Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Keep Your Appointment (and What to Do When They Don't)

 Tattoo Nerd,

 I have been in the business for about 8 years now, and I have this client that got work from me when I was just staring out.  I hear from her once every year or so.  She asks about a tattoo for herself or a friend, and sets an appointment.  We hash out some of the details before I notice that she is getting a little flakey about keeping in contact and confirming her appointment.  This last week, she settled on a day but not a time, told me two days prior that she would get back to me about the design, never confirmed, and did not respond to any of my messages the day of the tattoo.  It is frustrating, and I am thinking that I should just write her off and not deal with her anymore.  I feel bad, because she was one of my first clients, but I think I have hit my limit.

 What do you think?

 First of all, let me say that I just love that people are starting to refer to me as "Tattoo Nerd".  I consider it high praise that I am being recognized for my work.  

 I think we, as tattoo artists, have all had clients like the one you described,  In fact, probably multiple clients.  I am not certain if the problem is a matter of casual disrespect or an exaggerated view of tattoo artists.  On the one hand, it could be that people do not consider being a tattoo artist a "real" profession.  They have no real concept of the time, dedication, and effort that goes into being a tattooer, often because they have not experienced that kind of effort in their own pursuits.  They may also fail to recognize the expense of setting-up for a tattoo or drawing a design in advance, because, hey, that is what we do for fun, right? 

 On the other hand, they may realize we are professionals and have a high degree of respect for what we do.  In their minds, we tattooers are all "cool".  We are causal and laid back.  If they cannot make their appointment, it is okay, because we are hip and understanding.  That is why we are tattooers, because we are cool and talented.  It is no big deal to us.  

 Dear friends and tattoo patrons, neither of these perspectives are correct.  Tattooers are business professionals.  They can be more casual about their approach to business, but when you fail to make your appointment it hurts our bottom-line.  We are not paid an hourly wage, and any time we spend engaged with a client is with the goal of there being a cash-reward for our efforts.  This includes email exchanges, phone calls, drawing, follow-up discussions, confirmation of an appointment, and setting-up for the tattoo.  Those materials on the tattooers table; medical liners, ink caps, needles, tubes, inks, paper towels, ointments, etc, are not cheap, and come out of the tattooer's wallet.  The shop may provide for some of his or her supplies, but even that is with the expectation that a cash-reward will result from their use.  When you skip-out on an appointment, it is costing your artist money.

 As a customer, ask yourself this: you set an appointment with your tattooer and when you arrive at the studio, he or she is not there.  No call, no note, just not there.  How many times would this need to happen before you sought out another tattooer?  If you put up with this twice, you are extremely charitable.  

 It is tempting, as a tattooer, to take this attitude and black-list those clients that consistently skip-out on appointments.  As business-persons, we cannot afford that mentality.  Think of it this way; you own a retail store.  There is a guy who comes in once a week.  He browses your wares, asks you some questions, doesn't cause any problems, and doesn't buy anything,  He just wastes some of your time.  You could tell him to buy something or get out, but that will create an unhappy customer.  He WILL tell everyone he knows that you treated him badly; the fact that he was wasting your time weekly and never made an actual purchase will not be mentioned.  Not only have you made no money, you now have a black-mark against your reputation as a business.  You are better off just dealing with it, and maybe one glorious day that "customer" will actually buy something.

 When a tattooer is just starting out, we feel lucky just to have someone consider us for work.  We listen to every pie-in-the-sky promise to be on-time for an appointment, to bring friends to us, to help get our name out, etc.  It takes a few years to realize that cash is king, and that all the promises in the world are meaningless until the money is in your hand.  It takes a few more years before we are good enough to establish that kind of standard.  An appointment is not an appointment without a deposit.  When I started out, my clients would have balked at the idea that they needed to pay me $50 in advance to keep a slot in my schedule open for them.  Now, it is expected that my time comes at a premium.

 For sentimental reasons, I understand the reservations about changing the way you handle one of your first clients, but after 8 years of experience, you have grown enough to start being taken seriously.  Don't black-list your clients, but do let the know that you have grown as a tattooer and that your time is in demand.  When your client reaches out to you again for a tattoo, let them know that you cannot set an appointment without a deposit.  No drawing anything up, no penciling anyone in.  When they are ready to pay a deposit, they are ready to set an appointment.  They are always welcome to walk-in and see if you are available, but without cash in advance there will be no promises.  Those who appreciate your work and respect the value of your time will have no problem with your policy. 

 Jason Sorrell is a writer, tattoo artist, satirist, artist, and generally nice guy living in Austin, TX.  He loves answering questions about tattoos.  Shoot him an email at tattoonerdz@gmail.com.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

2015 Star of Texas Tattoo Art Revival Wrap-Up (Days Three and Four)


 If you would like to read about the Opening Party (Day One), click here

 If you would like to read about the Convention Floor (Day Two), click here.

 There is nothing quite like a tattoo convention.  Studios, artists, suppliers, vendors, and entertainers from all over the world set-up to show their collective stuff to the public and to share what they do with the industry.  The biggest conventions, like the Star of Texas Tattoo Art Revival, draw international crowds, giving local artists an opportunity to rub elbows with the best in the industry and make their mark (literally).  The Star of Texas Tattoo Art Revival is an annual event in Austin, usually scheduled in January for one weekend.  Most years I manage to visit for one day, often on a run to score a deal on tattoo-ink sets and other supplies while checking out the latest innovations in the industry.  This year, one of my daughters gave me a weekend-pass as a Christmas present, so I will be going every day and taking in as many of the events as possible.


Brass Ovaries Pole Dancing
 I had the opportunity to speak to some folks on the street on the way to the convention each day I attended.  I found it interesting that even those that frequent the area around the Palmer Event Center, where the Star of Texas Tattoo Art Revival was being held, were not aware that a tattoo convention was happening.  Those I spoke with seemed even more surprised when I suggested that they should check it out.  The Star of Texas Tattoo Art Revival is for more than just tattooers and collectors.  Anyone interested in art and culture will find something worthwhile at the convention, and in my opinion it is as much a part of the Austin-Experience as a visit to Barton Springs.

 As the name implies, the convention's focus is on art. This includes not only the tattoos and the tattoo influenced art work, but also the entertainment arts which have a deep bond with the tattoo industry. Tattooing has long been a form of cultural expression just outside the mainstream, and as such has a historical connection with other forms of "low-brow" art; strip-tease, burlesque, and circus side-shows.  These three inter-related forms of entertainment shared a distinction of being of dubious repute; frowned upon by civic leaders while greatly enjoyed by the common man. Their "outsider" status gave the entertainers and performers of these art forms more freedom to be tattooed without any further social stigma, and getting a tattoo was often a sign of their commitment to the art form they practiced and the life-style those practices demanded.


Doubledown Dixie
 Tattooing has come a long way since the prohibition days, and because of the support shown to the tattoo industry in those times by other outside artists, the tattoo industry often favors these groups.  The evening show at the Star of Texas Tattoo Art Revival serves to underscore that deep bond.  Routinely hosted are side-show and carnival performers, exotic dancers, comedians, and magicians.  This year was no exception.  Each night closed with performances by Brass Ovaries Pole Dancing, a burlesque set by Doubledown Dixie, and a side-show performance by The Lizard Man.

 Unfortunately, the stage lighting was not conducive to my camera, so the images included here were borrowed from the web-pages of the performers.

 The two performers from Brass Ovaries Pole Dancing performed a beautiful and impressively athletic set of dances.  A portable pole was set-up on stage, and the girls provided amazing examples of aerial athleticism.  Brass Ovaries Pole Dancing offers training in their art to those seeking a distinctively different way to get in shape; regardless of age or gender.  They are also available to perform at parties and events, at an extremely affordable rate.

 There is something markedly refreshing about burlesque.  It is sensual, even sexual, but also tasteful, high-spirited, and irreverently innocent.  It always seems like burlesque dancers are having fun, and Doubledown Dixie epitomizes fun.  Curvy and energetic, Doubledown Dixie took the stage with a wink and mischievous smile.  Her dance routine was beautiful to behold, drawing in the crowd and making them root for more.  


The Lizardman
 Erik "The Lizard Man" Sprague was the act that I was really excited to see.  I am fascinated by the limits of the human body and the extremes we will often go to in order to express ourselves.  "Extreme" well-describes the Lizard Man.  The Lizard Man has spent around 700 hours under the needle having scales tattooed all over his body.  He has several piercings and has stretched his earlobes to allow him to lift weights and even pull cars with his ears.  He has subdermal implants over each of his eyes to form horned ridges, a bifurcated tongue, and has filed his teeth into fangs.

 He demonstrated these modifications, performed unique versions of traditional side-show stunts including the Human Blockhead, Sword Swallowing, and Plate Spinning (on a pin based in his nasal sinus).  He and his two assistants also engaged in an attempt at comedy. The banter had its moments, but I read that he leads a band and hope he fairs better as a musical performer.  Still, it was an amazing and entertaining performance.

 You will be hard-pressed to see another collection of entertainers like this anywhere but at a tattoo convention.

 In addition to the nightly show, there are daily tattoo contests.  These contests allow collectors to show off their tattoos and honor the artists behind them.  Each day, different categories are opened to convention-goers to enter.  A panel of three judges gauges the tattoos on their artistic merit, body placement, and technical quality.  During the day, the contests are open to only tattoos that have healed completely.  In the evening, the "Tattoo of the Day" contest is held, with tattoos done at the convention that day being entered and judged.  The winners receive a hand-made sculptural award and bragging rights.  

 As I stated, these contests are an excellent way to honor your tattoo artist.  Nothing says that you are proud of the work they have done more than being willing to show it off and have it judged.  A crowd gathers for each contest, allowing you to show your tattoo and let everyone know who you artist is.  Even if you do not win, it is a great tribute.

 The Star Of Texas Tattoo Art Revival should be on your Austin to-do list, as should be a visit to a convention in your area if you are not in Austin.  Not all art is in a gallery, and your patronage supports local artists and craftsmen, as well as exposes you to a cultural experience unlike any other.  I recommend selecting a day to check out the entire convention; from opening to close, and if you know an artist participating to show your support by paying them a visit or even getting some work done.  

 Jason Sorrell is a writer, tattoo artist, satirist, artist, and generally nice guy living in Austin, TX.  He loves answering questions about tattoos.  Shoot him an email at tattoonerdz@gmail.com.

Friday, January 16, 2015

2015 Star of Texas Tattoo Art Revival Convention Floor (Day Two)


 If you would like to read about the Opening Party (Day One), click here

 There is nothing quite like a tattoo convention.  Studios, artists, suppliers, vendors, and entertainers from all over the world set-up to show their collective stuff to the public and to share what they do with the industry.  The biggest conventions, like the Star of Texas Tattoo Art Revival, draw international crowds, giving local artists an opportunity to rub elbows with the best in the industry and make their mark (literally).  The Star of Texas Tattoo Art Revival is an annual event in Austin, usually scheduled in January for one weekend.  Most years I manage to visit for one day, often on a run to score a deal on tattoo-ink sets and other supplies while checking out the latest innovations in the industry.  This year, one of my daughters gave me a weekend-pass as a Christmas present, so I will be going every day and taking in as many of the events as possible.
 
 First of all, let's start with some convention tips:

 -Know when the convention opens.  I was under the impression that the convention opened at 10am, when it in fact opened at noon.  I arrived at 11, while artists were still setting up.  My bad.

 -Wear comfortable shoes.  This comes from past experience.  My Doc Martens are awesome boots, but walking and standing in them for hours is tough on the feet.

 -Check out all the vendors and artists booths before you start spending.  There are over 250 exhibitors displaying their talents and wares.  You may regret an impulse purchase at the front end of the show when you get around to the back end. 

Chris Trevino!
 -Bring a bottle of water.  Even on a cool day, all the bodies milling around on the convention floor will generate some heat.  You may also want to leave your jacket in the car.

 -If you can, make your purchases on your way out.  Even carrying a poster can start to get cumbersome after an hour or two.

 -Treat the portfolios gently.  Take a look through each of the portfolios.  Compliment the artists if they are on hand.  There are no slackers at the convention.  Everyone brought their A-game.

 -Watch where you are stepping, and be courteous.  There are a lot of bodies milling around, so be careful and try to show everyone a little respect.

Kids Corner
 -Ask permission before taking pictures of people getting tattooed.  Most people getting work done at a convention are comfortable with being seen, but it is always best to ask.

 The Star of Texas Tattoo Art Revival has been a local event for 13 years running, and is one of the largest tattoo conventions in Texas.  Each year, hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of patrons visit the convention to see the art, enjoy the shows, and get tattoos.

 For tattoo artists, conventions offer a number of opportunities.  Seminars on everything from tattoo safety to styles of art are held during conventions, giving artists and chance to learn and grow.  Talent from all over the world is often drawn to the convention, allowing artists to see what others are doing and hone their own skills based on the practices they observe.  The event allows local shops to reach out to the community and share what they do, drawing additional business for the rest of the year.  It is a great time to meet with vendors and see new innovations in the industry being offered to make the tattoo process safer and better for customers and tattooers.  It is also a great time to show their stuff, rub elbows with leaders in the tattoo field, and enjoy being immersed in the tattoo culture.

Daaron Davis!
 It was awesome to observe some of these guys and gals at work, and to talk to them about what they have going on.  Daaron Davis, Phil Hatchet Yau, Chris Trevino, and their clients, were all cool enough to let me photograph them while they did their thing.  Each was engaged in an impressive piece of art, and I did not want to be too much of a distraction.  

 For visitors, collectors, and the curious, there is plenty going on as well.  You not only have some of the most amazing talent on display available to give you a great tattoo, you also have an incredible collection of fine and graphic artists sharing their creations.  The Star of Texas Tattoo Art Revival features an art gallery of tattoo-themed art, ranging from traditional tattoo work to pieces that rival classical fine art.  At the booths, artists offer small pieces and prints to give even those on a modest budget an opportunity to own a piece of out-of-the-ordinary art.  Children are welcomed and encouraged to visit the Kids Corner, where they can get pictures as a tattoo gal or gent, get fake tattoos, and color tattoo coloring pages.  At 7pm Friday and Saturday, several performers take the stage, offering exotic attractions that will impress and amaze.
Art Gallery

 The crowd today was already building before the doors opened at noon, and only grew as the day went on.  Machines were buzzing as soon as the doors were open.  It is not uncommon for tattoo artists to schedule appointments for conventions (if you wish to be tattooed by a participating artists, appointments in advance are always a good idea), but many of the artists were ready to take walk-ups.  The portfolios on display all featured some amazing work, making the toughest choice often who to get a tattoo from.  For those wanting to become tattoo artists themselves, the convention offers a great opportunity to pick the brains of some of the best in the industry, as all the artists are more open to discuss the business at these events.  It is also an excellent chance to observe tattoos being rendered by masters of the craft.  
Phil Hatchet Yau!

  Every time I go the convention, there is always at least one piece of art that really catches my eye, and I find I have to have a print or copy of the work.  I recently realized that almost without fail, that art work was created by one artist, Mr. Joey Ortega.  I bought one of his pieces years ago when I went to my first Star of Texas Tattoo Art Revival, and wouldn't you know it that as I walked the booths today I saw a piece I liked and it was one of his.  Joey Ortega has designed the Star of Texas Tattoo Art Revival poster for years, and this year it was my great honor to finally meet the man and humbly have my photo taken with him.  Thank you, sir!


Joey Ortega with some Tattoo Nerd
 I will also be remiss if I did not mention who I spent most of the afternoon with.  Mr. Kyle Giffen and his tattoo studio, Little Pricks Tattoos, saved me from several hours on my feet while I chatted Kyle up on everything from the tattoo biz to our personal lives.  Kyle is by far one of the most talented tattoo artists I know, and he has put together a stellar crew, arguably one of the best crews in the Greater Austin Area.  Anyone who knows Kyle also knows that the man is always humble, upbeat, open, and incredibly generous with his time and talents.  Kyle is a great friend, and the convention is always an opportunity for us to get together and catch-up on things.  The work of his crew; Tita Jewels (co-owner), Zack Ross, and Chris Hedlund, is simply outstanding.  This year, they are located catercorner from the art gallery.  Stop by their booth, check them out, and grab a card.  If you are wanting a tattoo, you have found the right shop.
Kyle Giffen!

 The Star of Texas Tattoo Art Revival really is a great event, even if you are not tattoo-inclined.  The art and the vibe are well worth experiencing.  The convention will be going strong for two more days, and if you miss it you will not get another chance to see it until 2016.

 I also wanted to say thank you to everyone that made my being at the convention as a spectator this year possible.  The little fundraiser I held allowed the Tattoo Nerd to take time off of work to be at the convention all four days, and to really make the most of the weekend.  It was humbling to see so much support and love from so many people, and my family and I cannot thank you enough!  

Jason Sorrell is a writer, tattoo artist, satirist, artist, and generally nice guy living in Austin, TX.  He loves answering questions about tattoos.  Shoot him an email at tattoonerdz@gmail.com.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

2015 Star of Texas Tattoo Art Revival Opening Party (Day One)


 There is nothing quite like a tattoo convention.  Studios, artists, suppliers, vendors, and entertainers from all over the world set-up to show their collective stuff to the public and to share what they do with the industry.  The biggest conventions, like the Star of Texas Tattoo Art Revival, draw international crowds, giving local artists an opportunity to rub elbows with the best in the industry and make their mark (literally).  The Star of Texas Tattoo Art Revival is an annual event in Austin, usually scheduled in January for one weekend.  Most years I manage to visit for one day, often on a run to score a deal on tattoo-ink sets and other supplies while checking out the latest innovations in the industry.  This year, one of my daughters gave me a weekend-pass as a Christmas present, so I will be going every day and taking in as many of the events as possible.

 The first day starts with many of the studios and vendors setting up Friday evening, and an opening party hosted by a local tattoo studio.  This year, the opening party was hosted by Black Dagger Tattoo, and held at The Badlands Bar with an art show at the Romani Gallery, both located near the intersection of East 12th St. and Chicon.  The doors opened at 8:30pm, and your intrepid tattoo-reporter arrived fashionably late at 9:30.

 When I arrived, the place was packed.  Visitors from far-off lands like Chicago and Utah were all abuzz about the art that was inside and the events planned for the weekend.  This was a small taste of things to come.

 The Romani Gallery is a wonderful, intimate space that had kindly donated its walls to show some of the best tattoo-art from the convention participants.  The artists appear to have participated in a round-robin type project where each of them was assigned to create a piece of original work for another participating artist.  None of the artists new who drew their name, only who they were making a piece for.  This was a wonderful way to get the creative juices flowing, resulting in some amazing work.

 American Traditional style was dominant throughout the show, indicative not only of the kind of work that is popular in Austin, but according to one visitor from out of town just about everywhere.  Almost every artist put their own creative-spin on this time-time honored style, mixing Western and Science Fiction themes, expressing spiritual concepts, or going for a little weirdness.  There were also a few beautifully rendered Traditional Japanese pieces, offering an interesting point of contrast to much of the rest of the show.  Prints and drinks were available for purchase, and everyone seemed impressed and excited with what they saw.

 One of the things I love about that tattoo community is that collectors all seem to have a natural bond, and a certain irreverence.  It was on full-display at the party, and everyone had a great time.  If you missed it, plan on going with some of your friends next year.  More to come from the convention tomorrow!

Jason Sorrell is a writer, tattoo artist, satirist, artist, and generally nice guy living in Austin, TX.  He loves answering questions about tattoos.  Shoot him an email at tattoonerdz@gmail.com.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Don't Assume Anything

 This is an old post from a former blog that I felt was worth sharing.  Enjoy! 

 I do a fair amount of work for walk-in clients who just want a tattoo.  I do a lot of words, names, and simple designs often culled from somewhere on the Internet.  I am greatful for every opportunity to work, and do my best at every tattoo I do, but often these kinds of tattoos do not allow me to fully express myself artistically.  What I would like to do is custom work, some original designs that would not only challenge me as an artist but also bulk up my portfolio.

 To that end, I ran an ad on Craigs List about a week ago, offering to do tattoos for $25, the cost of supplies, as long as I liked the concept the client wanted and I was allowed to tattoo a custom design created based on that concept.  I was very thorough in the ad about my requirements, what I was looking to do, and the limitations involved.  Part of the length of the ad was simply as a means to weed out the inevitable undesired responses I would get.  Most people would not read the ad.  They would just see "$25 tattoos" and contact me about a name or something.  From those that read the ad, most would not grasp the requirement of having a good idea that I like.  I provided a list of things that interest me as an artist; pin-ups, fetish art, horror, sci-fi, but several responses I've gotten have been completely removed from that list.  One guy wanted me to tattoo a bear fighting a bull ala "Lonesome Dove".  Of those that had a grasp of what I was into, most would not check out the work I do in those genres to understand my style.  I'm not interested in doing an Olivia pin-up... I want to design it myself (at least not at the price of $25).

 I knew all this was coming before I even ran the ad, and resolved to take it in stride.  Still, potential clients always find a way to surprise me.

 One day, I get a barrage of texts from someone interested in my ad.  The following has not been edited:

 TEXT 1: Saw your add on craigslist and im very interested in be park of your tattoo project my boyfriend tpt is a rapper and is in need of some ink to build his

 TEXT 2: image and im in need of something different that includes Betty boop so please contact me back

 TEXT 3: We will even advertise you his website due to whatever ink he gets will be professionally photographed for album covers and magazines

 TEXT 4: We both are open for cretive ideals you may have and are very focused on knowing what ideals you have so contact us back even if the answer is no you can

TEXT 5: look at his site at. (and she lists the site, but I am not advertising for these people).

 Now, here's the thing.  Years ago at another shop, one of the young artists ran across what he considered a real opportunity.  A client, claiming to be an up-and-coming rap artist, wanted to get some ink to create that "street" image which seems to be desirable to his fans, but he didn't want to really pay for the work.  He offered the artist acknowledgement on his future albums and ventures, promised his photograph displaying those tattoos would be seen in magazines and on album covers, and even welcomed the artist to come to the rapper's regular weekly gig to speak to the audience and offer his services.  This was going to be a huge boon to the artist, an opportunity to make a name for himself, or so he thought.

 The first real problem was that the tattoo artist wasn't into street art, the kind of art the rapper desired.  Doing those kinds of tattoos wasn't fun for the artist, so every session with the rapper became a chore.  The next problem was the rapper's attitude, especially when he would come into the shop with his "crew".  The rapper had been very humble when negotiating the deal initially, and appreciative of the artists time and talents, but in front of his crew he was demeaning, arrogant, and rude.  It seemed like that since the deal was done, there was no longer a need for the pretense of courtesy.  A third problem was that the rapper began demanding too much of the artist.  The artist was already working outside his genre, and the rapper began asking for work that looked like that of other artists, never-ending touch-ups, and was unrealistic about the limitations of the tattoo process and the ink in his skin.  Making things even worse was that in order for the artist to make good on the opportunity to speak to the rapper's audience, he often had to wait until 2 or 3 in the morning at the end of the rapper's set, which means the next day he was napping in his station in the middle of the afternoon.

 The two to three clients that did trickle in from all this effort wanted more street art.

 I don't think either person was more responsible than the other for this disaster, but rather that both grossly over-estimated what they could do and assumed far too much about the other.

 I have no problem with rappers, but a quick look through my artwork would tell you that street art is simply not my forte. In addition, Betty Boop is not a custom design, even if it is a custom Betty Boop.  What they wanted simply did not fit with what I want out of this project.  I would happily do the work at my normal rate.  So, I simply responded with the following:

 YOUR TATTOO HERO: I'll pass.  Thanks.

 To which I get the following response:

 GIRL WITH A RAP ARTIST BOYFRIEND: No prob already at atomic but ty for ur response hmmm wondering why us passing is it because of race

 and then:

 TEXT 2: Ya know what never mind u have a nice day

 What the fuck?  

 I honestly have no clue where this kind of response comes from.  I have a theory, but that's all.  In my ad, I never mention if I am white, black, Asian, or from Mars.  In her messages, she never mentions her race, but because I passed on her offer she wants to insinuate that I am a racist?  Isn't it kind of racist to assume that because you are a rap artist that you are also a minority?  Isn't it also racist to suggest that just because someone chooses not to do business with you that race is a motivating factor?  I don't like rap music, and I do not find the street culture promoted by rap-music inspirational.  It is not the direction I want to work in.  Does that make me a racist?

 I think not.  My theory is that this person is a racist.  Obviously she believes that "rap artist" equaled "minority", and that most tattoo artists are white. Furthermore, she seems to think that race-baiting is a way to manipulate people.  If you don't get your way as a member of an ethnic group from a person who is white, insinuate they are a RACIST, then they will kiss your ass to prove they are not.

 Fucking hypocritical.  Here was my response:

 YOUR TATTOO HERO: The fact that you even suggest race was the issue indicates you are a racist.  You don't even know what color I am. 

 To which she replied the next day:

 RACIST BITCH: Sorry for the assumption but ive had three people pass for that very reason

 Really?  Are you really suggesting to me that you contacted three tattoo artists in Austin, Texas, the capital of Weirdness, Peace, and Love, and that three adult businessmen who strive to have a good reputation among their clients TOLD YOU that YOUR RACE was why they declined to do the work?  Could it be more likely that they simply did not want to work in trade for a promise that their efforts would be featured as a part of the rapper's career? More than likely, these other tattooers, if she even reached out to anyone else, simply did not want to work for free.

 LYING RACIST BITCH: It would be hella cool if we could get the ink this week sorry for being rude when can we get the tattoo?

 YOUR TATTOO HERO: I think I'll pass.  I don't tattoo racists.  Didn't Atomic Tattoos hook you up?

 I have yet to get a response.  Sometimes it feels good to be the instrument of social justice.