Miami Ink: Ami James on why he refuses to tattoo celebrity clients
He rose to fame at the height of the paparazzi era in the early noughties.
But tattoo artist Ami James, star Miami Ink, NY Ink, Ink Master and most recently The Tattoo Shop have revealed that he hates Hollywood and refuses to tattoo celebrities.
Despite being a celebrity himself, the 50-year-old doesn’t like working with celebrity clients and often passes them on to other artists when they stop by his salons in New York, Miami, London and Cork, Ireland.
He told Daily Mail Australia his distaste stems from bad experiences with self-indulgent stars who like to complain about living in the spotlight while getting inked.
“I don’t feel like sitting there and talking to some Hollywood t**t about how hard his life is,” he said.
He rose to fame at the height of the paparazzi era in the early 90s, but Miami Ink star tattoo artist Ami James has revealed that he hates Hollywood and refuses to tattoo celebrities
Despite being a celebrity himself, the 50-year-old doesn’t like working with celebrity clients and often passes them on to other artists when they pass by his salons
“I don’t feel like listening to anything at all… they live in a narrow world and, you know, kind of a goddamn bubble, like it’s somehow like my life.
And we have nothing in common. And I just choose to be myself. I’m not interested in it.
“So when they contact me to get a tattoo, I usually send them to one of the guys in the shop and just let them handle it.”
‘Most [celebrities] its f**king really hard to deal with.’
Ami said he would much rather tattoo a normal person, adding that he is much more interested in the art than the person.
“I’d rather tattoo the graveyard man, the garbage man. I would rather tattoo the working class because I’m from the working class,” he said.
Despite starring in multiple reality shows, Ami said that he actually doesn’t like being on TV and tries to avoid the glitz and glamor that comes with it.
“I despise Hollywood, I despise everything about it, I’m not in it,” he said.
Ami spoke to Daily Mail Australia at the Australian Tattoo Expo (pictured), which took place March 10-12 at Sydney’s International Convention Center
While Ami is grateful for the opportunities fame has brought him, such as traveling around the world, the biggest drawback for him is that he loses a lot of his privacy.
‘It’s not my life. I’m just an artist and I love doing what I do. And I never stopped tattooing, even though I could have.
“It’s exactly what I’ve always wanted to do. It’s not that I just tattoo, it’s just my passion. That’s what I like to do most. That’s why I’m here.
“I hate doing TV, which is really strange because I keep doing TV.
“But I mean, there are two different kinds of people: people who do TV because they want to be famous and people who do TV because it helps their business, because you’re smart enough to realize how much it helps your business grow.
‘And that allows you to open up different channels.’
Ami spoke to Daily Mail Australia at the Australian Tattoo Expo, which took place at Sydney’s International Convention Center from March 10-12.
Although he said he is grateful for the opportunities fame has given him, such as traveling around the world, the biggest drawback for him is that he loses a lot of his privacy.
“The worst thing that ever happened with getting known is you lose your privacy,” he said.
“People constantly assume they know everything about you because they watched a goddamn reality show, which is just absurd.
In 2023, more than 40,000 visitors were expected to Australia’s tattoo exhibitions
“It’s a great reality show. If you look at it and you think there’s something on it, you’re an imbecile.
And so you build this persona around a lie and you build this personality that is so far away from your personality.
“Like, I’ve never walked into one of my stores in my life and yelled at workers. But that’s the personality I have on TV, because that’s what TV is.’
When asked if it bothered him that the public might see him as someone he’s not, Ami said, “I’ve always said, ‘I’m surrounded by 80 percent of the fucking idiots.’ Right? So take it with a grain of sand. You know, it is what it is.’