"She came in at about 2:00 AM," the shop's owner and artist Keith "Bang Bang" McCurdy tells OK! magazine. "She told me in advance she'd be coming, and then when she got there, she told me what she wanted: 'Never a failure, always a lesson,' but written backwards."
"I asked her why she wanted that and she said, 'It's kind of my motto in life for everything.' Instead of considering things to be mistakes, considering them lessons," Bang Bang explains of Rihanna, 21.
The tattoo artist adds that the words were written backwards so that the singer -- who he says is "doing great" -- would be able to read it in the mirror.