Viral TikTok Opens Up About Fox Tattoo Scam


The fox sketch Joseph drew that would be what she tattoos on Monteith. Monteith said this sketch wasn’t what she asked for and called it “a ten minute sketch”. Photo Courtesy of Tik Tok (@running_mom_of_boys)

Alyssa Hinojosa, Riptide Anchor

Cortney Monteith went to social media on May 10th to share her recent experience with a tattoo artist. In Monteith’s videos, she doesn’t disclose the name of the artist. However, the tattoo artist was later revealed to be Lindsay Joseph, owner of Lucid Tattoos Studio. 


    Monteith was a fan of Joseph’s work, and directly messaged her on Instagram to see if Joseph could give her a tattooing. Joseph listed on her website that the consultation fee was $108 (non- refundable). During the consultation, Monteith showed Joseph an example image of a fox that she wanted to be placed on her upper arm. She went on to explain to the artist she wanted the fox to appear as if it was running, and had watercolor paint on it. Joseph explained the next step, where Monteith would need to choose from three options of the design fees.


    Option one was a $1,500 fee, plus tax, with a concept sketch, and will be allowed to make one minor change with a final design to review. Option two was a $3,500 charge, plus tax, with two concept sketches and being allowed to make a couple of changes to the design, as well as another final design review. The third option was $6,000, plus tax, that includes a couple more concept sketches, and the ability to add more changes to the concept. The concept fee would not be taken out of Monteith’s final cost fee. After considering all three choices, Monteith chose option one.


    Once Monteith received the concept sketch, she was disappointed to see the sketch wasn’t what she wanted. Monteith requested a full fox body running with less flowers. Instead she received a sketch with the face of a fox and more flowers around the sketch. Monteith emailed Joseph immediately and stated this wasn’t what she asked for. Joseph said Monteith would need to pay the difference between option one and two that totaled out to be $2,260. Joseph said Monteith should have been more transparent and stated she wanted a full body of a fox, but Monteith explains the example pictures she sent were both full body fox tattoo art. Joseph explains further in an email exchange between her and Monteith, “If you did not want to purchase a design collab package, you would have been offered the opportunity to go straight into the booking process, a deposit would need to be sent to book your appointment, so the same as you did to book your tattoo session with the design collab, except you wouldn’t have the opportunity to see the design ahead of time or make any changes.” 


    Joseph says in an email to Monteith “Despite your nasty comments towards me, I have kept a kind demeanor and responded to you respectfully.” 

    In response Monteith says “I didn’t call her any names. I just told her I didn’t agree with the ways her fees were explained, and that it wasn’t made clear there was a fourth option and we could’ve moved forward without paying the design fee.” Monteith takes responsibility for choosing the option one fee and not arguing against it. 


    Joseph emailed Monteith, saying she will not be receiving a refund for the design and consultation fee. Monteith understands she could have turned down the fees and went with another artist, but wants Joseph to take responsibility for not explaining the fourth option fee. 


    Monteith posted another TikTok video five days after the three-part series explaining her experience. In this video she explains Matt Vaught, an award winning tattoo artist known for his talent in realism, reached out to Monteith. Vaught was upset by the story and wanted to regain Monteith’s trust in the tattoo community and offered to do her fox tattoo. Since then, Monteith and Vaught have been in contact to decide on and appointment time and date that works for the both of them. 


    Since the videos were published on TikTok, many people went to find Joseph’s tattoo shop on Google reviews to leave comments disagreeing with her fees. Since then, Joseph has taken down the reviews and been reported to be silent. 


    Tattoo artists can either charge by the hour or by the piece itself. It’s uncommon for an artist to charge a design fee or a consultation fee. However, if there is a fee charge, it would be a deposit for the tattoo itself. Being aware of what’s normal and not normal of the cost for getting a tattoo is important. Be sure to communicate with your artist to see what their fees are and be educated on what the red flags are when it comes to getting tattoos.