"This fad will last forever!"
"A lot of artists, they won't do arms, face, or neck tattoos if it's the first tattoo," says Sam. That is, after all, a major life decision -- sticking a tattoo of a swastika made of dicks on your forehead is going to permanently change the trajectory of your life.
They also get requests that are probably illegal, and, if not, it's just because no one could have possibly anticipated that it needed to be. "We had one dude who would call about once a month trying to convince us to tattoo his cat," Sam says. "It's apparently a trend in Russia or something. But literally once a month he'd call up and try to get us to come to his house, knowing that we wouldn't allow a cat in the shop, and tattoo his cat. Of course no one did it, but it seriously would not surprise me if he still calls in trying to get it done."
And yes, before you waste a Google, cat tattooing IS a real thing in Russia.
"Oh, how nice, owner, you gave me a tattoo representative of the people
who worshiped me as a god."
There's also a code of ethics between artists to consider. If your artist skipped town or stopped returning your calls because you keep asking them to tattoo your cat, and you walk into a different shop with a half-finished tattoo, the odds are pretty good no one will touch you. "I don't wanna mess up someone else's art," Sam says. "Or, if it's really bad, I don't want to be associated with it. You can ruin your reputation that way." Same goes for people who commission a design from one artist and then once they have it down on paper, shop it around to see if they can get another artist to do the tattoo for less money. "A lot of artists won't do that because that's a person being a dick," Sam says. "The artist put a lot of time into that work, and hopefully they didn't do it for free."