The Official Blog for Tattoo Artist Magazine

Big Gus Talks About Spike TV’s ‘Tattoo Nightmares’ Show

By Big Gus
Hey guys! What’s the deal with Spike TV’s Tattoo Nightmares? Yes, the name sounds scary and confusing at first…

I had the opportunity to be cast as one of the main artists on the show. Man, what an experience it was! I was pulling 16-hour workdays six days a week for a little over a month, which was not an easy task. You may think that it would be, but besides the filming, it also takes major focus to be tattooing while being filmed by over four cameras at a time, which adds to the already chaotic environment…

So a lot of you may be wondering why I decided to do a reality show… Yes, we know that some of the shows have put a bad taste in your mouth, and people say that it’s for sell-outs blah-blah-blah, but think about this as an artist in the industry… Some of us are looked up to for advice and guidance from younger artists. I found this to be a great way of helping the industry, plus I’m getting paid of course. I’m a hustler, baby! But let’s be serious… how many of you cry and talk negative about these shows? It’s cool… so did I.

A good friend of mine once said, “Magazines suck.” Yes they do, because the good artists don’t submit good tattoos to magazines so how can magazines put out good work if good artists don’t submit photos? My point is how can TV put out good ink shows if the good artists keep saying no to them? Yes, it’s gotten a bad rap in the tattoo world but when I was given the opportunity to film a show I took it so I could show America that we can be positive role models to the average person aspiring to be a tattoo artist. We cannot stop the ever-growing interest in this trade so why not educate them the best we can and with Spike TV in over 98.7 million homes. What better way to do it? What better way to show them clean tattooing, sterilization, customer service, pride in your art and community. Trust me, man… the pressure was high representing this community and also all my great friends that I wouldn’t want to let down.

The show is a cover up show. Yup, that’s right… The shit we hate doing the most! It was so funny when they pitched that to me, but I love a challenge!

There are over 40 million people with tattoos on them. Somebody’s going to have a bad fucking tattoo and with scratchers, or uneducated artists doing tattoos we know this to be very true. They are either downright horribly disturbing or just down right funny. On the show, we take on the task of these people’s TATTOO NIGHTMARES and give them new hope at the end of the long hours of getting tattooed on the show. You will also get to see re-enactments of their stories, which I can’t wait to see, because some were just too damn crazy to hear.

Our cast also includes Tommy Helm runner-up of Ink Masters Season 1, and a new face to the community, Jazmin Rodriquez. Together, we create new tattoos over these people’s nightmare tattoos. Some of which were so bad that they were hurting their relationships, self-esteem and outlook on life.

Click here to watch full-episode: http://www.spike.com/full-episodes/h5ochi/tattoo-nightmares-killer-skyline-season-1-ep-101

Big Gus can be found at: http://www.biggusink.com/

7 responses

  1. Hmmm….you have a good point. Ink Masters would probably be a better show if they had better artist on it. Take a look at some of the cooking shows that the show. They get some pretty top named chefs.

    October 22, 2012 at 3:58 PM

  2. I totally agree that there is gonna be tattoo reality shows, and great artists like Gus should step up to try and make sure that these shows reflect as well on us as possible. However my impression from the episode that I saw was that every tattoo that was taken on was not successfully covered. They were not successfully covered because they were too bad and too dark to be covered, and should not have been taken on. I have the utmost respect for Gus, but his tattoo was very deficient as well, the old design showed right through clearly even before healing. The tattoo Tommy did was way too dark. In the end these people got much bigger poor tattoos.
    We as professionals have the responsibility to inform clients of the best methods to achieve the best ends. In these cases the best method should likely start with a few laser treatments. The general public is does not possess the training we do, and to them these tattoos look like success’. This can only serve to misinform the public. As if people don’t already cop an attitude when we try to inform them of the proper way to acheive the best result when they have a tattoo that is beyond the limits of a coverup. We are not magicians and can not cover up the worst of tattoos the way this show is incinuating. We all know abou the cover up of the coverup, which resulted due to an artist not informing there client of the realities of there tattoos state, or biting off more than they can chew. I know I would not be proud to wear any of the tattoos done, and as an artist that would dissapoint me tremendously. I only hope the future episodes offer some redemption. Big Gus, you are better than that.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:47 PM

  3. Honestly, a show like yours is necessary. I got my first tattoo earlier this year. It was small but beautiful and represented exactly the message I wanted to share. I went back this summer to get a tribute to those in my family that have passed away. The girl did the tatt on my ankle. It is HORRIBLE. It makes me want to cry. So….where does a New Yorker go to get a good cover up tattoo???????

    November 28, 2012 at 8:21 PM

  4. mann ya guys ,girl is great artist! i love the whole team work on the show ! i wish i could meet you guys. i need some cover ups on my arm ..much sucess to all of ya .

    December 4, 2012 at 10:42 PM

  5. I was going to get my tat lasered off until I saw this show. It gave me hope! Now I am shopping around for a cover up artist in Arizona. I would prefer to go to either of you on the show – you guys are amazing!!!

    December 7, 2012 at 12:43 PM

  6. I’m looking for a good coverup tattoo artist in the Mississippi area. I would be willing to travel if necessary to La, Tx or anywhere in the Southeast area. If they could do the coverup in one visit I could travel further. Thanks!

    January 20, 2013 at 10:48 AM

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