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Redditor Demands A Refund After Discovering Tattoo Artist Hid Her Initials In Their Tattoo

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Getting a tattoo is a big deal.

A person is marking their body for life.

So unless you’re fall down drunk, most people plan out their tattoo intimately.

But sometimes the work isn’t what you’d expect.

Case in point…

Redditor TattoodNoobAITA wanted to discuss their experience and get some feedback. So naturally, they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

They asked:

“AITA for getting mad my artist hid their initials in my tattoo?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“This is a short one.”

“Names changed for privacy.”

“I went to a tattoo shop in my area, with a photo of the tattoo I wanted.”

‘It was one my dad had gotten to honor my passed grandfather who’s father also had it.”

“But the point is – it was important to me that the tattoo looked EXACTLY as it did in the photo.”

“I get to the shop, I explain everything, I pay, get the tattoo, and we’re done.”

“I think it looks awesome, everything is great!”

“Until a few weeks later when I show my great grandmother the tattoo.”

“She’s ecstatic, grabs my arm to look at and compliment it, then asks, ‘Who’s AJ?'”

“I ask her what she means, and she points out on the tattoo where the initials A and J or maybe T were hidden into the tattoo.”

“I’m instantly pissed, as my artist’s name is Alice Trever.”

“She tries to assure me it’s no big deal if I hadn’t noticed it til now, but I still reached out to the artist sort of irritated.”

“They told me the style of art I got is called traditional and it’s ‘pretty trad’ for all artists who do that style to do it.”

“I demanded a partial refund and they refused, so I complained to the owner who made the artist give me a full refund.”

“Now the artist is running a full smear campaign, talking about moving shops, and all kinds of crap.”

“My sister says I’m an a**hole for pushing the issue, but I feel like, at the end of the day, I told you exactly what I wanted and you didn’t do that.”


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA and I would even consider suing.”

“They kind of branded you with their initials.”

“And they should get fired.”  ~ Ok_Possibility5715

“Especially since it sounds like OP told the artist it needs to be EXACT.”

“And they still put their initials anyway.”

“You get permission before you do that s*it, it’s permanent after all who wants a random person’s initials in their tattoo?” ~ _ac3_0f_spad3s_

“Here’s the thing: I worked in tattoo for over a decade and I can tell you no one, I mean no one that’s a professional artist would ever consider hiding anything.”

“Much less their own name or initials inside someone else’s tattoo.”

‘It’s not ‘trad,’ it’s not normal, and it’s not okay.”

“I’m horrified some scratcher tried to pass this off as a thing.”

“It’s not a thing.”

“I’m with some of these other commentators that OP should sue.”

“It’s not frivolous if someone branded their name on you without consent. Super uncool.”  ~ WithoutDennisNedry

“Tattoo artist must be licensed, correct?”

“I’m pretty sure it’s a requirement in each state here in the US.”

“I’d also imagine it’s like that in most countries as well.”

“Maybe OP should contact the organization that licensed the tattoo artist for possible revocation of their tattoo license.”

“OP, NTA and please do go after this artist in any legal manner, so they can’t try the same thing on other unsuspecting customers.”  ~ Kilran3

“NTA. This person straight up BRANDED you!”

“Not only that, this isn’t even the artist’s design, it’s a copied design!”  ~ Pickitline

“Considering the tattoo was supposed to be an exact copy covering the initials would not make this situation right.”

“Completely removing the tattoo with laser treatments than reapplying the tattoo as an exact copy without the initials is the only way to make the situation right.”

“It would be up to OP if they wanted to go through all that pain to rectify the situation.” ~ Proxiimity

“Exactly. If OP went in with a concept and the artist designed the whole tattoo, I wouldn’t be mad about a well hidden artist’s initial.”

“But OP went in with an exact design they wanted copied over, exact is the key word.”  ~ Revan343

“Not only that, it’s not even their design!”

“It’s be one thing if it was this artist’s original work, but she was replicating something.”

“Major *ick move, already, and that’s before we even start the conversation about consent.”

“Def NTA, OP.”  ~ GooseDactyl

“NTA. I remember there was an Ink Master episode where someone had a piece with a clock face and the artist put their time of birth on it as some kind of ‘signature.'”

“The judges ripped him up for it. Same basic principle.”

“Tattoo artists shouldn’t be signing a tat in anyway without first discussing it with the client.”

“Your artist definitely shouldn’t have done this since it was a particularly meaningful design for you.” ~ RubY-F0x

“Not only did the Artist permanently brand you without your permission.”

“But it wasn’t even original artwork.”

“This artist has to be so full of herself, she must be bursting at the seems. NTA.”  ~ REDDIT

“I recently got a couple new tattoos and one of them has script in my mom’s handwriting.”

“My artist was so careful to make sure it was still her handwriting; she had me ask my mom to do it on a hilly slant since it’s with a flower stem.”

“I have a lot of trust in her and I’m obsessed with both of my new pieces.”

“It’s nice to work with someone that isn’t super pushy and that I could trust to get what I wanted.”

“I would be LIVID in OP’s position.” ~ livlivesforbrains

“NTA. I’m a tattooed guy and this thing is incredibly gross, she ruined a meaningful piece of art and she branded your own body without giving you a heads up.”

“And now she’s trying to play victim over it?”

“Are these details discussed in this ‘smear campaign’ of hers?”

“If I were you (and with the store owner’s blessing), I’d intervene and explain to everyone exactly what she did.”

“Because that sh*t will get her trashed pretty bad in the tattoo community.”

“ETA: You know what, scratch ‘with the store owner’s blessing,’ she’s dragging their name in the mud anyway, and you gotta protect her future clients from this bulls*it.”  ~ exaltedbythesun

“NTA. The artist put something on your body they didn’t have permission to.”

“You didn’t consent to their initials, and it’s really weird to mark another person with your name without them knowing.”

“I hope word gets around because what this artist did was definitely not okay.”  ~ TinyRascalSaurus

“So much NTA.”

“My mother’s last position before she retired was as a same-day surgery scrub nurse at a teaching hospital.”

“She told me warning stories about how there’s always a percentage of surgical residents who are… well like this one guy she gave as an example…”

“He would carve his initials into the skulls of brain surgery patients any time he got the chance.”

“When it comes to your body, anyone doing anything to it not medically warranted or specifically requested by you as part of a service, should not be in a profession where they put hands on people.”

“Your tattoo artist should not be a tattoo artist.”  ~ HelenGonne

“NTA and I would blow that artist up on social media so her customers know what she’s doing.”

“You should seriously consider suing the artist and/or the shop for removal of that portion of the tattoo, and the cost of getting another artist to fix it.”

“That is unbelievably unethical of that tattoo artist.”  ~ telepathicathena

“NTA. I’d take the artist to small claims court to pay for a removal personally.”

‘I’d never want anyone’s initials on me without my consent.”

“And it is absolutely not standard to initial a tattoo in American traditional style.” ~ LoupGarou95

“NTA. I have a LOT of ‘traditional’ tattoos and traditional or not, no reputable artist would do this unless it was agreed in advance and part of the final, approved design.”  ~ _WearAllTheHats_

“Former tattoo artist here (9 yrs as one) absolutely NTA.”

“When I was training my mentor warned me about other artists who did that.”

“It used to be quite a common thing… it horrified me when he told me and I still find it terrible now, you NEVER do anything without consent when tattooing!

“Sorry that happened to you, you deserved that full refund.”  ~ cashpound

“NTA. I have heard of this- of tattoo artists having a signature, I can think of a few locally.”

“One guy (he’s retired now) was so popular and talented that having his signature on your tattoo was a big part of the appeal.”

“However, I’ve never heard of anyone doing it without permission, that’s bonkers.”

“Also, someone else had mentioned, it wasn’t even their design.”

“Not only did they owe you a refund, but the owner should be getting another artist at the shop to cover it for you free of charge.”  ~ WellEffItForNow

Well OP, Reddit is in your corner.

Your body, your choice.

It sounds like you may want to talk to a lawyer.

Good luck in the resolution.