A really messy tattoo mistake

Several sources (including WMAR-TV, weinterrupt.com, and Het Nieuwsblad (article in Dutch)) report on a tattoo session where the customer, Kimberley Vlaeminck, an 18 year-old girl from Belgium, quite literally got more than she bargained for.

According to Kimberley, she wanted three (possibly four) little stars on her face, but wound up with a mind-numbing total of 56 when she fell asleep during the session. Not surprisingly, she is a little shy about showing her face in public. Kimberley is suing the Romanian tattoo artist, who she claims did not understand her correctly, for what appears to be €11,000 or so (the Euro equivalent of US$15,000).

The artist, Rouslain Toumaniantz, paints quite a different picture of what happened, stating that Kimberley was not only awake but saw herself in the mirror several times during the procedure. Rouslain has offered Kimberley a discount down to €50 (the cost of the four stars she originally wanted) but flatly refuses to pay for the removal surgery.

I don’t really know who to believe here. However, I do have four observations:

  1. I remain committed to never getting a tattoo;
  2. I advise my readers who insist upon getting tattooed:
    1. make sure there are no communication problems (ideally, the artist speaks the same language, fluently, and if not, have a trustworthy interpeter along), and
    2. make damn sure you stay awake through the whole thing;
  3. Some tattoo artists look scary as hell to me, even without a tattoo gun in hand;
  4. Finally, I will admit, the design would looks great as a facepainting, but not as a permanent tattoo.

Hopefully the lawsuit will receive an equal amount of press coverage. I plan to follow up on this one.