Jasmine Rodriguez was born and raised in Yonkers, New York, and for the past 16 years has been earning a living tattooing in the Bronx. In the world of tattoos they are called scratchers; the untrained, unlicensed needle happy would-be tattoo artists with access to a tattoo machine and a willing - or inebriated - victim. On “Tattoo Nightmares” the process of tattooing seems very confessional, you have a very intimate dialogue with the client. You don’t feel how long the process of being tattooed is on the show.We get our clients 24-72 hours before we get to tattoo them. Do you think there are any people in your past that might have tattoo nightmares that you created? How did you develop your signature style of fine line black and gray?My style that I do is a creation of everything I’ve become since I was younger, a mixture of graffiti, my Chicano background, the streets and the hood.
What would you consider the worst you've had to fix up so far?I had to do this tribal cover on this kid’s arm in Season 1. On this week's "Tattoo Nightmares," a client named Rob was looking to cover up a couple of crosses he had tattooed on his chest as a tribute to his dead parents. He thought the crosses looked stupid, and instead decided that dead parakeets with brass knuckles were a much more fitting way of remembering the people who created him. TV Replay scours the vast television landscape to find the most interesting, amusing, and, on a good day, amazing moments, and delivers them right to your browser. She didn't have an easy start as a secretary at Sterling Cooper, but Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) has certainly worked her way up on the '60s era drama. Scratchers churn out misspelled words, poorly executed designs, tattoo fails of every variety.


Then it took me two sessions, one of twelve hours and another of eight hours that was three weeks later.
During that small time frame we have to see the tattoo from before, we go home and draw for three or four hours then go back and film for the next six days. Peggy was consdiered one of the biggest creative geniuses behind the company (before she left last season), although she certainly lost a few nights of sleep in the process.
If they can afford it, their victims eventually run to the likes of Big Gus, one third of the trio of professional tattoo artists on Spike TV’s “Tattoo Nightmares.” The show, now in the midst of a 26 episode second season, demonstrates the ways these creative pros use their skills and experience to right some serious tattoo wrongs. I’ve been drawing that stuff since I was 15 because homeboys in our neighborhood showed me what it was. Big Gus, who has been honing his skills for almost two decades visits Miami this weekend for TattooLaPalooza, Miami’s annual tattoo convention that brings the tattoo industry together for three days to compare and share ink. It takes all three of us to come up with a unique plan to get rid of these tattoos without making them look like cover-ups. But it’s funny, me and Tommy and Jasmine [from “Tattoo Nightmares”] joke about that all the time, like holy god, one of these days one of our old clients from when we were kids is going to walk in the door, you know. I did not think it was possible and it ended up being one of my brightest cover-ups I’ve done. It boggles my mind that kids get tattoos on their faces but don’t even have full sleeve tattoos.
We chat with Big Gus about “Tattoo Nightmares” and what its like to clean up the messes scratchers make. In a lot of ways I’m grateful for it because apprenticeships nowadays, you work on artificial skin or fruit.


Obviously money is of big importance but there is a reason why a lot of good artists are booked for two years.
I’m old school, I think face tattoos are something that have to be earned and I don’t think they should be given out so easily. I’ll make a flyer and post it on my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and the people who respond to us first with the idea that suits me, will be the ones to get tattooed. Yeah we have laser, but if you want to pay more for an hour than what you pay us to tattoo you, then by all means get tattooed by a scratcher.
And there is a big reason they charge that much and they are still booked for that long, because they are great at what they do. Despite tattooing being a predominately male industry, Jasmine was undeterred and slowly built her reputation as one of the top artist at the shop. As artists we are not always going to accomplish great tattoos in the beginning but you got to start somewhere. This rising star prides herself in her artistic versatility and the ability to ink a complex tattoo in a short period of time. When I was 21 I got hired at a shop and that’s when I made my real transition to tattooing and ever since then I’ve been really blessed to be around good artists.



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