So, the last 3 days in a chronological nutshell. . . .
As some of you may already know, This Friday the 13th we had a special day where we tattooed folks on a walk-in basis for only $13 dollars. A lot of towns have a shop that does this, Friday the 13th being a sort of informal tattoo shop holiday, but no one in Pittsburgh did. Til Now.
Cara and i drew up a sheet of traditional little designs, known in the old days as “porkchop flash”. I’m not sure why but one theory i heard states that the designs were so small that you wouldn’t make enough to afford steak, but you could do enough to afford porkchops. I kinda like that idea.
Anyhow we put out the word quietly on facebook, myspace, and here along with a few other selected forums like tattoodles.com. We wanted a fun crowd not a gang of riff-raff or people looking for a deal. And we got what we wanted! By 2 pm the waiting room was overflowing and the 2 dozen donuts I brought in were going quickly.
The waiting room at 2pm
The crowd was an awesome mix of old friends, repeat customers, new folks and people who used the day (as we hoped) to check out the new shop! It got pretty fun and noisy, we banged them out one after another, by 4 pm we closed off the waiting list to new arrivals and were still tattooing folks til past 8 pm! We ran out of tubes, we ran out of paper towels (and one of those waiting went and fetched them for us!) Caras co-worker Chris had volunteered to work the floor for us and did an amazing job of juggling the waiting list, getting everyones forms filled out and ID checked, answering the phone, dealing with questions and keeping everyone laughing and patient as some of these folks waited 3 hours for a 20 minute tattoo! Chris kicked ass and will definitely be manning the helm for us during next months Friday the 13th!
Oh yes i said it bitches! March has yet another Friday the 13th and plan to do it all again! New flash will be drawn, more donuts will be acquired, and a bunch of disposable tubes will be bought ahead of time hee hee! We had a blast, the new shop got some exposure, and we ended up making 25 folks a lil bit prettier with some new ink.
Cara kicked ass all day, coming in after starting her morning opening Starbucks at 5AM!!! She is a trooper and continually amazes me with how quickly and thoroughly she is becoming a solid tattooer. My dumb ass decided to wait til the night before to paint the flash. . .and then in a fit of monumental stupidity stayed up until 3am before waking up at 7 am to get everything ready for the days event. But the energy and fun was so cool that I didn’t sag one bit all day.
So, If you don’t get your butts down to Black Cat in March for the 13th then you will have to wait til 2010 for the next $13 tattoo day!
The next day was, of course, Valentines day, and the first customer of the $13 day, Adam, returned for his appointment with his lovely lady Elena. It was to be her very first tattoo, a Japanese inspired falcon on the inside of her bicep. She was very nervous but still game and even during some of the more ouchy bits stuck to her guns and came back again and again til it was all finished. Now fully a bad assed tattoo person she watched as one of my favorite customers ever, Adam, got an amazing traditional dagger going through a tiger head! Behold!
Tiger? Check. Dagger? Check. Bad assness? Oh hell fucking check.
Adam sat, as always, like a rock. He is a true aficionado of traditional style work and lately has been my bike question answerer while I grind away on his poor arms. Lots of my customer begin to feel like my friends after a few tattoos, He is definitely one of them. Tattooing is slow, often painful and expensive, and yet we do our best to make the experience (and result) fun and worth the effort our customer put forth. Trust me on this one, fellow tattooers, if you show some love to your clients they will show you some love right back.
Cara came in after her Starbucks gig and immediately got to work on an appointment, and right after that did a walk in. Both tattoos came out clean and stylish, i foresee some serious repeat clients in her future.
Still exhausted from the Friday the 13th gala we decided to just go eat and go home. We hit up Sushi Too in Shadyside which was surprisingly uncrowded and exchanged gifts and smooches. After that we got some coffee and looked through Kat von D’s new book. Love her or hate her that lady knows how to make a neat product, be it a tv show, tattoo, make up, or book she definitely knows how to bring real substance into some very flashy style. Anyhow, looking at well done tattoos gave us a great idea!
We decided to head back to the shop and tattoo each others names on each other! Its an idea we had been kicking around for some time and what better time than valentines day!? Is it dangerous to get someones name on you? is it dumb? will you regret it? Maybe. but its also one of the most romantic things I can think to do and life is too short to always play it safe.
Mines is on my wrist, hers is right above the inner elbow.
We drew them up for each other and I did my very best to fancy the hell out of some script and Cara hooked me up with some old school tattoo letters that make a big softy like me look like a hard ass. We even brought Eddie with us, I know it might not be the most sane thing in the world to bring a crazy dog onto your lap while getting tattooed, but family is family.
For some time now I have been planning to ask Cara to marry me. Ive wanted it to be every romantic dream she has come true. Ive shopped for rings, Ive plotted where, when and how I would ask, Pondered whether I should go old school and ask her dad for her hand. But in the end I went with my gut and my heart and I asked her to be my wife as I was tattooing my name on her arm. I wasnt scared, I wasn’t even really thinking of it five minutes before I asked. The moment simply came up and at the perfect time I asked the person I adore more than anything in the world if she would do me the honor of being my wife.
She said no.
IM KIDDING! Of course, she said yes! We’ll get around to a ring at some point, but as far as Im concerned her name on me and mine on her arm is worth more than anything else in the world.