Not a week goes by that we don't hear, either via walk-in or phone call, the following statement (or a variant)
"Hey, yeah, so I've gone to X studio(s) and they told me they won't do Z. Will you guys do it?"
In this case:
"X" = the number of different studios the person has gone to or contacted, usually between 2 and 12
"Z" = hand tattoos, face tattoos, script tattoos, 'offensive' tattoos, etc.
Rarely, if ever, will we refuse these tattoos that so many other studios or artists flat-out will not do.
This hard-line refusal is confusing to us for the most part.
Our job is not to be the final arbiter of an individuals life decisions.
We facilitate your experience, that's all.
Want a hand tattoo? Get one. Our only rule here is that we won't do this as a starter tattoo- we will insist the person prove to themselves that they're ready to brand themselves an outsider to societal norms. This is also true of face and neck tattoos. Nothing visible until you're already tattooed.
However, there are countless studios (usually the 'cool kid' studios) that won't do these tattoos at all- at least not until you're part of their elitist cliques. Then its game on- sleeve up that neck, Jimmy Hipster!
Another example we've heard of is studios refusing to tattoo the word 'fuck' on someone.
Errr... Why not?
This notion of placing ones own moral or ethical standards as higher than the clients is totally confusing to us.
Now, don't get me wrong here, it's not as if we're exploitative bastards, looking to capitalize on ignorance. You come in asking for say, your name on your forehead backwards so you can read it in a mirror, we'll do it- but only after you get an hour long lecture on every possible facet of how that tattoo will bite you in the ass repeatedly.
Same with getting your girlfriend/wife/boyfriend/husbands name... We'll do it, but only after you hear a repetitious tirade about how each and every time couples do this, it kills the relationship. (My personal record is less than 24 hours after a name tattoo, the couple had broken up.)
To sum up- you want to get something, we'll do it. You'll get an education, whether you wanted it or not, but in the end its your decision.
We'll even toss in how much the inevitable cover-up will cost you too.