is one of the highest-rated reality series on TLC, and has catapulted a small group of Miami-based tattoo artists into stardom. Surprisingly though, despite all the fame the show and its stars has earned, one of those tattoo artists claims he hasn't exactly been rolling in dough.
“I'm the most broke famous guy you've ever met,” tattooist Chris Nunez
recently told George Stroumboulopoulos, host of the Canadian show The Hour
. Nunez admitted, however, that having their tattoo shop featured on a hit reality series has been good for business.
“The show elevated us to a different level,” he said.
premiered in TLC in 2005, and has since then delivered strong ratings and gained a large fan base. It has also helped to change the public's view of the tattoo industry.
Back then, tattooing “was considered low-brow,” Nunez said, noting that through Miami Ink
, he and his co-tattooists Ami James
, Chris Garver
, Yoji Harada
and Darren Brass
have “made the business acceptable to basically everybody.”
Every person chosen to be featured on the show has a story that explains their reasons for wanting to get a tattoo. While every story tells of an emotional experience in a customer's life, Chris Nunez said he makes it a point to focus on the work to be done.
“I do my job I do what I'm asked to do I try to interpret what the client wants to the best of my ability and give them that,” he said. “But I'm a tattoo artist and I didn't become a psychologist. I take what people give me. I'm receptive to it... I can relate, but when that job's over, so is that story.”
It seems the public has more stories to tell, as the show is slated to return with a fourth season in June.
“We've had a great run,” Chris Nunez said. “We've been on for 3½ years, we've got [more than] 81 [episodes]. We did really good for a reality show, supposedly.”
-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: The Hour
(Image Courtesy of TLC)