You’d have to agree that getting a tattoo should be a pretty big decision… one that you should consider deeply and put a lot of thought into both the design and the process. It is pretty much permanent, afterall.
This is not the case for clients attending the studio of London tattooist Monty Richthofen, however, who started a project called “My words, your body” where a person who comes for a tattoo has to trust the artist blindly – since only he knows what the final result is going to look like.
Hefner doesn’t really do this spontaneously. He always starts a conversation with his client that can last from 30 minutes to almost two hours, and ask the same four questions: Why do you want to do this? What does trust mean to you? Why do you trust me? And: What are you going to do if you don’t like the tattoo? After this, Hefner usually already knows which direction to go to represent that moment in their lives.
“I have five notebooks filled with around 5,000 different phrases,” told Hefner to Vice. “Sometimes, I have to flick through the designs for quite a while, until something suddenly clicks in my mind. But other times, I don’t even have to look through the notebook at all because I already have the right words in my head. They can then decide which part of their body they want tattooed.”
The artist also makes sure that people understand what they’re doing – he would never create a tattoo for a drunk person, and he even doesn’t really allow the use of smartphones to keep the client concentrated during the process.
Here are some examples of tattoos that he has completed recently without the client knowing what he was going to do beforehand. Would you trust this artist with your body?