So Jwoww is still a thing we’re still talking about in 2014? Yeah? Okay cool, just making sure because I already laid out the pictures and did the “research” for this article, so it would be a shame if I found out now that we’re not talking about the cast of “Jersey Shore” anymore. With that said, let’s talk about Jenni Farley’s new ink, because unlike a lot of the decisions that we’ve seen her make over the years, this one seems to be a good one…at least in my eyes. The new tattoo that is adorning the reality stars upper back/shoulder blade is one of the best kind: a dedication to her child. The tattoo, which is the “Snooki & Jwoww” star’s daughter Meilani Alexandra’s name surrounding her foot prints is your standard baby dedication fare, but it’s definitely well done. The intention is obviously great too, as it commemorates the existence of someone who will always be important to her; this isn’t a “I Heart Wanda” kind of dedication that may be regretted someday, this is her first child! As the title of the article suggests, the new ink is done to match the piece done on her future husband Roger Mathew’s ribs, and both pieces really do look nice. This isn’t the first tattoo for either Jenni or Roger, as both have gotten pretty extensive ink done in the past. Roger is basically covered, with two sleeves and a huge back piece, as well as the gun he has inked on his hip, while Jenni has a large cross on her shoulder and a big ole’ tiger on her hip. The tattooed couple seems to be staying in shape as they enter their thirties, so their ink should age pretty well and they will most likely continue to have tats done well into their futures. I love making fun of the cast of that horrid cesspool of a show, but this isn’t a time when I have that opportunity, because Jenni and Roger’s new ink id more than okay in my book, and I have nothing but congratulations for them on the birth of their baby girl!
We’ve all heard the terms “Trainer to the stars” and “Accountant to the stars” and “(insert otherwise mundane profession) to the stars”; all of which prove that sometimes just doing stuff for celebrities can make you a celebrity yourself. This is especially true in the tattoo industry; where as sometimes stars don’t want anyone to know were they train or that they need the help of a financial planner, everyone loves to brag about who did their body art. Whether it’s via Twitter, during interviews, or with the ultra-cool (sarcasm alert) Instagram photo from inside the shop, everyone who you’ve ever heard of loves to show you how cool they are and how great their ink artist of choice is. We guess it’s like any other form of physical art in that you want to give the artist credit and show that you can afford the piece, but it’s still kind of annoying. However, there is a plus to all of this tattoo braggadocio: artists are getting paid these days. Who’s getting paid the best? Let’s find out! We’re going to try and stick to artists who we can get at least ballpark numbers on, so don’t be too upset if we leave out your favorite.
Artists like Mike Rubendall (from TLC’s “Tattoo Wars”), Bob Tyrell, Dave Tedder, Brandon Bond, and Stephanie Tamez all make awesome livings by charging in the $200 per hour range, having minimum session times, and by booking full schedules. However, the big moneymakers list starts with Kat Von D. The tabloid sensation and star of both “Miami Ink” and “LA Ink” has a shop minimum of $200/hr, so we have to figure that her hourly is up around at least the $300 range…which is exactly what Paul Booth charges per hour. Featured on CNN, CNBC, Discovery Channel, and TLC; Booth has worked on members of metal bands like Sepultura, Pantera, and Slipknot, giving them a taste of his dark and demon laden style. Famous clients are clearly the key to big bucks too, just ask New York based artist Bang Bang, who gets over $400/hr to ink stars like Rihanna and Justin Beiber. His work is good, but rumor has it that he’s not really worth the trip to the Bahamas that it costs you to have a medium sized piece done. In reality, is anyone worth that much cash? Don’t ask Anil Gupta, we already know his answer.
Charging a whopping $450/hr, Gupta has done work on celebrities like John McEnroe, Christian Slater, and Rosie O’Donnell. He’s know for his abstract work as well as his ability to perfectly copy works of art onto his clients’ bodies. He’s booked up six months in advance too, so you know that business is good. Not as good as Ami James though, as the “Miami Ink” and “NY Ink” star charges over $500 for just sixty minutes in the chair. His ownership of three shops (his third is Love Hate Social Club in London) and his clothing company DeVille has given him a personal net worth of over $5 million, so yeah…he’s doing well for himself. However, he’s cheap compared to Scott Campbell.
Tattooing only on weekend because his lucrative career in advertising design takes up his weekdays, Campbell has charged the likes of Marc Jacobs, Josh Hartnett, and Heath Ledger a thousand bucks for their first hour of work. Granted, he drops his price to “only” $200 for each additional hour, but that still gives him a pretty insane hourly rate, and most likely means that he’s living large when he’s not in the shop or in the office.
Once looked at as the dregs of society, tattoo artists are finally getting the recognition as true artists that they deserve, and with prices as high as these guys, they’re getting the cash they deserve. Of course, they won’t be getting that cash from us, we prefer to be inked in Thailand, where fifteen hours of work from a guy who has a masters degree in art and design will run you about $500. Yeah, America is overpriced…but we still love this place.
Don’t adjust your computer screens and smart phones folks, that is in fact 57 year old star of stage an screen Kelsey Grammar in the photo above. Yup, at almost 60 the Fraser, Cheers, and, Boss star jumped into the tattoo chair for the first time to ink the name of his new wife Kayte (there is no way that’s how it was meant to be spelled, unless her birth certificate says” Kaytherine”; in which case her parents should be slapped) on his hip. Look, we respect the hell out of Kelsey Grammar, even despite his drunk driving and infidelities, but we’ve got some issues with this ink. First off, she’s his fourth wife, so clearly marriage isn’t always a permanent idea to him, so maybe a tattoo isn’t the best thing to show his love. Secondly, what grown man gets a single tattoo that low on his waste line? He’s an award winning actor, not an 18 year old girl on spring break. Well either way, we’re sure he can afford the removal fees if this turns out to be a bad idea.
Glee star Lea Michele is your classic case of someone playing an innocent, wholesome character on television, but having a bit of a wild streak off screen. Amongst her at least nine tattoos, she has “imagine” on her foot (it matches her Glee co-stars Jenna Ushkowitz and Kevin McHale), a gold star (in honor of Rachel Berry, her straight-A Glee character), “I Believe” on her wrist (the big song from her Tony-winning musical Spring Awakening), a blue butterfly on her right foot (drawn by her cousin), a butterfly on her back (it matches her mother’s ink), a bird on her hip, two musical notes on her shoulder (they’re from Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”), “our city our love…” on her foot, and a tattoo on her thigh in memory of her grandfather’s passing. Ok, so maybe it’s not a wild streak; all of her ink seems to have legitimate sentimental meaning to her, and that’s pretty rare, so consider us impressed.