Talk About A Show Stopper

How do we handle controversial tattoo requests?

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Sometimes, a person requests what some might consider to be an outlandish tattoo idea.  As artists, it’s our job to help navigate the how’s and the why’s of these requests. For example, here at Lighthouse Tattoo, we have a “no hate” policy with regard to the tattoo work that we provide. No swastikas, or hate speech, no gang tattoos, we won’t even do your girl’s or boyfriend’s name, it’s just not a good idea.  

Another symbol that we won’t tattoo is the Confederate Battle flag.  It means a lot of things to a lot of different people and while we recognize that not everyone who flies the flag is racist, we also understand that the meaning of symbols change and out of a sense of responsibility to our younger customers who may not fully understand the impact of their decisions, and to those professed white supremacists, we make a clear stand...Lighthouse Tattoo will not tattoo Confederate Battle Flags.

But what if the tattoo request isn’t a “hate” tattoo?  What if it’s a tattoo with taboo connotations? In plain speak...what if it’s naughty?  And possibly needs to be censored for view? How do we respond to that request? Simply by listening to our customers. It is not unusual for us to have a solid rapport with our clients - we quite prefer it - and in the case where a request for an explicit tattoo is made, we have to rely on that relationship as well as have the conversations surrounding the desire for the tattoo.  We understand that tattoo regret is a REAL THING and we do not want to be factoring contributors so WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY NO if we determine that the request is frivolous and without thought or meaning.  

Which leads us here...what did Will tattoo at the Pit Row Expo in Atlanta?  A very large thigh piece of a woman performing fellatio and y’all, there was nothing left to the imagination.  This was not the first piece for this particular client that is sexual in content. He has a sleeve on his arm that pays homage to the BDSM lifestyle that has grown meaningful to both he and his wife.  Which is exactly why Will did not have a hard time making the decisions to do this particular tattoo - he knows his customer and realizes the significance.

Would people disagree?  Possibly. But tattoos aren’t for other people.  They are for the ones who wear them. Would tattoo colleagues disagree?  Once again, possibly. But for us at Lighthouse Tattoo, a new idea is exciting because we like to be challenged and honestly, new ideas can be refreshing.  And this tattoo certainly got a reaction. People actually stood in line to take pictures of it. It was posted on several social media accounts as well as talked about throughout the entirety of the convention.  Because while it may have been a shocking tattoo to some, artistically, which is what the artists were judging, it was flawless. A large black/grey piece that literally STOPPED. THE. SHOW. not only for the content but because of the Artist’s ability to bring a picture to life.  This one will go down in the books as controversial for sure...but worth it. Well worth it. A happy Customer + A happy Artist = A Win in our Books.   

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WE ARE HIRING

We are seeking a new addition to our tattoo family!!  


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Artists, have you ever wanted to go on vacation without taking your equipment with you? No more zero days? What would it be like to thrive in a professional, family-oriented culture that encourages each artist to be the best they can be - and is willing to do what it takes to see that happen?

Well, look no further.  Lighthouse Tattoo is just the place for you!  We are a community-focused shop with a passion for the industry. We provide a service for some of the greatest customers on earth and hope that you will share in that belief.  We put our Artists and Clients first in all of our decisions. We believe in the Golden Rule and have earned all of our customers the old fashioned way- by adhering to that standard and simply doing good business.  We currently handle both custom appointments as well as walk-in traffic and are seeking a qualified Artist to join our dedicated team. The requirements for consideration are as follows:

  • A Tattoo Artist with a minimum of 3 years licensed experience

  • An Artist with a willingness to travel.  We do multiple shows a year in which all expenses will be paid and 100% of your earnings go in your pocket.

  • A drama free professional that is friendly, has a strong work ethic and motivated.

  • Excellent customer service skills 

  • Desire to do your best in all things

  • Strong Portfolio

Serious inquiries only.  Please submit your portfolio or links to your social media with a resume and/or information about yourself and shops you have worked with to info@lighthousetattoo.net. ATTN: CASI needs to be placed in the subject line.  

We look forward to hearing from you! 


Pit Row Expo

We are Going to Atlanta for the First Ever Pit Row Expo presented by The Marked Society. This is going to be a super cool show and we are super excited to be attending.

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We are super excited to be attending this event! This Exposition will be held at the Atlanta Motor Speedway and will offer more than just awesome tattoos. There will be a car and bike show, a corn hole tournament with a guaranteed pot of $1500.00 going to the winner, live music from artists such Carnival of Crue, Nightrain International and The Casket Creatures, and last but not least, Horror celebrities including Captain and Maybelle, Bill Moseley, Michael Berryman and Michael Berryman just to name a few.

Will and Tasha will be among almost 100 artists tattooing at this convention and we are eager to follow their journey throughout the weekend. There is never a dull moment when those two are involved so aside from producing some killer tattoos, we know fun will be had!!

We are also eager to see if they enter any contests (which they usually do) and see what they win (because once again, they usually bring home an award - or two- and sometimes, even armloads full). Contest Categories for the Pit Row Expo include:

- Best of Show -  Best of Day - Best Traditional -

-Best Small/Medium Black & Grey -

- Best Large Black & Grey - Best Small  & Medium Color - Best Large Color -

- Best Automotive /Hot Rod Theme - Best Sleeve Arm or Leg - Best Chest/Back -

This will be a crazy week as we are gearing up for the trip. If you are in the Atlanta area, give us a shout! We would love to see you there!!

More information regarding the Pit Row Expo can be found at PitRowExpo.com

Fun Times At The Gathering Part 2

One and DONE!  Last weekend at the Fifth Annual Carolina Tattoo and Art Gallery we entered a single contest with Tasha’s Ice Cube portrait and brought home an award for most realistic black and grey!!!  Not too shabby at all!!  

We also have to say that the awards at the show were SUPER COOL! There is a local distillery in Lenoir and the trophies were made from old whiskey barrels that still smell like the alcohol that aged in them.  That’s a great touch by the hosts of the convention, Dragon’s Den Tattoo Company.  The tattoo that won was her portrait of Ice Cube.

Another highlight from the show was Tasha had the unbelievable opportunity to be coached by the one and only Jime Litwalk (you may have seen him on Ink Masters Season 3 where he placed second in the finale).  To have had the opportunity to learn from such a prolific figure in the industry is quite a moment.  We can’t say enough about his talent, how he has honed his craft and how gracious he was.

Tasha also got tattooed at the show, by Will. Her new piece is a black and grey portrait of Livio Scarpella’s Veiled Souls from his series “Ghost Underground” which depicts ghostly souls both peaceful and in anguish. The photos above are of the tattoo and the reference photo that was used.

Once again, we would like to say thank you to Lenoir, North Carolina and the Carolina Tattoo and Art Gathering for being such gracious hosts.  The scenery was beautiful, the food was amazing and we walked away from the convention with new friends that are genuine, kind and amazingly talented.  Overall, it was a great weekend.

Fun Times At The Gathering

It was a whirlwind weekend in North Carolina but both Will and Tasha enjoyed themselves and met some really cool people.  We took lots of pictures and will post them throughout the week but these are a few from last Friday night. Be on the lookout for more to come!  Special thanks to Carolina Tattoo and Arts Gathering and Lenoir, North Carolina for being so welcoming.  

Be sure to click on each picture so that you can see the slideshow. Also, stay tuned to check out the cool awards that we won this past weekend!!

Getting Ready For The Gathering

We are gearing up for the weekend!! Beginning this Friday, August 30 thru Sunday, September 1, Will and Tasha will be at the Carolina Tattoo and Arts Gathering in beautiful Downtown Lenoir, North Carolina. This will be the Fifth annual tattoo convention held by Dragon’s Den Tattoo Company and they will be attending with George Patrick, owner of both From The Cradle Tattoo Co (Richmond, KY) and To The Grave Tattoo Co (Lexington, KY). It’s setting up to be an amazing weekend and we are excited to share more about it as the week progresses. Check back for more info later this week!

We are gearing up for the weekend!! Beginning this Friday, August 30 thru Sunday, September 1, Will and Tasha will be at the Carolina Tattoo and Arts Gathering in beautiful Downtown Lenoir, North Carolina. This will be the Fifth annual tattoo convention held by Dragon’s Den Tattoo Company and they will be attending with George Patrick, owner of both From The Cradle Tattoo Co (Richmond, KY) and To The Grave Tattoo Co (Lexington, KY). It’s setting up to be an amazing weekend and we are excited to share more about it as the week progresses. Check back for more info later this week!