by Annie Blanks, Pensacola News Journal at https://www.pnj.com
Sounds of buzzing needles replaced the roar of motorcycle engines Friday afternoon at Harley Davidson Pensacola, with dozens of people heading to the store to get special spooky-themed tattoos at a discount rate for Friday the 13th.
It’s an unofficial tradition for tattoo studios to do specials on Friday the 13th, said Matt Herl, one of three tattoo artists who took up the back room of the Harley dealership on Friday. Herl and his fellow artists ran a “flash tattoo” sale where people could come in and pick from a pre-designed set of ink for $31, $50, or $100,
“It was always a traditional thing to do back when tattoos used to be a macabre thing, more underground,” he said. “And so now we do it to try to appeal to the dark side of people, and make it cheap. Back then they would do it for $13.”
Some of the pre-made designs people could choose from Friday included gravestones, potion bottles, ghosts, skeletons, spiders, broken hearts and bloody axes.
Stella Garrett, an emergency room registration technician, opted to get two $31 tattoos on her arm — a voodoo doll, and a bust of Edgar Allan Poe. They joined a collection of two other Friday the 13th tattoos she had inked in previous years.
“I planned this, I had to crave my need for a tattoo without breaking the bank,” Garrett said. “I guess I like that there’s just not that much thought to it, it’s always just grab and go.”
Lorenzo Rodriguez and his girlfriend Brittany Rollo came in to get tattoos, but opted not to go for matching ink. Rodriguez was getting a potion bottle on his arm, while Rollo got a cloud with an eye in the middle and a lightning bolt sticking through it on her wrist.
“If I didn’t have bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck,” she said when asked why she wanted to get a tattoo on Friday the 13th. “Matt (Herl) posted about this, and he’s done a few tattoos for us, and it just seemed like a good idea.”
Ryan McCool, another one of the tattoo artists, said the promotion was also a way for the artists to be able to continue working. Their Barrancas Avenue studio, Artistic Sol, burned down in July and the crew is still rebuilding.
“We’re a collective. When we work, we work together. When we catch fire, we catch fire together,” he said.
The tattoos took an average of 10 to 20 minutes per person, and by 2 p.m. Friday, Herl said he was already on his way to shattering his previous record of 47 tattoos in one day.
The tattoo artists will continue to be at the Harley Davidson store at 6385 Pensacola Blvd. throughout the weekend. The store is having its bi-annual fall event, with motorcycle demonstrations for children, a bike show, food and market vendors.