Rihanna taking tattoo lessons at East Side Ink in NYC (July 1st 2009)

Pop singer Rihanna was spotted by the paparazzi as she took lessons from professional tattoo artists at East Side Ink in New York City’s East Village Wednesday night (Jul 1). She even went as far as actually tattooing three of the artists herself! Sounds cool, right? Wrong. According to TMZ, Rihanna broke the law and the NYC Law Department reached out to the popular website saying that “Only licensed tattoo artists can administer tattoos in the city according to the City’s Health Code.”

Rihanna could be charged with three misdemeanors for the “offense,” each with its own penalty, which could be as much as $300 for the first offense, $500 for the second and $1,000 for a third totaling to $1,800. Chump change for someone as rich as Rihanna.

Rihanna taking tattoo lessons at East Side Ink in NYC (July 1st 2009) Rihanna taking tattoo lessons at East Side Ink in NYC (July 1st 2009) Rihanna at East Side Ink in NYC (July 1st 2009) Rihanna at East Side Ink in NYC (July 1st 2009)

According to a new interview from OK! Magazine, she showed up to the parlor at around 8pm Wednesday to visit her regular tattoo artist Bang Bang, who is responsible for Rihanna’s most recent gun tats.

“We were all just hanging out, joking, laughing,” East Side Ink co-owner Yadira tells OK!. “Bang Bang decided that he wanted a tattoo from her.”

So he drew up a design — a simple umbrella with a swirly “R” under it — which was then transferred onto his lower leg. Rihanna, who had never tattooed anyone before, then went over the design with the needle. Then two other artists, Josh Lord and Patrick Conlon, decided they wanted some Rihanna body art too, so they each got tatts, which were numbered “2” and “3” by the songstress in the order they were completed.

“We were all talking a laughing the whole time,” says Yadira. “Joking that she was a pro now… She was so sweet, easy-going, down to earth.”

It took RiRi about about 15 minutes to complete each tattoo, and she eventually left East Side around 11pm.

“I think it was spontaneous,” Josh, who got the second tattoo, tells OK! about his decision to get inked. “And she was so nice, and so gorgeous and so charmed by her that we wanted one too.”

So can anyone just walk in and start tattoing people willy-nilly?

“They can’t,” says Josh. “Only her. We couldn’t say no to her.”

And, he adds, she did a pretty decent job. “It’s a pretty nerve-wracking thing to do your first time. We were amazed how well she kept her cool… By the third one, she was good.”

Though he did admit that Rihanna got progressively better as she practiced.

“[Bang Bang] went first. And let’s put it this way, each one was better than the last,” he said, adding, “I’d hire her. If her career doesn’t work out, she’s got a back-up.”

And whatever happens with this police investigation, at least he’s got a bit of music history etched into his skin. Says Josh, “It’s definitely one of my new favorites.”

Rihanna taking tattoo lessons at East Side Ink in NYC (July 1st 2009)

Rihanna taking tattoo lessons at East Side Ink in NYC (July 1st 2009)

PHOTOS: GOSSIP GIRLS / RIHANNA DAILY