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Why tattoo artists are campaigning against E4’s Tattoo Fixers

Photo from Instagram @markrichardstattooer

Photo from Instagram @markrichardstattooer

This week our social meed feeds have gone absolutely bonkers with messages about E4’s show Tattoo Fixers. We felt we had to write about it.

As a tattoo blog, Inkluded was set up with a strong mission – to spread awareness of amazing tattoo art, showcase talented emerging artists and represent this artistic industry in a respectful and truthful light, educating the public along the way about what makes good (and bad) art. There’s a lot of bad press out there about tattoos, and we’ve got to start sharing the great stuff. You’re going to wear it on your body forever, you’ve got to get it right first time.

We’ve worked with many artists before, all at different points in their career. Last year we interviewed one of Tattoo Fixers‘s stars Alice Perrin, who is an incredibly lovely human and I have personally received a beautiful tattoo from her years ago. She’s a talented artist who has been establishing herself in the UK neo-traditional tattoo scene for the last few years. I’m looking at her artwork hanging on my kitchen wall as I type.

As a tattoo blog we (and I as a person) campaign to spread positivity, create a friendly community and give tattoo artists the utmost respect we possibly can. We aren’t here to gossip or criticise the work of any artists. I’m not a tattooist, I am not really entitled to an opinion, I believe.

This week, however, there has been such a large volume of comments with regards to this particular tattoo show – both online and what I have heard from almost every tattoo artist I have spoken to in the last few months. As one of the UK’s leading tattoo websites, we couldn’t NOT act as a sounding board for this discussion, for artists who want to share their views with the world. A huge (and I mean, really huge) proportion of the industry we represent is pretty pissed off, and we’re have to tell you why. That’s what we’re for. That’s why we exist.

This week, my Facebook feed has been filled with artists wearing a ‘Fuck Tattoo Fixers‘ t-shirt, and I’ve seen hundreds of different posts and comments from people expressing their shock towards a tattoo done by artist Sketch on a recent episode of the show (more on this below).

Tattoo by Sketch

Tattoo by Sketch. Image: Tattoo Fixers Facebook

One of the tattoo artists I’ve been speaking to is Ben Doran from River City Tattoo Collective in Bath. His thoughts in particular have gone viral on Facebook – he is promoting an important message for those who have been tattooed on the E4 show.

Tattoo by Ben Doran

Tattoo by Ben Doran. Image: Facebook

Ben told us: “I am offering (as long as it’s possible) to execute a good, accurate cover-up or re-work for free, for anyone that is unhappy with their tattoo that’s been done on the television show. I am doing this because the public need to be properly educated that they CAN have a good, solid cover-up of a high level in the UK if you just do your research.”

Tattoo Fixers has grown a massive fan base over the last couple of series. “Reading their official Facebook page is nothing short of frightening,” says Ben. “The general public genuinely believe the cover-ups are amazing.”

“I really do think the public need to be guided (rather than educated) towards what is possible, and by whom, in the UK. Both of my studios get an abundance of messages daily, from people with horrendously designed and executed tattoos that they want touched-up.”

Tattoo by Alice Perrin

Tattoo by Alice Perrin. Image: Tattoo Fixers Facebook

Ben is already speaking directly to 7 individuals who have been tattooed on the show and not happy with their cover-ups. “I’ve been told by the applicants I’m dealing with, that the producer of the show isn’t into tattooing at all, doesn’t have any tattoos and is ignorant to the process.”

Ben adds, “I don’t believe all the pieces have been horrendous. I have seen Jay put out some really nice work on occasion (like the Michael Jackson tattoo) and I was fan of Lou Hopper’s work. I have no dislike for the people who have put this show on air and I do admire them for putting themselves in the firing line…”

“But being willing to bastardise everything so many of us have worked so hard to do, by churning out work of such a low quality, is deplorable. We’ve all done questionable pieces, it’s all part and parcel of what we do, nobody is a machine, but so many people have now moaned about the programme, that it was time to stand up and do something about it.”

Tattoo by Ben Doran

Tattoo by Ben Doran

Another tattooist who has posted strong opinions this week is Newbury-based artist Hannah Calavera. Her own blog said the following:

Tattoo Fixers has a lot to answer for in terms of lowering the standards of tattooing as a whole in the UK. Now the average Joe will think that this mediocre level of tattooing is the acceptable standard, when there are artists in this country who do absolutely phenomenal work being overlooked. It also gives people unrealistic expectations about what can be covered up with what, and the sort of time frame it can be expected in.”

“I am also afraid it will make people who can’t draw, think they can do the job we slave at every day, just because they think it’s cool. The fact that Sketch openly admits on the Channel 4 website to just buying a tattoo machine off the internet with no training, will no doubt inspire a new generation of scratchers.”

“This is why we are angry. This is a craft that is so beloved to us, and it is being made a mockery of by people who know nothing about it. People who wouldn’t be able to tell a good tattoo from a bad one, now profess to be experts in telling us how amazing the Tattoo Fixers are. I actually saw one woman say on an Instagram comment that Sketch was better than Kamil Mocet (one of the UK’s most renowned colour artists).”

Hannah gives some background information on why Sketch is making a bad name for himself: “in the first season he became infamous amongst the tattoo community for using other people’s designs and passing them off as his own on national TV. Artists such as Jesse Rix, Sneaky Mitch Allenden, Brian Thomas Wilson, Glen Preece, Emily Rose Murray (photo above) and Antony Flemming (photo below) have all had their work ripped off by him.”

Posted on artist Antony Flemming's Instagram this week with the caption: "Hey @sketchreppinink fuck you, you piece of shit."

Posted on artist Antony Flemming’s Instagram this week with the caption: “Hey @sketchreppinink fuck you, you piece of shit.”

“This has made him a figure of ridicule and dislike in the tattoo artist community as these artists are all hard-working, incredibly talented and have paid their dues in tattooing to the extent that they are considered some of the best in the world. To have the level of dishonesty and stupidity to try and pass off their work as his own, pissed a lot of people off.”

“On the show, the artists are regularly shown tattooing in unsafe, unsanitary conditions. None of the tattooists wrap their machines to prevent cross contamination.”

Tattoo by Hannah Calavera

Tattoo by Hannah Calavera. Image: Facebook.

“The reason I am so angry is because this is a tattoo artist in the public eye, he has an ethical responsibility towards the people they put on this show, to make sure that tattooing is represented as best it can be, to preserve the integrity and future of our craft.”

Hannah explains why the below image has been shared so much this week. “His lines are shaky, the roses look at best, like cabbages, the lace looks like tangerine bags and there is a whole portion of this tattoo that is not covering up anything and looks just as dark and horrendous as the cover-up portion.”

“The jewel with the stag inside disappears into the belly button… a mistake that could have been fixed easily if he had considered for a moment that the placement was off before he even started tattooing. He also knew the lady was to get a breast augmentation at a future date and has tattooed way further up than needed. The tattoo will then cover a large part of the new breast tissue, making the new tattoo way more noticeable and intrusive than it was before.”

This photo has been shared by people this week.

This photo has been shared by people this week. Found on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

“Another example of his lack of knowledge and skill is the colour palette he used. Red is not a great colour for covering black. In using it, he has ensured that the client will find it very hard to laser, as red is one of the more difficult colours to get rid of. The client is left with a huge, unlaserable, masculine, dark, badly-placed mess that the old tattoo shows through anyway.”

“I finished watching the show feeling that the lady had been badly exploited. Anyone without an interesting story would have been told that the tattoo was not suitable to be covered on the show, without laser or several tattoo sessions to layer the colour without scarring.”

“The production company and tattooist knowingly set about the cover-up just to be able to feature her on the show. I believe that Sketch knew it would not be a successful tattoo, let alone a successful cover-up, before he even started, and now that person has a terrible, permanent mess on them forever. I feel like he sold her, and another chunk of his (already questionable) integrity out, to make a buck essentially.”

Tattoo by Ben Doran

Tattoo by Ben Doran. Image: Facebook

“We desperately need tattooing to be represented the way it really is so that we can show people the dangers of improper practice. And most importantly to re-educate people on just how amazing tattooing really can be.”


Intro: Beccy Rimmer
Words: Ben Doran and Hannah Calavera
Images: Various

What do you think? Let us know on Facebook.


UPDATES:

(11/03/2016)

Since this article was published, Ben Doran is now talking directly to 10+ individuals who were tattooed on the show. Some who have appeared on the Tattoo Fixers have started to speak out about their experiences, including Daniel Head.

(13/03/2016)

Hannah’s original blog (linked to in our article above) has now been removed following her being contacted by Studio Lambert lawyers and legal action threatened.

(Ongoing – updates 15 March 2016)

Other articles published:

The Mirror: Tattoo Fixers accused of COPYING artwork after professional artist labels E4 show ‘a complete joke’

The Express: F*** Tattoo Fixers: Campaign launched against E4 show by artists

The Metro: Tattoo Fixers hit back at ‘surprising’ allegations made by former guests

Unreality TV: Harry Styles & Ed Sheeran’s Tattoist takes swipe at E4’s Tattoo Fixers

Daily Mail: Makers of Tattoo Fixers are forced to deny that E4 show is faked after claims by star

The Sun: Tat’s not on! Tattoo Fixers DENY shocking claims from disgruntled show insider

The Mirror: First Tattoo Fixers guest to come forward about “awesome” experience on E4 show reveals she was ‘shocked by allegations’

Metro: Harry Styles’ tattoo artist calls Tattoo Fixers ‘amateur’ with ‘appalling’ health & safety standards

The Mirror: Tattoo Fixers rep slams ‘sham’ allegations and surprised by ‘false claims’ insisting show follows ”stringent safety regulations”

The Mirror: Tattoo Fixers SLAMMED by Harry Styles’ tattooist saying ‘that show has knocked the industry back 10 years’

The Mirror: Tattoo Fixers comes under fire as insider claims to expose ugly truth producers don’t want fans to know

Unreality TV: E4’s Tattoo Fixers comes under fire as previous star slams filming process!

Digital Spy: Tattoo Fixers star slams “brutal” reality show

Contact Music: Harry Styles And Ed Sheeran’s Tattooist Joins Critics Of E4’s ‘Tattoo Fixers’

Hellou: Celebrity Tattoo Artist And Former ‘Tattoo Fixers’ Guest Reveal The ‘Ugly Truth’ About The Show

The Mirror: Was Tattoo Fixers whistle-blower FAKE? Fellow guest claims ‘liar’ Danny Head is miffed over lack of airtime

Metro: Model claims Tattoo Fixers ‘ruined his life’ with botched tattoo

Digital Spy: Yet ANOTHER Tattoo Fixers star hits out at the show: ‘It ruined my life’

The Mirror: Tattoo Fixer Sketch devastates transgender model after leaving him with deep scarring which has ‘RUINED’ his life

The Mirror: Tattoo Fixers is ‘dangerous’: Inking union blasts ‘unrealistic’ show and calls on producers to be more responsible

The Mirror: Watch delighted Tattoo Fixers guest have her ‘terrible’ inking transformed into work of art

Daily Mail: Trans model Brix claims Tattoo Fixers ‘ruined’ his career

The Mirror: Has Tattoo Fixer Sketch finally admitted ‘a fair amount’ of TV show’s cover-up work is ‘below par’?

Daily Star: Tattoo Fixers scandal: Has artist admitted ‘fair amount’ of cover up work is ‘below par’?

OK! Magazine: Tattoo Fixers reply to shocking claims the show is a bad experience

Digital Spy: Harry Styles’s tattoo artist slams Tattoo Fixers: ‘Their work is really poor’

Digital Spy: Tattoo Fixers guest hits out at allegations: “I was well looked after”

 

87 replies »

  1. I have a discussing tattoo from this fixed show and am gettin it re covered because it is very poor quality and not even done correct!!

  2. You were the one who got the 5p trolly tattoo on him for media attention..then went to a media based tattoo place to get it fixed up…….

  3. Needle Gangstas are against any channel 4 tattoo show as they put a bad spin on every thing to make car crash tv,because that is the only way to get viewers.A cover up,unless the customer requests it,should be as small as possible.

  4. Jealousy is a horrible trait. Just seems to me that a load of artists are butt hurt because they are jealous that these three people on this show are making a lot of money for their craft and they are not! Oh and of course they pass it off with the age old ‘selling their soul/integrity for money’ didn’t see that one coming…

    I don’t really see how they can question their work have they conveiniently forgotten the numerous awards Jay and Sketch have won? (I can’t speak for Alice as I don’t know much about her)

    Hannah Calavera especially… Wow recogonised the name as soon as I saw it. Used to work at Eternal Nirvana in Reading and is responsible for an terrible cover up on my sister… So please get off your high horse bit hypocritical to say the least.

    Maybe I am wrong, but thats the way it comes across nothing more than plain and simple jealousy.

  5. I watch Tattoo Fixers out of entertainment purposes. I’m not a tattooist but I’m fairly heavily tattooed. A lot of the time on the show, you can still see the original tattoo showing under the “cover up”.
    I don’t have any tattoos that I regret, thankfully, as I did my research into what I wanted & have always gone to the same tattoo artist for the past 19 years.

  6. Wait a sec …

    This TV series is about cover-ups and all the example tattoos from those sharing their opinions are on fresh skin.

    Why not display examples of their good cover-ups?

    I’ve been a tattooist for 18 years and I can safely say a good cover-up comes with experience – less than 7 years tattooing is not enough experience to even take on a cover-up.

  7. It’s not jealousy, some people don’t have a great eye, or attention to detail so they cannot tell the difference between a good and a bad tattoo and that’s okay, it’s not your fault. When covering a bad tattoo, don’t cover it with one that’s worse.. It’s common sense really . Sketch may be a good tattooist but he couldn’t handle some of the cover ups and it’s actually up to him to put his hands up and say it’s out of his comfort zone. It’s somebody else’s skin at the end of the day. His award didn’t fix the tattoo that’s for sure. If you can own up and admit defeat, give the job to someone that is more than capable.

  8. Why blame tattoo fixers when its the people who go on the show and say its has devastated my relationship its an embarrassment they are the ones saying that the original tattoos are shit not the gusys on the show bitter jealously

  9. Totally agree. “This is our thing. Stop making money from it”. I tatt’d up and love tattoos and to be honest it’s nice to see a tattoo show on mainstream TV. And what are they complaining about, this show will make people want to get tattoos at proper places. I really don’t understand how this is a bad thing in anyway.

  10. Quelle bollox. So someone wants a cover up for their cover up covering a fuck up. They are either idiots, hence the initial fuck up. Or they sre attention seekers. Ive seen every episode and whilst I may not be a tattoo artist, I can honestly say Ive not seen a bad un yet. Not happy with their cover up ?? Well dont have a stupid tattoo thats shows your stupidity.
    (A tattoo showing you screwing your best friends mum, real classy)

  11. Quite frankly this is the biggest pile of bullsh*t I’ve read, your addressing tattooing as an art and who are you to be a critic? Who are you to judge someone else’s art? It sounds like petty jealousy and all I did when reading this is laugh. They’re clearly 3 incredibly talented artist (thus getting this position)

  12. Tattoos are sick.. I have loads … But I think you guys should chill out and smoke a spliff ? Life is bigger than what’s on tele – tattoos are so enormously more social acceptable nowadays … I think that’s cool … The less you give a fuck the happier you are .. Don’t waste energy and focussing your mind on shit on tv .. Plus the guys on that show are obviously sound

  13. “Tattoo Fixers has a lot to answer for in terms of lowering the standards of tattooing as a whole in the UK.”
    Not all the work that has been on the show, was done by cowboy tattooists in Magaluf or drunken scratchers. There’s plenty of tattoo’s that have been done by UK artists as well, so the standard was already set before the series started. My first tattoo back in the ’90’s at a professional tattoo studio, was such a mess that it was a couple of years before I even tried to get it fixed.
    There seems to be a problem that other tattooists have with Sketch, not the Tattoo Fixers as a whole which is echoed in the above writing. The opening paragraph singing the praises of Alice who no doubt is ‘an incredibly lovely human’, and needs to be distanced from the article straight away, just in case anyone might think that she may be a part of the tattoo fixers, but she’s not a part of the problem people have with them.
    Next there’s a nod given to Jay for the work that he’s done on the show, and rightly so because you really don’t have to be a tattoo artist, in order to recognise the difference between a great piece and a bad one.
    Once it’s been made clear that the issue is not with the fixers team, then it seems it’s ok to spend the rest of the article in making Sketch the target of in a stream of real vitriol. I don’t think that there was anything left out, that hadn’t been ridiculed and abused from his line work, to his understanding of colour and tattoo placement, the fact that he mustn’t be able to draw because his roses look like cabbages, if it’s true that he has copied the designs of others, then maybe he ought to copy of someone that can draw instead. Impressive name checking skills by the way with the list of artists who say they’ve been ripped off, I’m sure not one of those named have ever copied an idea from another artist.
    Just as well that Banksey isn’t a tattooist because real artists don’t plagiarise, they just use flash sheets instead because it’s so much easier than drawing.
    Showing two pictures of cover-ups done by Sketch, is also a very cheap way of justifying posting five pictures of their artists best work. At the end of the day it’s just tattooists bitching about other tattooists, which is nothing new as I live above a tattoo studio and hear it everyday.

  14. Fully agree and to be honest if people were “so good at years of tattooing” in their tattoo shops etc then they wouldn’t need tattoos covered in the first place would they 🙁 people need to see this as they wish not to read people slating the to show and the work they do I have a tattoo that needs re doing because the tattooist added stuff without asking first and it makes the tattoo look messy :'( but saying that I wouldn’t slate the person who done my tattoo just can’t believe people these days :'( xx

  15. Bloody hell what a bunch of muss informed pieces.
    Sketch admits he can’t draw, he copies off people because he’s “too busy to learn to draw”, just because he does a bad copy of a great tattoo doesn’t mean the original was bad in the first place, it’s a matter of public record that he’s ripped off people’s work not speculation, tattooists aren’t ‘butt hurt’ about not being on TV or jealous of their ‘fame’ , saying someone is an idiot for having a crap tattoo that needs covering up in the first place is beyond judgemental, it’s not just tattooist bitching about other tattooists, it’s about a TV company putting vulnerable people into a bad situation with unskilled people creating unrealistic expectations (the trans ladies tattoo should never have been completed in 1 session) with customers.
    And yes, art is subjective, by its very nature ( a monkey’s paintings were recently described as ‘ the greatest new wave abstract artist’ by Sotheby’s) but just as everyone called out the monkey owner the industry is calling out this show.

  16. To be honest i like the show… in my opinion people should keep to their own business and stop butting into others! Im full of tattoos and have been to 2 different tattooist’s my first one was bad at tattooing i learned from it and found another tattooist who is great and i go to for all my tattoos now. At the end of the day you have to live and learn from experiences. Not everyone is perfect mind! This post is very bitter to say the least.

  17. I can’t believe how bad the cover ups are, it takes years of experience by a good artist to do a good cover up, and not by making them so big. There are brilliant artists in England so we don’t public thinking there good when there so bad . I can’t watch it , it annoys me how they can mess up someone’s body and feel happy about it !!

  18. Article says they have done good tattoos, so most of the comments here highlight the issue. There are so many absolutely amazing tattoo artists who would be able to represent the industry in the UK, but instead they’ve hired street level artists who wouldn’t last a second on the other tattoo shows. The artists on the show are able to masquerade their work as amazing, as there’s no one on show to criticise the work. Instead of reaching for much higher quality tattoos that are completely feasible with the right artist, people will now settle for just average because they’ve seen it on TV.

  19. Maybe im wrong, but in my opinion i hate the way the tattoo industry is portrayed.
    I have been tattooing for 7 years now and not once have i ever heard of another studio, where you walk in, the artists come and “sketch” a design for you and you pick then proceed to get it done.
    Thats not the way cover ups should work. They take time to consult with options, placements and mock designs to see what you can use (negative skin) and what needs to be covered.
    Personally, this is what i hate. The expectation that people are going to have when looking for a cover up and the time scale portrayed. Good work takes time. Not just one session for big pieces.
    Also, most of the time the “sketches” are not anything like the final “cover up”. As a customer i would never be happy if an artist had drawn something and the tattoo turned out different.
    In the end, i am never going to be bitter and jealous of any artist making money as ultimately thats half the reason we do this as we all have bills to pay. But the other half is about the respect for the art and duty of care for the client who has TRUSTED you with their skin forever.
    As for the artwork from the certain “artist”, it certainly is not what i would expect from “one of the uk’s top artists”. However, as someone has mentioned, art is all about personal view. Although i would never recommend this persons artwork, others may.

  20. The people that are defending Tattoo Fixers are exactly the gullible tastless idiots that they want to attract. My tattoos are all good because I researched artists and if I wanted something that they didn’t think would work then they advised me against it and we sat together to figure out what would work and what I liked. My left arm/hand is completely covered, by the same artist, and it took 6 day sessions over 2 years to finish. Want a quick fix and it will be poop. Jeeeez.

  21. Well done inkluded this needed said my son is a very talented tattoo artist who did his time as the shop lackey these fools are totally misrepresenting the art I’m covered myself mostly with bad 80s stuff but all represent a good memory these people are skaring vulnerable people just to make a tv show they should hang there heads and there tattoo guns in shame

  22. I wish someone would cover up my 70s Indian ink mess my whole left arm is covered in embarrassing small meaningless crap

  23. If the tattoo fixers or anyone else is reading and can help feel free to get in touch get famous making my tats disappear under your masterpiece if you can make these dissapear you can then announce you are an artist I challenge you all

  24. Hi

    I’m glad you didn’t slate Alice Perrin, as you say she is a lovely girl and i feel a very talented and genuine artist, she has a degree in fine art . She was head hunted for the show and took the opportunity, that’s her choice.
    People put themselves forward to go on this show, they’re not forced to go on, some have genuine reasons others just want some airtime. I think anyone who is serious about they’re tattoos, research them and are aware of who to go to and who not to go to. I have quite a lot of ink and have had a couple of bad ones from my non educated tattoo days. Mostly everyone has access to public media, so i think we should all research who and what we want. There is still quite a lot of tattoo artists out there who are crap. I wouldn’t just walk into one of the street. I have to book months in advance for my work to be done with my tattooist, I’ve also had work done by Alice when she was staring out, she was pretty good then and is evolving into a great artist, she also isn’t out on an ego trip, and what you see on the programme is exactly what you get. My opinion is if you don’t like it don’t watch it simples. I need a cover up on my foot, for some crap work I had, before I knew better, and walked in off the street. Tattooing is art and has become quite mainstream, even if you get the usual comments – your going to regret that when your old blah blah. I’m 52 and I don’t give a toss what anyone thinks, it’s my body, my life and I’m not being judgemental so f##ck off to miserable baskets lol aleast I’m interesting. I say be brave and express yourself and onto my next one.

  25. I’m not a tattooist, nor do I have any tattoos, but it is obvious that there are a lot of problems with the show. Firstly, all of the artists are incredibly rude and patronising to the customers (even Alice, in my opinion). Secondly, it appears as though they draw up tattoos within five minutes? How is this acceptable? Surely you have to go though a lot more ideas and time before coming up with the final product. Everyone knows that they cover the tattoos with something huge afterwards as well. I do however, think that you can’t blame the artists for being on the show, blame the producers for choosing rubbish artists. Its also in Shoreditch, one of the most gentrified, awful places in London…

  26. They never got on the show for being good artists they where just the ones who would do it because tattooists who are decent make a very good living and have such a busy diary they don’t have time to do this stuff and can pick and choose what they tattoo and don’t want to do cover ups as they want a blank canvas to showcase their art not fixing someone else’s stuff

  27. I enjoy watching the show just I find the show entertaining but I agree I don’t like sketches tattoos! I don’t know how long it takes them to do each individual tattoo. It looks quick but then it would it’s a tv show. I hope people would be careful who they go to in general. I just watch it for the fun. I pass no comment on the tattoo community in general.

  28. Great article guys. Extremely happy industry is finally making a strong statement.

  29. No takers on my challenge then ? All those knockers of the show lets see if you can do better , (see above comments )

  30. Why feel the need to comment on something you don’t watch?

    And if you don’t watch it how are you able to comment on it?!

  31. my mate knows someonwe who had a tattoo done on the show, the design is actually discussed beforehand so they know exactly what they are getting.

    they then do the scripted walk in, tattoo story, design choosing as part of the entertainment factor but they have already sat together and designed what they are going to have

  32. I think you sound like jealous kids in a play ground he stolen my pictures miss I’m sure someone could of printed the picture of the Internet and asked them to tattoo that picture love the program and think it’s better than most the stuff on TV would rather watch that than bb or alot of other reality program’s I’m sure you are just as good as them maybe even better but you do sound like your jealous and I’m sure you have done a tattoo people wasn’t happy with when they left or few years down the line take care and stop watching if it bothers you so much as your all keeping it on TV by watching xx

  33. Jealousy ?. Why not, instead of making assumptions, consider just how many artsists had been asked to work on the show, and turned the production team down, BEFORE the present line up were chosen ?.
    Many professional artists, many of which have been tattooing longer than any of the ‘cast’ have been alive, revile this show for what is it… As Gary said. It’s “car crash T.V” at it’s worst !.
    I applied to be on the show, just to see how they reacted ?. The piece I need sorting fills the whole of the outside of my right upper arm. I sent them a pic’ of it. But I deeply suspect the reason behind them not even bothering to even reply, in any form to my e mail, was that I have been a professional Tattoo Artist for 36 years ?.
    I KNOW it would require a good deal of lasering doing before it could be done, and I don’t want the finished job to be much larger than it is now.
    This wouldn’t make for ‘good’ T.V, though ?. The size of some of these ‘cover-ups?, absolutely amazes me. WHY, do they have to be so big ?. A REAL specialist should be able to do the job without having to do something the size of the Bayeux tapestry !.
    Jealousy ?…. To coin a phrase openly stolen from a certain telly show…. “MY ARSE” !.

  34. Sounds like jealous people to me I’ve applied and would love to have a cover up and not for 20 minutes of fame but for their skill. I’ve seen loads if Jays work. KIM Marsh off Corrie has recently has him tattoo her son and herself.

  35. I’m a huge fan of the show and tattoos in general. Although I do agree that the size of the cover-ups is questionable, the quality is not. Some of the subject matters are not to my taste but I can still appreciate the quality of the work, each artist has their own speciality, Jay’s eye tattoos are hands done the best I have ever seen, Alice is fantastic at flowers and general feminine tats, sketch is amazing at skull designs and certain animals. considering a lot of (not all) tattooists actually get there designs from others, artists, to see them draw their own designs is refreshing. I don’t have any bad tattoos as I am very meticulous about the tats I have, I won’t get them till I am happy with every detail and the tattooist who will be doing the work, but if I did have a bad one I would happily go on that show and have one of those artists do my cover up, as they are some of the best quality I have seen, and I’ve seen a lot. That being said I’m not taking away from any other good tattooists and the work they do, but there really is some clowns out there who are jealous.

  36. I think this Hannah woman is totally out of order saying that sketch has a “lack of knowledge and skill”! Now I’m not a tattoo artist and I only have 1 tattoo of my own but 1 thing I do know is that like ALL tattoo artists , Jay, Sketch and Alice will all have a certain style that they specialise in. And to say he needs to “admit defeat” well there has been a number of occasions that I have heard all 3 members of the show say too a certain customer that one of the others would be better too do that cover up than themselves.. Got example if there was a girl in wanting a feminine floral design Sketch would say to the customer that Alice would be better at it than him.. Therefore I can’t help but feel that Hannah Calavera perhaps is jealous that it’s not her on the show making extra cash!

  37. I had a tattoo covered up on this show this season, and I am very happy with it. Will it be to everyone’s taste? Probably not. Will some people think it’s a shower of shit? Probably. Do I care what other people think? Most certainly not.

    Tattooing is an art, and art is subjective. Some people think the Mona Lisa is a pile of shit (I’m NOT comparing mine to the Mona Lisa, it’s just an example before you start)

    I completely disagree that people on this show are being taken advantage of. We are all adults, and if you don’t like the designs shown to you, you are free to say “no thanks” at any point.

  38. You seemed pretty happy about it on the day, and we’re happy to appear in the solo filmed section later on! If you were really that unhappy surely you would have said something at that point and gone from there dude. You said you were going to get the 5p bag one redone anyways too. I think it’s pretty shady to now go onto say it’s a bad tattoo. I’m slightly sceptical as to your reasons, but hey ho.

  39. grawalk…… show us what you have then!!!!!?????….. then someone can advise…. nobody will respond to a ‘challenge’ like that, without seeing anything. So without seeing what you have…. here’s the best advice. Get it LASERED FIRST…. THEN things will be easier. Little tip that NO-ONE on this show has advised to my knowledge………… Not ALL things can be covered up without a bit of lasering….. unless you want a black shape.

  40. I’m not a tattoo artist but at the end of the day these people a getting a tattoo that is a million times bettet than the home made cock n balls they had, even if some tattooists say they’re shit. Erm BONUS… They are free as well!
    Some of these tattooist who say the fixers are selling out to nake money??? I presume they do all their work for free then! no-one forces these silly fame hungry twats to apply, I’m certain there are decent tattoo artist where they live. If you don’t like it turn the fucker over!

  41. There’s no maybe in it… you’re wrong, full stop.

    I know at least 3 world class artists who were asked to appear on the show as new artists for the 2nd series… they said no. They could have said yes easily and be on the TV now, but they didn’t. Why, I hear you ask? Integrity.

    So, believe it or not, integrity does mean a lot to a whole lot of artists, and tattoo artists do care about their work and the way the industry is perceived. The fact that Sketch shows on a daily basis that he has zero integrity, rips off other artists work and sells it as ‘his own design,’ doesn’t care about the quality of his work or his customer living with it is what is getting on people’s nerves. He rips people off £600 a day and ruins their skin, in the name if ‘being cool.’

    When something is bastardising and giving a very negative image of something you love and care about, it offends and artists are speaking up. That’s why the girl who actually COULD tattoo left after the 1st series – she knew it was a terrible show, showing tattooing in a bad light.

    There is no jealousy, as good artists earn good livings, and will long after Tattoo Fixers is done and forgotten.

  42. What a twat. People are not saying they are better at tattooing. But it doesn’t take an art critic to see how bad some of the work is!

  43. What do you idiots expect? You got tattooed for FREE and you all chose to go there, little cheap skates should pay for it if you want a good job doing, mardarses.

  44. This seems more like an attack at Sketch, the beginning is about the show on the whole and a couple of comments after that, but when I finished all I took from it was that it is an attack at him. Granted he may have ripped people off but you’ve turned a potentially good article in to something else entirely.

  45. as a keen artist myself i did find it hard to believe the drawings are done there and then like it appears in the show, with no resurch on how certain things look. the drawings look to perfect to just be from imagination

  46. Nice self promotion, Ben Doran. We see you writing an article criticising cover up artwork and comparing it with images of your own work on fresh skin. Would be lovely to see some actual covers and maybe some examples of all these other artist’s great work. What was that you were talking about? …Integrity, was it?

  47. Ive seen Jays work before as his studio isnt far from mine when I was looking for a new artist but never found him to be up to standard (maybe thats just my own expectations)

    Sketch saying he is too busy to learn to draw.. Pretty sure an apprenticeship the first thing you do is learn to draw, he is not a tattooist artist in this case merely a copy and paste kinda guy!

    The receptionist (sorry i never bothered to acquaint myself with her name) is beyond rude and I am so glad it is not a real shop as I would walk straight out if she was hollering away, yes even in a tattoo shop a receptionist/manager should be professional.

    The show does give unrealistic view points of how quickly things like this can be done which then leads to people finding ‘scratchers’ working at home in unsafe environments. Maybe a pre show disclaimer may help to know that some is done for over dramatisation

  48. I agree. The big roses and lace tattoo that everyone’s complaining about was a massive cover up as the writing went all along her chest. Not exactly Sketches fault. Jesus Christ. It’s one of my favourite shows and everyone’s trying to ruin it. People go on there knowing they have to trust these artists, if they didn’t trust them and didn’t like what they got, should have gone somewhere else! Think all the blood cross contamination stuffs bullshit as you can see they were gloves, clean equipment and wrap all there tattoos up, the show wouldn’t be allowed to air if it wasn’t safe!!

  49. Well done, nice one! Think its really interesting that so much of the media coverage, blogs and opinions of the programme and show which is all about the neagtive… well done to you it all helps to promote the show and the artists even more. Good luck to them! Blogs like this are to promote something that supposidly the tattoo industry are up in arms about??? Really??? What a load of shit. At the end of the day it’s always going to be an industry that will cause much debate and opinion of everyone, even of those who have no idea. The important opinions that tattoo artists need to remember are those of the people you are fucking tattooing surely? What one tattooist likes or dislikes of another …is just an opinion!!!..The responsibility of anyone getting a tattoo is down to the customer…They can say no if they don’t like it. If the tattoo industry remembered this more and focussed more on the customer rather than the fucking competition between themselves on who the best tattoo artists are (in their opinion)…who does the best work ( in their opinion)…which is the best UK studio (in their opinion) ….fucking hell it gets so boring. Industry should be regulated to have levelled tattooing qualifications so artists have to achieve a standard to be able to set up and work ( in my opinion)

  50. If you don’t like the show, just turn it over. There’s plenty of other channels like sky arts out there where you lot can scrutinise the works of people and have a right old bitch at them. Me on the other hand, il keep watching it with an open mind.

    Ps. Do none of these “exploited” people that’s appeared on the show have a tongue in their heads. The producers don’t hold a gun to their heads and make them go on the show. They can pull out at any time. It’s channel 4 not Isis for gods sake

  51. they do bad tattoo work full stop this has nothing to do with jealousy anyone who has take even a little time to explore tattoo art should know they do total garbage work it’s laughable except poor sods have to walk around with the likes of that fucking gorilla and pheonix good lord it’s shameful

  52. After seeing week after week of poor covers I find it very suspect that pre-program credits falsely advertising them as 3 of the country’s best tattoos artists, not a chance.

  53. I’m not an expert (although my girlfriend is as she’s a dues paid tattoo artist) but as a viewer I’m staggered at the tattoos they do. I may be wrong but I would think the idea would be to work intelligently with the existing design and also use techniques like lasering etc (if necessary) to create a new tattoo that’s reasonably sized. Instead they tend to cover a tiny tattoo with something dark and enormous. It’s actually comical but perhaps not so for the victims. I’ve seen how diligent my gf is to wrap all her kit and she is ocd about cleanliness, avoiding cross contamination etc and I guess that’s part of the expertise and years of starting out as an apprentice etc. This lot seem to swerve all that and get positioned as the top artists in the uk. Even a layman knows they’re not. You can tell its faked just by the way they sit there and sketch out concepts on the spot and then go tattoo there and then. That just don’t happen – I’ve got enough tatts of my own to know. Why can’t they do a show of proper artists fixing tattoos properly which means they’d have to track it over time as it can be a long term multi visit process when done right. These are just a chop shop of scratchers. Jay looks like he has some ability but scetch should be called scratch.

  54. Bitter wankers !! How about you all come out of the school playground, put all your toys back in the box and take the show for what it is… Entertainment 🙂

  55. Funny I’ve often thought the cover up tattoos featured in this show were dreadful, dark monstrosities. I assumed it was me who was naive not having much experience in the area other than two working eyes!

  56. Want to know the real reason tattoo artists are campaigning against the show?

    The whole campaign has been driven by three main ringleaders. But if you knew the truth behind these ringleaders it becomes quite obvious that they have ulterior motives.

    I appeared on series 2 of the show and have been following the furor with a keen interest since it began. As a result I have been doing a bit of digging around, speaking to people in the industry who know the artists in question, other people who appeared on the show, and my point of contact from the show too. It makes for very interesting reading.

    Hannah Calavera, who wrote the blog that kicked off this whole campaign, was actually shortlisted to replace Lou Hopper for Series 2 but wasn’t chosen. She was in discussions with the production company for some time and friends tell me she was desperate to take part and despite seeing series 1, raised none of the concerns in her blog to the producers at the time. You’ll also notice she’s now removed her entire blog, presumably because it was littered with false alleagtions she was worried she’s be sued. Either that or she was worried they’d expose her as a tv wannabe who’d sell her morals for a shot at fame.

    Kevin Paul, a leading campaigner against Tattoo Fixers and who was also interviewed by the Mirror, was also shorlisted but rejected. In fact, he made it down to the final two (he didn’t pull out as he said in the Mirror interview) and the tole was given to Sketch, which perhaps explains his hatred for him. i mean, imagine being second choice to that guy! That’s gonna hurt your self-confidence.

    Ben Doran and his wife, who claim ten people from the show have since approached them for free fixes, have in actual fact been tracking down, stalking and harassing dozens of people who have appeared on the show, telling people who are happy with their tattoos that they shouldn’t be, and managed to bully and harass 10 of them into sending pictures of what their tattoos look like now. I was actually approached by his wife while my episode was airing! I told them where to go, but I spoke to the other two people who appeared on the same day as me (we are still in contact as we had such a good day) and they too were both approached online within minutes of the episode airing. They were bullied and harassed into sending pictures of what their tattoo looks like now, and were told that they looked awful and were amateurish, despite the fact that one of them was completely happy with it. (The other contributor needed a touch up but had already spoken to the production company about it as they tell you when the tattoo is done that if it needs a touch up just get in touch and they’ll sort it out). Imagine the cops interviewing Brendad Gassey in Making A Murderer. That’s what the Doran’s are doing. Jayne Doran even bragged to Sketch that might that she had bagged another one. Needless to say, both of the other contributors I know slept on it and then told the Doran’s where to stick it.

    It’s notable that the Doran’s claim they have been approached by 10 people but haven’t actually fixed any of them. I imaginer most people come to their senses and if the Doran’s do ever fix anyone it’ll be someone desperate to get in the press. The Doran’s are bullies hell bent on making a name for themselves and I guarantee you that as soon as they do fix someone they’ll be running off to the press quicker than you can say ‘Danny Head’.

    I have no doubt that the Doran’s probably started this with the best of intentions. I understand it probably gets artists backs up when they hear Sketch described as “one of the best artists in the country” and I understand wanting to raise awareness of the fact he isn’t. But once Ben posted that first post offering free fixes and it went vital, he saw his name in lights. And now he can’t let go. he’s on a mission to make a name for himself as a saviour, without a care for any of the people he’s approaching.

    You think these ringleaders are campaigning for ethics and morals? Bullshit. They’re either bitter or out to make a name for themselves in any way they can.

  57. Actually, I was getting tattood in a local shop when the owner received an email from Channel 4 about appearing as artists. They had a long discussion about the down sides to it and the bad representation and decided against it.

  58. Much as I understand the criticisms made of the show, the resentment against it by professional tattoo artists and their frustration at the public response, I don’t agree that it is damaging the industry. I doubt very much that anyone is put off from getting a tattoo by watching that show, but they may be put off from getting a tattoo when they’re drunk, a tattoo that’s obscene, or a tattoo they didn’t see drawn in advance and didn’t sign off . In other words, it might make them think a bit more carefully. If anyone is inspired to get a tattoo or cover up an old one by that show, most will be choosing local artists and giving the business to them. Some will hopefully have been inspired to do a great deal more thinking and researching than they would ever have done if they hadn’t seen the show.

  59. I very much disagree. I have seen numerous idiots on twitter actually stating that they would like to get a bad tattoo just so they can appear on the show. So this proves that it is having the totally wrong effect!

  60. Actually, as someone with a tattoo which needs significant reworking, I was put off even asking my local tattoo artists if it would be possible after seeing the show. I am fully aware how much more experience a good cover needs – virgin skin is a blank sheet. But does a cover need to be a block of black and red 3 times the size? No it does not.

    It’s taken 5 years to let the scarring settle, get over the trauma of chunks of flesh falling off and walk into several shops to discuss my options. I’d rather pay someone who knows what they’re doing to work on me, and if they’re not sure (and many haven’t been) I’ve walked away with no hard feelings and confidence they know their limits.

  61. You obviously haven’t seen really good tattoo art anywhere if you think the shit ripoff work sketch is doing and the colouring book crap they’re all doing rest of time is anywhere near par with the best in the business in the country. Just saying have a look at some real professionals work then say their work on that shit show is anywhere near their level of quality or expertise. When you do you should be amazed at how shit that show’s work really is and if you’re not you must be blind or an idiot or both lol☠

  62. Load of bollocks who gives a fuck…dying trade anyway …scratchers make more money than registered studios peasants with pocket money come through the doors of studios now…looking for inspiration??? And cheap cheap or to waste artists time…Wankers….fairplay to em sell out to tv company make loads of money and get the fuck out…get over it rockstars ??

  63. I have had tattoos done by someone who never had an apprenticeship which at the time I thought were good as I had nothing to compare them to, I recently done some research and went to an award winning tattoo shop and could not be happier with my new tattoo. The rest of my tattoos look terrible now and I can assure you that the tattoo fixers work is much better than the terrible ones I have. As people have said different people are better at different styles. People are just jealous that there work is not on the tv!!

  64. I have to agree with you Geoff. It’s the fuckwits who bugger of to the Balerics on holiday,get shit faced and come back home with a crap TAT…Ben Dorens got a fucking nerve !!! I mean tatooing Marilyn Manson on someone is fair enough BUT ..I dont recall Marilyn Manson having a nose which resembles a cock and balls (or dildo ?)…see pic at top ..I have watched Tattoo fixers avidly and I do admit not all of their designs for cover ups are great,but thats personal choice on my part. What does annoy me is that everyone who appears for a cover up is always happy at the time.As for the “lack”of hygiene….horse shit. All the finished tats you see on the prog have NO inflammation,so the tats were all done a good 5 or 6 weeks prior to airing..begs the question really. x

  65. Millie,,Ben Doran THINKS he is the tattoo god..Just look at the dildo nose on the Marilyn Manson tattoo at the top of the page .

  66. Tattoo indusry is not dying..I specialse in 18th century drawing and I have an etching I would love to have inked on me….Can I find a tattoo artist who will carry this out?? NO.