It’s only fitting that the day after the last full moon of 2019, the year’s last Friday the 13th would inspire many to remember the moment in their own indelible way.
After all, it’s the holiday for those who love to get reasonably cheap ink from some of the best artists around. Personal art that carries private meaning seems the perfect gift to give oneself.
With a line of customers filling Shine On Tattoo’s waiting room, 6515 Cache Road, and spilling out onto the front walkway, it seemed everyone was either receiving a tattoo or was awaiting a turn at an artist’s table.
Shop co-owner Rodney Schneider smiled when he said that the shop had been “slammed” since opening Friday. It would be a day into evening with a lot of work produced and little breaks in between.
“Friday the 13th is usually a fun day,” Schneider said.
It’s a tradition that goes back to “the old days“ when you could get a traditional-style tattoo for “$13 plus $7.” Schneider said rates are between $60 to $100 for the special occasion. Pre-designed flash images offered customers a wide-range of images to choose from.
A true veteran of the Friday the 13th tattoo phenomenon is Raven Saupitty. She showed off a nearly-sleeved right arm filled with a collection of designs from prior events. She was eager to gain her newest ink from Schneider.
“They’re fun,” she said. “I like silly, fun tattoos.”
Since she was 18-years-old, Saupitty has been coming to Shine On for her Friday the 13th ink. She said that’s her favorite stop on this holiday and all the shop’s artists have made their mark on her skin. Schneider and R.D. Somerlott have claimed the most space, however.
As much as the event makes the customers happy, it also provides some joy to the artists. For many, it offers a chance to get back to basics with the more traditional Sailor Jerry-style of offerings.
“Oh yeah, I enjoy it,” Somerlott said. “It gets back to the roots, basically.”
“Some of these images have been getting put on people for 70 or 80 years,” he said.
Known as Sailor Jerry, Norman Keith Collins was a prominent American tattoo artist in Hawaii who was well-known for his traditional sailor tattoos. These often include roses, skulls, daggers, pinup girls, Native American images and more. You know these images when you see them.
“It’s been a good day,” said artist Two-Eagles Norberto, barely able to look up from his work.
The day’s offerings are Norberto’s forte as he’s developed into a known artist. Clients were ready to be his next canvas.
For a day commonly thought of as one with bad juju accompanying it, Friday the 13th is a blessing for those artists in the tattoo industry. The next “Black (Ink) Friday” will be March 13, 2020. There will only be two next year.
After putting triple-antibiotic ointment onto a just-finished pinup girl in a Native American headdress on Kevin Tye’s leg, Schneider began to check the outline for the next piece he’d tattoo. As he looked at the tiger face outline ready to become part of his calf, Tye said Schneider was one of his favorite artists.
“I want to get stuff I like and that looks cool,” Tye said. “The more you get, the less you feel you have. You want more.”
Written by Scott Rains: firstname.lastname@example.org.