Friday, 13 May 2016
At Flaming gun tattoo studio we have done various celebrations over the years, normally around Halloween, May the 4th (be with you) and Friday the 13th. But they have become a bit tedious, and same old’ things, so we had a year or so off.
We were inspired by a tattooist and artist Scott Campbell who recently embarked on a “Glory hole” tattoo day, so strangers quite literally putting their arms though a hole in a fence and not seeing the tattoo until their limb was released at the tattoo artist’s choice…… I shared this on face book and had an overall good response from our regular customers…. So the planning for the only Friday the 13th this year started!
We came up with a plan..
Option 1. The customer can pick the artist, placement, and the design from the sheet the artist has drawn, but you won’t see the designs till the day.
Option 2. The customer can pick the artist and have a chat about preferred design and placement, your artist will decide final design, style and colour.
Option 3. The customer picks the artist….. That’s it!
Whichever option, you will not see the final tattoo till the end, first come first served and full payment up front for your booking.
We were swamped! The Friday filled up within two days, so we extended to the Saturday….. We could have filled a week! This response was surprising, and we were very lucky that we knew almost everyone that booked in well, but now the pressure was on.
I think it surprised all of us how this level of responsibility affected us; it was all a bit amusing… “Oh yeah, we’ll tattoo what we want” as I think almost everyone out of the 37 people we fitted in between 4 tattoo artists over this event chose option 3, the trust was humbling.
We were all a bit stressed on the morning of Friday 13th, but excited too, Martin Crosthwaite, Doug Fawkes, Alex Back and me were all set up and looking at each other excited and nervous with a “you first” look!
So I went and spoke to my first customer Pete… thought I’d give him a sneaky chat and a choice, but no, he refused! “Blindfold me and tattoo what-ever where-ever, that was the deal” I almost keeled over… But everyone had the same feeling about the day.
They wanted the experience, to take a safe risk, to be blindfolded, and surprised at the end! When asked how they felt during the tattoo there was a strong theme of “Of course I have complete trust in my tattoo artist, I have been happy with everything else they have done, this is just more exciting” One customer, Darren had a interesting take that I think we all respected “ I have spent too much time playing safe, worrying about what others think, this is a interesting way to inject that sense of risk back into my life and feel young again, a bit of living on the edge is what you need from time to time”
I am very happy to confirm everyone was very happy with their new ink, and I don’t think we have ever had so many customers sit so still!
Fueled by cakes, sweets and pop, there were a few thank you presents too, (thank you, really appreciated the gin and socks)
Some of the highlights were Claire who ‘customized’ her leggings for me, so she didn’t have to sit in her pants when I suggested tattooing her thigh. And Darren “I can’t hear you with the blindfold on” Ross had a lovely piece on his chest, which due to the placement and nerves he thought was a lot closer to his nipple than it was “my nipple will be up for days!” We had some lovely couples in too, some didn’t see each others ink until the end, Jenni and Chappy, Claire and Stace, others that did Emma-Jane and Kim, the banter was great with plenty of suggestions in what might have been tattooed! There was almost a moment of disappointment when they realised the tattoo did not include a space monkey riding a unicorn….
It was really lovely having the freedom of expression to read our customers and tattoo what we thought suited their style and existing ink, and thank goodness they were all happy, it was a shame there were not more hours in the day to fit everyone in, but this was a great experience I’m sure we we’ll repeat, especially as it’s the shops 10 year anniversary next year, maybe we’ll even put the fence up next time!