One of the more fun aspects of being a tattooer is going ahead and doing stuff to yourself that you would almost never agree to do on a paying customer. Many is the convention that ended with 12 drunk guys in one hotel room hand poking something on each other left-handed. Theres about a dozen “rules” being broken during such an event, but like most trades, tattooers feel that once you have earned your way in, learned the right way of doing things then, and only then, is it ok to go ahead and do some dumb shit with your friends.
One example of this is Cara and I continuing to do tattoos on each other featuring the other person. I have her name on my wrist (don’t the night I asked her to marry me) as well as a cool anniversary tattoo we did on each other, she has my name and now she has this:
If you have never met me, then allow me to explain that what you are looking at is my head (and gut) on a very old traditional tattoo of a boxer known as “kid slug” or the “banger”. The quote is from the George Thoroughgood song “one bourbon, one scotch, one beer” and I think its hilarious.
Now if a random customer wandered in and asked me for someones name or picture they get the lecture. Not because i wont do the tattoo, but because I want them to be fully aware of what they are getting into. If they know the deal, are old enough for a tattoo and still feel strongly enough to get the tattoo then I’m all for it. In fact I secretly love doing names of someones boyfriend/girlfriend, I am aware that many (or most) of these will end up being regretted, but I’m enough of a sentimentalist that i still think its sweet.