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Tattoo Artists Talked About Their Mistakes and Now We’ll Think Twice Before Getting a Tattoo

The Reddit user Sorceress683 decided to ask tattoo artists about their mistakes. This question got a lot of replies. People shared their stories about their failures and their clients’ reactions.

We at Bright Side have chosen the most interesting stories to share with you.

  • One of the artists misspelled “neighborhood” on this guy’s neck. He spelled it “neigborhood,” leaving out the first “H.” Neighborhood was the guy’s nickname. It was a pretty large, elaborate tattoo, so there was no fixing it. I don’t think I have ever cringed so hard in my life. The guy was surprisingly really cool about it. He did see the drawing and approved it before it was tattooed on. He ended up making the artist tattoo an “H” on his palm so if anyone asked him about the misspelling he could smack that person with the missing “H.” © eccoothedolphin / Reddit

  • My ONLY spelling mistake ever was in Italian. Girl wants a phrase in Italian. She writes it down no less than 5x on a piece of paper. I tell her to make sure it is correct, I don’t speak Italian. She insists it is correct. I draw up some nice script, tattoo it with no issues, bandage it, she pays, and she leaves. She comes back in hysterics and tells me I spelled it wrong. I hadn’t thrown out the paper. I spelled it exactly how she spelled it. I asked what she wanted to do, and she decided “eh no one I know speaks Italian.” That was about 15 years ago, I often wonder if she ended up getting it covered up. © Zornamental / Reddit

  • I was working at a place when a guy came in for a full back piece of 3 different cars. It took like 4 visits to finish and each visit he’d look at it and say it looks awesome, and then he would take off. On the last visit, they call me in to look at it and show me how awesome it turned out. Well, all the steering wheels were on the wrong side and the reason no one caught it was because the dude was looking in a mirror to check his progress, so they looked correct. I’m pretty sure the guy was super chill about it when they offered a bunch of free work and they fixed it in another session. © JoshSidekick / Reddit

  • I had a client who decided he wanted lettering on his forearms, sayings in Greek and Hebrew. He doesn’t speak either language, but he had one of his friends double-check the spelling before he sent the references to me. Came in, we did the tattoos, it was a pretty simple appointment. Fast forward to a couple of weeks later. He owns a small construction/restoration company and has a few Israeli guys who work for him that were laughing at him a lot. The font he had chosen off a quick google search essentially changed a couple of the letters, making it a completely different word. We ended up being able to fix it pretty easily and had a good laugh about it, but definitely beware when you’re getting tattoos in a language you and your artist don’t speak! © Isabump / Reddit

  • So I didn’t mess up but I had a client scare me. I was tattooing his sister’s name on him (she passed away). “Gabriela” with 1 “L” in it. Past the point of no return, he asks me “there’s 2 L’s, right?” I think I had a heart attack, and he started laughing. He thought it was hilarious, I died a little and pretended to laugh. © tinawww / Reddit

  • A few years ago I was tattooing a client who had apparently lost a bet. It was “A leprechaun throwing up on a book.” Sure, why not, everyone was sober and they were paying pounds upfront. Everyone liked it... Except for the guy with the tattoo. Comes in about 10 days later, demanding a refund of money. I was yelled at by my boss and told to NEVER tattoo anyone like that, it only works in television series or films. © Mars_The_68thMedic / Reddit

  • Had a dad getting his children’s birthdays wrong (happens a lot actually. Dude, I don’t know what month your kid was born... Call your wife!). © Totally_Not_* / Reddit

  • A girl came in for a tattoo of a simple heart on her shoulder. She brought in her boyfriend who, while my friend was setting up, kept ranting about how expensive it was, how it’s a little work, and how it shouldn’t cost that much... blah blah blah. My friend was listening to him while setting up, and when he finished he said look, if you want to, you can tattoo your girlfriend free of charge. They happily agreed, and an hour later she walked out of the shop with a tattoo of a potato on her shoulder. © dankboipablo / Reddit

  • I saw this once: there was an Asian girl and a guy with a tattoo in Chinese. She asked him what the tattoo meant. He said, “I love my mother.” The girl laughed and said that it actually meant, “I love horses.” © louiscypher8 / Reddit

  • I had a client email me asking for a 4-letter acronym. I put the letters into a font generator and sent him back some options. He picked the one he liked best and we set an appointment date. Midway through the tattoo, I asked him what the letters stood for and he told me. My heart stopped. The letters were in the wrong order. The rest of the time, I spent fixing the tattoo. © ALasagnaForOne / Reddit

  • I’ve never really made any big mistakes that garnered a reaction, but one of my clients has a tattoo from another artist at a local studio that says “Gradad” instead of “Grandad.” © mt995 / Reddit

  • Once had a client call the shop who was crying hysterically because, according to her, I had done her tattoo backward. It took a few minutes to get her to calm down to the point where we realized she was looking at it in the mirror. She apologized and hung up. © willieyobslayer / Reddit

Do you know any stories about failed tattoos? Share them with us in the comment section below!

Preview photo credit eccoothedolphin / reddit
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