EXCLUSIVE: Miami Ink’s Ami James reveals why he can’t stand Hollywood and refuses to tattoo celebrity clients: ‘They are really difficult to deal with’
He rose to fame at the height of the paparazzi era in the early Noughties.
But tattoo artist Ami James, the star Miami Ink, NY Ink, Ink Master and most recently The Tattoo Shop, has revealed he hates Hollywood and refuses to tattoo celebrities.
Despite being a celebrity himself, the 50-year-old dislikes working with famous clients and often passes them onto other artists when they stop by his parlours in New York, Miami, London and Cork, Ireland.
He told Daily Mail Australia his aversion stems from bad experiences with self-indulgent stars who like to complain about life in the spotlight while getting inked.
‘I have no desire to sit there and talk to some Hollywood t**t about how hard his life is,’ he said.
‘I have no desire to listen to anything… they’re living in a narrow world and, you know, some sort of a f**king bubble, as if it resembles to my life in any way.
‘And we have nothing in common. And I just choose to be me. I have no interest in it.
‘So usually when they contact me to get tattooed, I will just send them to one of the guys in the shop, and just let them deal with it.
‘Most of them [celebrities] are f**king really difficult to deal with.’
Ami said he would much rather tattoo a normal person, adding that he’s much more interested in the art than the person.
‘I would rather tattoo the cemetery guy, the garbageman. I would rather tattoo of the working class, because I come from the working class,’ he said.
Despite starring on multiple reality shows, Ami said he actually dislikes being on TV and tries to avoid the glitz and glamour that comes with it.
‘I despise Hollywood, I despise everything about it, I don’t participate in it,’ he said.
‘It’s not my life. I am just an artist and I love doing what I do. And I’ve never stopped tattooing, even when I could have.
‘It’s just what I’ve always wanted to do. It’s not like I only tattoo but that’s just my passion. That’s what I love doing. That’s what I’m here for.
‘I hate doing TV, which is really odd because I keep doing TV.
‘But I mean, there’s two different types of people: people that do TV because they want to become famous and people that do TV because it helps their businesses because you’re smart enough to realise how much it helps your businesses grow.
‘And through that, you can you can open different channels.’
Ami spoke to Daily Mail Australia at the Australian Tattoo Expo, which ran from March 10 to 12 at Sydney’s International Convention Centre.
While he said he was grateful for the opportunities fame had brought him, such as travelling the world, the biggest downside for him is losing a lot of his privacy.
‘The worst thing that ever happened with becoming known is you lose your privacy,’ he said.
‘People constantly assume they know everything about you because they watched a f**king reality show, which is just absurd.
‘It’s a f**king reality show. If you watch it and you think anything on there is real, you’re an imbecile.
‘And so you build this persona around a f**king lie and you build this personality that’s so far away from your personality.
‘Like, I have never walked into one of my shops and screamed at workers ever in my life. Yet that’s the persona I have on TV because that’s what TV is.’
When asked of it bothers him that the public may perceive him as someone he’s not, Ami said: ‘I always said, “I’m surrounded by 80 per cent of a f**king population of idiots.” Right? So take it with a grain of sand. You know, like, it is what it is.’