If you're not already hooked on the drama, How Far is Tattoo Far? is a reality show on MTV which allows friends, family members, partners, and enemies to choose permanent tattoos for each other. And in most cases, the tattoos chosen expose a hidden insecurity or secret in a graphic, vulgar, and at times, disgusting way. For example, so far in season 2, we've seen someone get a soiled roll of toilet paper, a portrait of themselves having intercourse with a car, the phrase "sperm donor" over a crotch, and braids coming out of a woman's inner thighs.
And if you've seen this show, whether as a longtime fan or tuning in for the first time, you may have wondered how the artists turn these ideas into permanent designs. Because while these tattoos are well applied, they're without a doubt some of the most shocking works of body art we've ever seen. To answer this burning question, we looked no further than to three of the show's resident artists to find out their process for creating jaw dropping ink for the clients of How Far is Tattoo Far?
"The duos usually have a really weird story about one another and it’s my job to find the humor and tattoo the punchline!" explains Kevin Laroy. "I like my tattoos on the show to be clear, literal, and possess a one-of -a kind WOW factor!."
“I can generally tell what kind of day I'm going to have within the first five minutes of the tattoo. Most duos put on the shades and try their best to relax, however, some completely freak out at the idea of having to spend hours in the dark. They're not only going through the pain of a tattoo, but dealing with the anxiety of not knowing what the hell it is— we’ve had a few tap-outs."
"Creating designs for the tattoos on How Far is Tattoo Far? is a real challenge," shares Courtney Raimondi. "As artists, we don't have the ability to have a consultation with the person choosing the design and also have guidelines to stick to regarding the legality of what can be shown on TV."
"Another challenge we face is making these crazy designs actually translate into a tattoo, which can be frustrating, because a lot of the time, the people picking the idea don't understand the limitations of the skin as a medium. We usually try to bounce ideas on how to creatively navigate these stipulations among ourselves as a group. Every artist brings something to our team that helps in the creative process. I think it really helps having a variety of artists skilled in different styles."
"Designing tattoos on How Far is Tattoo Far? is actually one of the more challenging tasks that I’ve come across in my career," says Travis Ross. "Obviously, I want to make a huge shock factor for the show, but more importantly, I’m looking to make a solid tattoo that shows the world how diverse my style is and how serious I take my craft."
"Tattooing someone who is not only blindfolded, but also has no idea what they are getting definitely feeds into the nerves of our clients. Imagine sitting in a chair where it’s completely dark, you have no idea what you are getting, AND the whole world is watching. It’s insane to see these people follow through!"
What do you think of season 2 of How Far is Tattoo Far? Are the tattoos shown so far blowing your mind? Did these friends go too far? Let us know your thoughts on this story in the comments section.