"Tattoogate" Explained: How One Tattoo Artist Became The Most Hated On TikTok
A shocking controversy has erupted on TikTok, where multiple women's tales of overpriced concept sketches has turned a tattoo artist into an infamous figure on the platform. Social media users speculated that the artist is tracing drawings and is charging her customers thousands of dollars for concept sketches.
One woman has apparently become the most hated tattoo artist on TikTok. According to several users, an artist (allegedly Lindsay Joseph of Lucid Tattoos in Ontario, Canada) "scammed" them for thousands of dollars.
It all started when one woman, @running_mom_of_boys (who goes by cmonteith on TikTok), uploaded a story about a tattoo artist on the platform, garnering millions of views and over 400,000 likes. According to cmonteith, she wanted a tattoo of a fox with flowers. She paid $180 for a consultation and another whopping $1,500 plus tax for one concept sketch that could not be redone. But when the user got her sketch back, she realized it was nothing like she had asked for.
"She told me that she had three options for her design fee," she explains, adding that the "first option was $1,500 plus tax," which is a concept sketch that you can make one "minor change" to and a final design. The second option is $3,500 plus tax, where you get two concept sketches and a few changes. The final option was a shocking $6,000 – keep in mind none of this apparently goes to the tattoo itself – where you get multiple sketches and are allowed many changes.
"Obviously, I pick number one because, like, it's super expensive," cmonteith says. "And she had these pictures, so I was confident she was gonna make me a beautiful piece." Once Monday rolled around, the TikToker received a concept sketch that was "nothing like what I wanted."
"She said that if I wanted another sketch, she was gonna charge me the difference between option one and option number two, which is $2,260," she adds, recalling how she sent the tattoo artist two reference photos of full-bodied foxes. "She said it was my fault that I wasn't clear that I wanted a full fox."
The controversy deepened when users noticed that cmonteith's sketch resembled an already existing fox drawing, fueling theories that the tattoo artist was tracing instead of coming up with original designs.
It doesn't end there – not too long after cmonteith shared her experience, another woman came forward to reveal that she, too, had the misfortune of dealing with the tattoo artist. Ri McCue (@rirality) says she was "basically scammed out of 4,000 dollars from this same artist."
Ri reveals that she paid $180 for a consultation and was quoted $1,700 for a tattoo coverup which required a 50% deposit. A few days before the appointment, the artist called Ri to tell her that she can't cover up her bird tattoos as they previously discussed. "I was like, well, that's not what we had discussed and what I was quoted," Ri states. "So I gave it some other suggestions about, like, coming up to my neck and that sort of thing."
The artist then said that if she wanted to "change the design," she'd have to pay for another consultation and that if she didn't want the new plan, she would have to cancel and lose her $850 deposit. The hefty price tag made Ri feel "obligated" to get her tattoo, so she reluctantly agreed to the terms.
Remember, the original quote was $1,700, but when it was time to pay, Ri was told she would have to pay $4,000. When she refused to pay the total, the cops were called on her.
The tattoo artist also took Ri's license and sent it to other shops to "blacklist" her. "All these tattoo artists are sharing on their Instagram Stories my driver's license and saying that I skip out on paying and I'm a criminal," she says. "I'm getting people messaging me, saying, 'Hey, this is you. What's going on?'"
When the cops came, Ri was told that this was not the "first complaint" they'd gotten about the artist and that "multiple people have had issues with her," but that she legally had to pay her tattoo artist because "she can make up whatever prices she wants." Ri accepted her defeat and sent the remaining balance to the tattooer. "At least I have a tattoo," she says. "I'm happy that I have a tattoo and not just a crappy drawing of a fox. Uh, but it's also $4,000."
This past week, users stormed the tattoo shop's Google reviews to give it one star. The purported artist, Lindsay Joseph, has also made her Instagram account private following the backlash. Evie has attempted to reach out to Lindsay for further comment.
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