her mix-up to the artist and showed him the images I had sent, and he told her that my stuff is exactly the kind of work he wants to do more of, and to please call me back and try to get me booked.
After hearing all that, and because I am still quite sure that this artist is the one I want to do my design, I agreed to book with him. He’s pretty in-demand, so my appointment is in August, unless they get a cancellation and can get me in sooner. All is well that ends well, and I think we all learned a lesson today.
Now I’m super excited for August!