As we last reported, Louisville Cardinals Coach Rick Pitino vowed to get a tattoo commemorating his championship NCAA basketball season after emerging victorious over Michigan a few weeks ago. Both his players and fans alike wondered if, where, and when he would follow through on his promise. Well, he did it!
Earlier today, Pitino paid a visit to Tattoo Salvation in Louisville, Kentucky to permanently engrave his championship into his skin. Adam Potts, Tattoo Salvation owner and Louisville lifer ended up being the man for the job. Tattoo.com had the priveledge of talking with Adam, discussing his tattooing history, his shop, and his experience with Rick Pitino:
Hey Adam, Congratulations on being the guy to ink up a hall of fame coach! tell us a little about your tattooing background and your shop?
Adam: Thanks, it was a real honor to be chosen by the coach. There are some great tattooers in town and he could have gone to any of them. As far as my background goes, I started my apprenticeship back in 2000 under Tattoo Charlie. I cut my teeth there for a few years before leaving to go to a more custom shop. In 2004 I started at Acme Ink here in Louisville, which was by far the best custom shop around. I worked there for nearly nine years. I left early last year to open my own place, Tattoo Salvation. I try go back to basics with the shop, I work by myself. I painted the majority of the flash in the shop as well as most of my signage (with a little help on the signs). I still do mostly custom stuff but I try to make sure I have time everyday to do walk-ins as well.
Awesome! Sounds like you have a really solid background! How did you end up being the guy for the job? Did Coach Pitino just walk into the shop or was it planned?
Adam: When I heard what the coach had said about getting a tattoo, I jokingly tweeted that I was running a special for my one year anniversary. "Free tattoos for any Hall of Fame coaches who have won an NCAA championship in the past thirty days." I also sent an email, introducing myself, with some examples of my work. He called me a week or so later and we started planning it, but I didn't know we were going to be doing it today until just a few days ago.
Thats great, you never know what might happen if you just put yourself out there! Can you talk about who planned out the design and placement for the tattoo? Did Pitino have it all figured out or did you guys collaborate?
Adam: Early on, I think he wasn't exactly sure what he wanted. But when we spoke yesterday, he had a pretty good idea. Last night I drew up a couple different designs for him and he made his choice this morning with just a few little tweaks.
It turned out great, you were obviously more than qualified for the job! How was it working with such a celebrated coach? Did he seem excited to get his first tattoo? did you feel any pressure working with a hall of famer?
Adam: He was great! He asked a lot of good questions and listened to what I had to say. Like everybody, he was a little nervous at first but once he sat down in the chair he was fine. I think he enjoyed the experience.
Good to hear he was so engaged in the experience! We know Rick had his reservations in regards to pain. Did he show it and squirm or take it like a man?
Adam: He took it like a champ. Seriously, he didn't move.
We heard that you did the championship tattoo pro-bono and Coach Pitino donated to your favorite charity, can you elaborate on the charity and it's cause?
Adam: With April being Autism Awareness Month, I asked him to donate to The Autism Research Institute. I have some family and friends who have autism and several friends who work in that field.
What a great way to spread the word about an important disorder! Thank you Adam for talking to us, we know you’re busy getting tons of exposure, we wish you all the best!
Major respect to Coach Pitino for being a man of his word and a huge congrats to Adam Potts and Tattoo Salvation, they’ve got a great thing going - visit their page and check out some of their work here! Learn more about The Autism Research Institute and check out other tattoo artists and tattoo shops involved with autism at Ink 4 Autism.