How I Got a Tattoo From Every It Girl’s Fav Artist
When I walked into West 4 Tattoo in September of 2015, it was a few weeks after Kendall Jenner got her first tattoo from Jonboy. He was about to blow up and become one of the best known tattoo artists in the city.
If you’re unfamiliar, Jonboy’s tattoos are a minimalist’s dream, and fine line tattoos are so trendy right now. So it would only make sense that he is the preferred artist of celebs like Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Justin Bieber and more recently Bella Hadid.
So how the hell did I manage to get an appointment with him? Pure luck.
The week before I went to West 4, I had met Lana Del Rey, and asked her to write something for a tattoo I was thinking of getting.
She said she loved the idea, and was happy to write it for me. So obviously, I was eager af to get it done as soon as possible now that I had the Queen’s approval.
I walked into West 4 with a few friends on our way to the NYU library, thinking it was going to be packed to the brim with a bunch of other teen girls just wanting to get a tat done, but it was empty. I walked up to the desk receptionist and asked if I could do a consultation with Jonboy because I had read online that West 4 didn’t do tattoos without a consultation first.
She said sure, and went to go get him. Jonboy came up to the desk and asked me how he could help me. I told him exactly what I wanted and where, and he was so excited about tatting something from Lana because he was a fan. Even the receptionist was a fan of Lana’s and we basically just fan-girled the entire time I was there.
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We talked size, price and other things, and then when I finally asked him when he would like to make the appointment, he looked super confused.
“Oh, you don’t want this done today?” he asked.
“Um, I thought you had a waiting list?” I stuttered, trying to come up with some excuse because I had not mentally prepared myself.
“I’m not busy right now, you literally walked in at the perfect time,” he said. “If you want to schedule it, you’ll have to wait until December.”
My mouth dropped open. December? It was now September. I didn’t want to wait four months. I just looked at my friends who had come with me, kind of looking for someone to either tell me to do it now, or wait. I needed a voice of reason.
They all stayed silent until Jonboy finally said, “Let’s just do it now. Why not? You only live once, and I’m really excited about this one.”
I kind of winced because I had not walked in there with the intention of getting a tattoo that day, and I still wanted to process the idea a little bit more in my head. But it felt like a do or die decision, and the whole YOLO thing really resonated with me. So I looked at Jonboy and said, “Fuck it, let’s do it.”
He got all excited and his assistant handed me the paperwork to fill out. My palms immediately were drenched in sweat from my nerves. But Jonboy kind of calmed me down. He was so unbelievably nice during the whole process, and talked me through what it would feel like because anything with needles gives me anxiety.
The whole thing felt like a dream. I couldn’t believe the circumstances and the randomness of it all. I was just shocked and blown away that he wanted to do it right then. Anyone could have walked into West 4 wanting a tattoo from him at that moment, but it was me that day. Jonboy really deserves every ounce of fame his clients get him.
Now, unfortunately it’s much harder to randomly walk into West 4 and get a tattoo from Jonboy. He’s much busier, and his bookings are months, sometimes years, in advanced.
He has also increased his price, which kind of blows for me because I would get all my tattoos from him if I didn’t also have to buy food and pay rent.
For my tattoo, it was $120 with a $20 tip included.
If you can wait and spare the huge price tag, getting a tattoo from Jonboy is so worth it. Aside from getting to say that you and Kylie Jenner have the same tattoo artist, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
He made the experience enjoyable and I love the memory I have of walking in and just YOLO-ing it to get a tattoo.