I’m certainly not “sleeved out,” but I do have my share of tattoos. I got my first piece at a place called Sharky’s in Manhattan Beach, California, back in August of 1993 (it’s on my leg, Van Halen’s “5150,” still in my top three favorite albums of all time). And in the course of the past 25 years or so, I’ve heard plenty of cool stories from the artists themselves.
One persistent story I’ve encountered is that artists will sometimes quote a ridiculous amount of money if it’s a tattoo they really, really don’t want to do. That way, it either scares the would-be customer off or they’ll get just compensation for, let’s say, tattooing the face of Kanye West on some guy’s hairy ass.
About eight months ago, I was the guy wanting to get the tattoo of Kanye West on his ass—metaphorically speaking, of course. I was in the office of possibly the highest profile website design company in Tampa, and this was my second consultation with them. The first time I was in their office, I was explaining exactly what we wanted with the new ED Publications website. We wanted it to be a mobile-first, user-friendly site, one that would be really easy to use on the back end for those of us on the staff who aren’t exactly web designers or html code experts.
It was on my second visit to their office that I got their quote. It was over $22,000. I tried to make sure the “sticker shock” I was feeling wasn’t showing on my face. As I walked out of their office, I somehow knew I’d never hear from them again. They were the tattoo artist, I was apparently the customer who wanted Kanye West’s face tattooed on his ass.
Was it because we are a strip-club-industry website? Quite possibly; I had two web design firms who wouldn’t even have a consultation with me because of the industry we cover. Regardless, I was discouraged and a bit offended.
And that’s when Michael DeSuno, aka DJ Platypus stepped in. (Note: Platypus has been an “extended” EXPO staffer for several years and plays a huge part in convention event production.) Actually, to be more accurate, he was involved sooner than that. Plat’s enthusiasm for a new ED website possibly eclipsed my own, and I’ve been wanting a new ED website for several years now. I explained to Plat what happened with the web design company and he listened intently. Little did I know that he already had formulated plan for a new website designer, and the answer was right under my nose the whole time.
Completely on his own, Plat had been in discussions with ED’s current webmaster, Jake Record, on building a brand new ED website from scratch.
If you’re asking, “why didn’t you just ask your current webmaster if he could do the new site,” that’s a fair point. The answer is, I had very high expectations for this new ED website and I thought that I/we needed to pay a major web design firm to get exactly what we wanted and have it done in a very short period of time. I thought it was too much work for one or two people to do, at least within a reasonable time frame.
And I am very happy to say that I was wrong. Very wrong. In just a handful of months, Jake—assisted very ably by our other webmaster and graphic artist, Kevin Pennington—built the brand new site you see today, theEDPub.com, aka, “The Pub.” And it is all that I had wanted to see from a new ED website. Finally, I can now say that we’ve joined the 21st century with a mobile-first website that will change the way we distribute news and information, and connect with not only industry pros but entertainers and fans as well, for years to come.
And for the record (no pun intended), it’s okay (in fact, it’s a pretty cool thing to do) to admit when you’re wrong. It is not okay nor cool in any way, shape or form, however, to get a tattoo of Kanye West on your ass.