Monday, May 16, 2011
Friday the 13th.
I've been doing the Friday the 13th deal since my days at Staring Without Caring in Tucson. Isaiah heard about it from one of Oliver's clients and decided we should do the same thing. Every year I've done this deal it's been a good time and a whole lot of fun. It's a good way to sort of show my regulars a little appreciation for their support and also it's a good way to do cool little tattoos all day.
People seem to have a problem with me doing the Friday the 13th in Chicago. One of the main arguments I hear is "You're cheapening the art!" because I'm doing the tattoos for less than 50$. Anyone that comes into the shop on Friday the 13th knows that it is a special deal not to be expected everyday. They also know that they can't just get whatever they want, that they have to pick from the sheet and they can't change the colors or add to it. It's common practice in tattooing to give people breaks on tattoos if it's a cool tattoo, or if the person is a friend or whatever, I don't see any difference in doing this and giving people a deal for one day. As a tattooer, I set my prices and if I wanted to do a tattoo for 5$ I could if I wanted to. The thing about the 13th is that it's a lot of work for not much pay off. It's a deal and it's supposed to be fun. This year I did 19 tattoos for 13$ so that's $247 after the shop gets their cut there's about $150 left for me, plus whatever tips people gave me. 19 tattoos in one day is a lot of work, on a normal day I could do one tattoo and make almost twice the money as I did on Friday the 13th and one tattoo is a slow day for me. So it's not about money for me... it's more about the fun of doing it. I feel like saying I'm cheapening the art of tattooing is something greedy people say because they feel that they're losing money because I'm offering something they don't have the work ethic or rapport with their clients to organize.
The other thing I hear a lot is that the tattoo work must not be very good or that it's for "scratchers". Every tattoo I've ever done I've tried my best to make look clean and nice, the 13th is no different. No one is forcing anyone on anything, if you come in the door and look at the sheet and don't see something you'd like to get then you can always leave. I also guarantee my tattoos so if they heal poorly and you need it touched up it won't cost you anything. So another way where I'm putting myself on the short end of the stick.
The other big argument is that it's "cheating" because I'm using the deal to get my name out there so more people will get tattooed by me. Well, I mostly tattoo my regulars on that day because I don't advertise it on the internet or anything like that the day before or anything, most people that get tattooed by me know that I do the deal so they show up on their own without me saying anything. There are a few random walk in's usually but if they can wait for a few hours then I figure they deserve to get tattooed like anyone else. Almost all of the new people I've met through the 13th turn out to be really awesome people and even if they don't come and get tattooed by me ever again I know we had a good time when I did tattoo them. The other thing I have to say about this is... SO FUCKING WHAT!? Every business is trying to get ahead and advertise and I can't rely on the shop to do it for me. Doing a cool thing like the 13th is unique and no one else has the balls to do it, it seems, so why not take advantage of it? It's better to have those cool tattoos out there for people to see than any other advertising device. I let my work speak for itself.
So, there you have it. I can't really think of anything else to say about it. I guess if someone comes up with a good argument that could make me change my mind about this then things might change but I've always had fun doing the 13th and I don't think I'm going to be stopping it anytime soon.