Think twice about where you're putting that "I love Mom" tat.
On the heels of the DVD release of season one of NY Ink, we talk to the show’s star Ami James about the places you should never get a tattoo, unless you’re into masochism. And you thought Kat Von D tabloid stories were painful.
1. The Back of the Knees
"I have never tattooed just the back of the knees, but I have done an entire leg before. And after 60-100 hours over months of talking, laughing, and tattooing, there was not one word from the client when I got to the back of the knees."
2. The Palm of the Hand to Between the Fingers
"I just watched [shop-mate] Tommy Montoya tattoo our friend Duke’s whole hand the other day. I can tell you that Duke did not make a single flinch for the whole back of the hand, but when he got to the palm I have never seen Duke flinch like that. And this is coming from a guy who has been shot twice."
3. The Torso and the Ribs
"It seems that fashion trends have brought tattoos to the rib area as of late. This basically means I get to see girls flinch in pain on a weekly basis. But I can also say that it is a good thing that women give birth because I have had far more men quit a rib panel than women."
4. The Adam's Apple
"I tattooed a Hannya Mask on a client’s throat the other day. Although the guy would not admit it, I could tell as the first line went in that area he was praying it was the last."
5. The Inner Elbow
"…the shittiest part of getting a sleeve. I have seen many people walking around with just a big hole there."
On His Contribution to Tattoo Mania
"In one way, I know I am responsible for the tattoo craze. On the other hand, I know it was bound to happen. I was just the first to do it."
James is known around the MMA community as the tattoo artist to the fighters – Antonio "Minotauro" Nogueira and Thiago "Pitbull" Alves have both gone under his needle. He may be super into ultimate fighting, but he’s not really a fan of some of the politics that go with it. "It is pretty amazing that the fastest growing sport in the world cannot flourish in New York. It is all just politics I guess. New York has many great fighters; it’s too bad they have to leave their state to fight."
On Being a Gym Rat
"I built a gym because it is my therapy. There is no better way to get out your aggression. Especially since a punching bag can always take a lot more than you can give. I think an aggression and stress free mind allows me to focus much more on art."
Miami vs. New York
He’s got tattoo shops in both cities, so which does he prefer? "One is a tropical city with a laid back feeling, and the other is the pure hustle of a big city. I guess it would be like comparing a tropical drink to a stiff martini."