Joyce is the first client and she is the mother of one of Ami’s friends. Joyce has Alopecia, which has caused her to lose all of her hair, including her eyebrows and eyelashes. She’s already had brows and eyeliner tattooed, but this time she’s going for something a little bigger. Ami tattoos a beautiful traditional style butterfly right on the back of her smooth head. Joyce doesn’t want people to pity her – she’s healthy and happy and wants people to love themselves no matter what they look like on the outside. Ami says he’s never tattooed a head before Joyce, but he did a great job.
Lloyd Banks is a rapper who formed G Unit with fellow musician, 50 Cent. His second solo album, Rotten Apple, was scheduled for release on October 10. He decides he wants a full backpiece to commemorate the album and to represent the city of New York from his perspective – the gritty, dark and dangerous corners of the city that they don’t show in movies. He says it explains why the music that comes from that area is so aggressive. Lloyd has his first consult with Garver over the phone and Garver translates his vision into art exactly as Lloyd pictured it in his own mind. They get started on the tattoo, but Garver is apprehensive about it since Lloyd wants the entire backpiece done in one day.
Jacqueline arrives to talk to Nunez about getting some angel wings on the back of her neck for her father who passed away. She retells stories of a street-wise tough guy who lived a mysterious and secret life – no one knew what he was actually into or where his money came from. Jacqueline loved him very much but needs the assurance that despite his shady past, her father found his place in heaven.
Lee is working in the shop – removing all of the books from the shelf, putting them in order of size, dusting every corner, organizing drawings into color-coded file folders, sharpening a week’s worth of pencils and lining them all up in neat little rows – and Ami’s getting more and more annoyed by the minute. Apparently they never realized Lee was OCD before, and now he’s been with Ami for one day and is already getting on his nerves. Lee says that since he’s not creative or artistic in any way, his contribution to the shop is cleaning.
Courtney wants a tattoo from Ami that is just like the one her husband had before he passed away. It’s a circular design and she wants snowflakes on each side of it. Courtney explains that her husband always loved the snow and he had been battling cancer for a couple of years. Although it wasn’t in the forecast, it snowed the day he passed. This was really a heart-wrenching story but it’s not possible for me to write the sadness and emotion that Courtney expressed in her story. I really feel for her and her two young children she is now raising alone.
Donovan brings in a picture of his grandparents for Kat to use as a reference for a portrait tattoo on his leg. It’s a celebration tattoo as well as a memorial – Donovan thought the world of both of them. He laughs as he retells stories of his grandfather and how funny he was, but then says he never even met his grandmother because he was only a baby when he died, but that she has saved his life on two occasions. When he was still a baby, his mother was woken up by her mother’s voice demanding that she go upstairs immediately. Still groggy, she followed her mother’s instructions and went upstairs to find Donovan blue and choking in his crib and was able to save him. When Donovan was older, he was driving down a winding road and suddenly heard a woman’s voice demanding that he pull over right away. He obeyed and was quickly met by an 18-wheeler barreling down the road in his lane. Kat holds up her arm to show Donovan the chill bumps on her arm!
After several hours under the needle, Lloyd Banks is still steady as a rock but Garver’s back can’t handle the position anymore. He tells Lloyd he really needs to stop there and pick it back up later, which will ensure that he is able to do his best work. Lloyd admits he’s glad Garver caved first because he was thinking he wasn’t going to be able to take much more himself. So, the rest of that tattoo will probably be saved for another episode but it’s at least 2/3 done and is looking great already.