Grey Ghost Tattoo Studio’s Fraser Sheppard works on Ross Holloway’s arm.
Grey Ghost Tattoo Studio’s Fraser Sheppard works on Ross Holloway’s arm. Jason Dougherty

Unusual tattoos revealed

IN his 27 years as a tattooist, Fraser Sheppard has been asked to ink some pretty outrageous stuff on people.

Like the time a young man walked into the South Australian studio where he worked and asked him to tattoo the business logo of his new employer on the upper arm along with the names of his co-workers.

A nauseating brown-nosing act, to be sure.

But two weeks later the man walked back into the studio and told the veteran tattooist he had been sacked.

“I think it was his first real job and he got all excited about it,” Mr Sheppard said yesterday.

“I had to cover it up with a Chevy bow tie emblem.”

The Daily asked Mr Sheppard, who works at Maroochydore-based Grey Ghost Tattoo Studio, and other tattooists to reveal some of the more unusual tats they have drawn.

The request followed a report last week in the Northern Territory News that detailed how Kieran Hollis, 26, had a large carton of Paul’s Iced Coffee tattooed on his shoulder to show his love for the drink. Mr Hollis had the tat done in Thailand after a Darwin tattoo shop refused him.

“They wouldn’t do it. They said it would look stupid,” he said.

Mr Sheppard said he only drew the line when it came to facial tattoos, preferring instead to first draw the design on the face with a black marker to see if the person really wanted it.

Another of his more memorable requests was to draw a kangaroo copulating with a kiwi on a New Zealand man’s back.

The New Zealander received the artwork after he lost a rugby league bet with an Aussie.

“I said, ‘You don’t have to do it’,” Mr Sheppard said.

“And he said, ‘A bet’s a bet’.”

Neil Braithwaite, of Coolum Tattoo and Body Piercing, has also inked people with some unusual artwork.

“I tattooed a piece of poo ... on a bloke’s upper arm, complete with stink lines and flies and everything.

“At the time, when his arm was a lot smaller, it looked pretty big, but he’s since filled out and it looks smaller.”

Mr Braithwaite, a 10-year veteran in the trade, said he also drew a lawnmower above a woman’s privates with hair flying from the machine.

He said he drew the line when young people wanted their first tattoo to be on the neck.

“Once it goes on the neck, you’re kind of stuffed for a lot of jobs,” Mr Braithwaite said.


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