Editor’s note: This article includes graphic images of an infection that may be hard for some to look at.
A Vancouver fitness model is claiming a tattoo artist ghosted her after her Disney tattoo got infected and turned her life into a living nightmare. Now, she just wants someone to help her out.
The model, who goes by “Franky” professionally, reached out to Daily Hive after the ordeal and shared pictures of the infected tattoo. She also detailed her communications with the artist who she feels left her hanging.
As someone who has many prior tattoos, she knew something was wrong when things weren’t healing like she was used to, even just the day after the work was done. Franky is now hoping someone out there would be willing to touch up what was supposed to be a lovely Disney-inspired tattoo, but she isn’t looking for charity.
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After the work was complete, the artist put on a transparent adhesive barrier meant to protect tattoos while they’re healing. The day after, Franky said “something was off.”
“I’m in excruciating pain that does not feel like a tattoo-healing kind of pain.”
That’s when she decided to reach out to her artist, Colt Obst, who goes by “Canadian Patch King.” Franky told him that she thought the tattoo was infected.
“He said, ‘Oh no, it’s not infected. It’s this or that.'”
Franky, in response, said she couldn’t walk. Around this time, her leg was the size of a balloon due to the apparent infection. Franky received medical care at an emergency room and spoke to the on-call doctor, who immediately identified it as a “classical case” of infection. She had to be on a “strong course of antibiotics for 10 days.”
Franky shared one of the communications between her and the artist. She asked him for updates following her infection. He responded, “I don’t mean at all for you to feel like I don’t care. I do I just truly don’t text anyone at all. So I am truly sorry that is how it seems to you. I’m very sorry for that.”
Franky texted him a second time, asking about a refund and for him to take down an Instagram post of her Disney tattoo, but he left her on read and she says he blocked her on social media.
This is how the tattoo looked after the appointment:
This happened in the following days. A reminder that the below pictures are graphic.
Obst is a travelling artist, and Franky had Obst booked months before the work occurred. On the first day of the work, they moved at the last minute to a different tattoo shop than the one originally planned.
Franky also said Obst posted a picture on his social media without her permission of the work before the infection was in full effect. The images above are mild, according to Franky. She had to go on antibiotics to fight off the severe infection.
The most recent pictures Franky took highlight that there’s been minimal improvement, and the scarring will remain until touch-up work can be done.
Franky is experienced with tattoos and knows that aftercare is essential.
Following a tattoo, an artist typically applies some ointment before wrapping the tattooed area with a bandage or plastic wrap. Depending on the artist, there might be other instructions. Touch-ups are typically the responsibility of the artist who did the original work and are usually provided for free. Franky spent over $2,000 for two half-days of work for the tattoo.
While Franky believes that something went wrong regarding the sanitary practices of the tattoo artist, she said that Obst claimed it was her fault. Franky says the artist suggested that she might have been allergic to the ink.
“He’s been gaslighting me since the moment that I told him about this. He takes zero responsibility.”
This also impacts Franky on a career level, considering she’s a model. She was in the process of training for a fitness competition in the US before the tattoo from hell. Unfortunately, when we spoke to Franky, she couldn’t do any training because of her infection and pain. As a result, she informed Daily Hive that she had to back out of the competition.
We attempted to reach out to Obst to hear his side of the story, but he did not return our request for comment.
A second opinion
We reached out to Steveston Tattoo Shop to get its take on the situation. Steveston is a longstanding, reputable, and well-reviewed tattoo shop with artists who have deep knowledge and expertise.
A representative from Steveston Tattoo Shop said it’s hard to tell for sure, but the areas on the side of Mickey’s face and on his glove “definitely look like they could be infected.”
“The reasons for the infection will be hard to determine. Generally speaking, it often happens after a client leaves the shop, but that doesn’t mean we blame a client or refuse to help with touch-ups once it has healed. A reputable tattoo shop should have high standards for cleanliness and use all disposable tubes, needles, etc. Things do happen though, and the important thing is to be there for your client.”
A spokesperson for the shop added that offering a free touch-up, even as a travelling artist, isn’t uncommon.
We also reached out to the Doctors of BC, a voluntary association of 14,000 physicians, residents and medical students in BC. Doctors of BC told Daily Hive that they wouldn’t be able to make a determination about the infection without seeing it in person.
Franky wants her ordeal to serve as a cautionary tale for others who might be thinking about getting a tattoo to do their research and know the potential risks.
Because of the infection, the Disney tattoo will never heal as intended, so she has to find a talented artist to fix the tattoo, who she’s more than willing to pay for.
“This one incident impacted the trajectory of my weeks and months thereafter and has been not only a loss of time and opportunities but also a huge financial loss.”