What began as a simple desire for a tattoo of her favourite creature – a floral-adorned fox – soon spiralled into a saga of frustration, loss, and public outcry for Courtney Monteith. The gripping narrative of her tattoo experience gone awry took TikTok by storm and has since been coined as the contentious ‘Tattoogate’.
We’re ready to spill the ink on this unfolding drama. Here’s a swift rundown of the events.
Monteith, captivated by the work of a local tattoo artist, decided to schedule a consultation. For a hefty fee of $180, she was granted a half-hour virtual chat to discuss her design vision. Two images of a fox in a floral setting were sent as a reference for the desired outcome.
The artist then introduced a three-tiered pricing structure for her design services – $1,500 for one design with a minor revision, $3,500 for two designs with two revisions, and $6,000 for unlimited revisions. Notably, these fees excluded the actual tattooing cost.
Opting for the first tier, Monteith paid the design fee plus an additional $1,000 as a tattoo deposit. A few days later, she received a sketch that appeared hastily done and bore little resemblance to the provided references.
A flurry of DMs ensued, with the artist demanding more money. When Monteith contested this, the artist refused to proceed with the tattoo. While Monteith resigned to her lost consultation and sketch fees, she anticipated the return of her tattoo deposit. Shockingly, the artist refused to refund the $1,000 deposit despite the tattoo’s cancellation.
Taking to TikTok to share her experience, Monteith triggered a virtual uproar.
@running_mom_of_boys Part 1 #badbusiness #tattoohorrorstory #worstexperience #storytime #tattooartist #greenscreen ♬ original sound – cmonteith
@running_mom_of_boys Part 2 There are like 20 emails, im trying to hit the highlights #badbusiness #tattoohorrorstory #worstexperience #storytime #tattooartist #greenscreen ♬ original sound – cmonteith
@running_mom_of_boys Part 3 I honestly like her work but not being transparent about fees from the start is just bad business #badbusiness #tattoohorrorstory #worstexperience #storytime #tattooartist #greenscreen ♬ original sound – cmonteith
Despite not naming the artist, internet detectives quickly identified her, resulting in a flood of irate messages. Subsequent revelations showed a trail of similar grievances from past clients.
In a shocking twist, it was exposed that the sketch was not an original creation but a traced image from the internet.
@running_mom_of_boys #stitch with @odds_mind Thank you for this! I didnt think i could get more appalled #tattoogate ♬ original sound – cmonteith
Following the backlash, the artist retreated from the public eye, setting her social media accounts to private and shuttering her physical shop.
While this scandal continues to simmer, Monteith’s story does have a silver lining. A renowned tattoo artist Matt Vaught has extended an offer to fly Monteith to Los Angeles and gift her the dream tattoo she initially desired.
@tattoo_matt #stitch with @cmonteith Me and @H2Ocean are going to make this right. #tattoogate #tattoogate2023 #tattootiktok ♬ original sound – Matt Vaught
The ink has not dried on this story yet, so stay tuned for more updates.