TikTok is a platform where people can share their creativity, humor, and opinions with millions of viewers. But sometimes, it can also be a source of controversy and drama, especially when it involves a tattoo artist who allegedly charges exorbitant fees and delivers disappointing sketches. This is the story of #Tattoogate, the latest TikTok drama that has sparked outrage, backlash, and even legal action.
Who is Lindsay Joseph and Lucid Tattoos?
Lindsay Joseph is a Canadian tattoo artist who runs a studio called Lucid Tattoos in Cambridge, Ontario. According to her website, she specializes in “custom tattoos that are unique to each client” and has won several awards for her work. She also claims to have a “passion for creating art that is meaningful and beautiful”.
However, some of her former clients have a different opinion of her work and business practices. They have accused her of charging thousands of dollars for consultations, design fees, and deposits, without delivering the quality and style they expected. They have also claimed that she was rude, unprofessional, and dishonest in her communication and contracts.
How did #Tattoogate start?
The #Tattoogate drama began on May 10, 2023, when a TikTok user named Courtney Monteith posted several videos about her experience with Joseph. Monteith said that she wanted a tattoo of a fox running through flowers on her upper arm, and booked a consultation with Joseph for $180. During the consultation, Joseph presented her with three options for the design process:
- Option 1: A concept sketch with one minor change and a final design review for $1,500 plus tax.
- Option 2: Two concept sketches, a few changes, and a final design review for $3,500 plus tax.
- Option 3: Multiple sketches, reviews, and a canvas of the concept sketch for over $6,000.
Monteith chose option 1, thinking that the design fee would be deducted from the final cost of the tattoo. However, she later found out that it was not the case, and that she still had to pay for the actual tattoo separately. She also said that the concept sketch she received from Joseph was nothing like what she wanted, and that Joseph refused to make any major changes unless she paid the difference between option 1 and option 2, which was $2,260.
Monteith decided to cancel her appointment with Joseph and asked for a refund of her deposit, which was $1,015. However, Joseph said that the deposit was non-refundable according to her contract, and threatened to sue Monteith if she posted anything negative about her online.
How did #Tattoogate escalate?
Monteith’s videos went viral on TikTok, attracting millions of views and comments. Many people expressed their sympathy for Monteith and their anger at Joseph. Some also shared their own negative experiences with Joseph or warned others to avoid her studio.
One of them was another TikTok user named Riri Ality, who said that she paid $4,000 for a tattoo design by Joseph that she was unhappy with. She said that Joseph changed the style and color of her original idea without consulting her, and that she felt “basically scammed” by Joseph.
Another TikTok user named Meredith Clark said that she paid $2,000 for a consultation with Joseph in 2019, but never received any sketches or communication from her. She said that she tried to contact Joseph multiple times but got no response. She also said that she filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau but got no resolution.
How did Lindsay Joseph respond?
Joseph has not publicly addressed the #Tattoogate controversy on her social media accounts or website. However, she has reportedly sent cease and desist letters to some of the TikTok users who criticized her or exposed her contracts. She has also allegedly blocked or deleted some of the negative comments on her Instagram page.
According to some TikTok users who claimed to have spoken to Joseph privately, she defended her pricing and design choices as part of her artistic vision and professional standards. She also accused some of her former clients of lying or exaggerating their stories.
What is the current status of #Tattoogate?
As of October 19, 2023, #Tattoogate is still an ongoing drama on TikTok, with new videos and updates being posted regularly. Some of the TikTok users involved have said that they are pursuing legal action against Joseph or seeking refunds through their banks or credit card companies.
On the other hand, some positive outcomes have also emerged from the situation. For example, Monteith received an offer from an award-winning tattoo artist named Matt Vaught, who said that he would fly her out to Los Angeles and give her a free fox tattoo. Vaught said that he wanted to “fix the wrong that has been done” and that he also loved tattooing foxes.
What are the lessons learned from #Tattoogate?
#Tattoogate is a cautionary tale for both tattoo artists and clients. It shows the importance of clear communication, mutual respect, and fair pricing in the tattoo industry. It also highlights the power of social media to expose unethical or unprofessional behavior and to support or criticize individuals or businesses.
For tattoo artists, #Tattoogate serves as a reminder to be transparent and honest with their clients, to listen to their feedback and preferences, and to charge reasonable fees for their services. For clients, #Tattoogate serves as a warning to do their research before choosing a tattoo artist, to read and understand the contracts they sign, and to speak up if they are unhappy or dissatisfied with their tattoos.