Modern Day Trust Fall
Would you trust a complete stranger to tattoo a design of his choosing on you? While your answer is “probably not”, hundreds of people from around the world trust Monty Richthofen to do exactly that. His name to the public is Maison Hefner and the 23-year-old tattoos trusting adults with different inspirational quotes.
Tattooing is an ancient art form that goes back thousands of years. The original purpose of getting a tattoo would vary from culture to culture but the basic commonality is that they all had an important meaning to the person getting the tattoo at the time. In modern day culture, tattoos have become less and less meaningful so Hefner wanted to bring back that meaning.
What makes the quote unique is that the person getting the tattoo doesn’t know what they are getting until the permanent art piece is done. Richthofen started this project in 2017 and calls it “My Words, Your Body.”
For those that are interested in taking part in this unknown experience, here’s what to expect. When you first meet with Monty, you have an initial conversation. This conversation typically lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half. The purpose of this convo is for Richthofen to get a feel for the kind of person you are.
Eventually, the same four questions are always asked: Why do you want to do this? What does trust mean to you? Why do you trust me? What are you going to do if you don’t like the tattoo?
In addition to the whole open conversation, your answers to these four questions help Richthofen get a feel for where you are in life and the kind of person you are. If he doesn’t feel like you’re the right fit with him, he’ll tell you that you aren’t ready for the tattoo.
After the conversation, Monty picks the design that he feels best represents where that person is in their life from notebooks with about 5,000 different phrases in them. Don’t worry, Monty is will never give you a nonsense tattoo! He respects that you’re putting your trust in him. The phrases are all originally Monty designs. The only choice that the person getting tattooed has to make is where they want it.
Why Monty Left Traditional Tattooing
Monty started off as a traditional tattoo artist and became fed up with how informal the process was. He never really got to know the people he was inking and most of the designs he was doing weren’t meaningful.
His tattoo designs now are very simple. Many traditional tattoo artists don’t see what Monty does as real tattooing but he doesn’t care. His main goal was to change the idea of tattooing so people would see it more as a service. In the future, he hopes to even spend a whole day getting to know a client before giving them a tattoo.
If you’re interested in getting a tattoo about your life in that moment head over to London to talk to Maison Hefner. His clientele surprisingly ranges from all ages and job types. You would be surprised who would be willing to get a mystery tattoo from a complete stranger!