Woman talking(l+r), Tattoo Artist(c)

Oleksandr Nagaiets/Shutterstock @www.olivia.ca/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘Send him an invoice’: Customer says tattoo artist stole her ‘unique’ design—and used it on someone else

‘As a tattoo artist, I would NEVER do this.’


Rachel Kiley


Choosing both a tattoo artist and the design you want inked on your body for the rest of your life are decisions often approached with a fair amount of consideration. But one woman who had been loyal to her regular tattoo artist turned to TikTok to ask whether she should hit the pavement looking for someone new after her guy did something she felt was pretty “shady.”

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“I went in last week with a design that I really wanted to get,” TikTok user Olivia (@www.olivia.ca) says in a viral clip posted in early June. “It’s a very unique piece, OK? This isn’t just something you see on Pinterest and get.” 

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The artist was down and told her that he would create a mock-up based on the art she brought in and get back to her. After not hearing from him for a week, she initially assumed he must have just been busy and was still working on her design. But that was not the case.

“Yesterday, I was scrolling through Instagram and there he was,” Olivia says. “He posted a story of him with the design that I asked him for on someone else.”

She immediately found the situation off-putting, especially considering she and her girlfriend frequent this tattoo artist, recommend him to others, and consider themselves “loyal” customers.

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“Is that kind of shady?” she asks viwers. “Or am I overreacting? ‘Cause I know some artists don’t even like repeating flash [tattoos] and stuff like that, let alone a design that a loyal client came in and asked you for.”

Despite Olivia’s concerns, viewers largely seemed to agree that she was well within her rights to be frustrated and consider this a betrayal.

“As a tattoo artist; I would NEVER do this unless I was no showed for a design,” wrote one commenter.

“You were loyal to him, he definitely was not loyal to you,” another said. “I’d switch up & get a new tattooer.”

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“Really shady,” agreed a further user. “i am loyal to my artist as well and idk if i’d be more sad/hurt or angry but i know i’d have a lot of thoughts.”


tattoo community pls tell me if i have a reason to be kinda upset/not wanna go back to this artist or am i overreacting?

♬ original sound – fruit cake

“Send him an invoice for use of your artwork,” a fourth suggested.

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However, in a follow-up video, Olivia clarifies that she didn’t draw the original design. Rather, it was something she “found through the depths of the internet” and asked her tattoo artist to put his own spin on.

“I will probably not be going back to him,” she added, declining to name drop the artist. “It’s unfortunate, ’cause a lot of my pieces are from him, and they’re beautiful. But that just really was shitty and it sucked.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Olivia via TikTok comment.

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