Local tattoo artists and clients celebrated Friday the 13th with tattoos meant to mark the day in a better light.
“Superstition runs so heavy, so we set out to take away the stigma,” said Dom Vasquez, who worked the day at Battle Royale Tattoos on Fern Street in South Park. Vasquez got his third 13th tattoo on Friday. He and his wife, Rebecca, and the artists who work at the shop set up a family-friendly event with hot dogs on the grill and juices and soda in the fridge for people who stopped in to get a “13” tattoo at a special price, between $30 and $60.
“Friday the 13th has a long history in the tattoo community — tattooists and tattoo enthusiasts see it differently from the mainstream perception that it’s an unlucky day,” Rebecca Vasquez said. “Lots of tattoo lovers collect small Friday the 13th tattoos and some are even forming an entire sleeve of Friday the 13th tattoos.”
Kat and her husband Dan stopped in with their baby girl to get Friday the 13th tattoos — for the fourth year.
“It’s kind of become a tradition for us,” Kat said, wincing as tattoo artist Jordae worked on her right arm. “I just like the 13th designs. There are a lot of memories in our tattoos.”
Dan held the baby while Kat got her tattoo, and then it was his turn. Rebecca Vasquez brought her daughter, Amelia, over to sit with Dan so the babies could coo at each other.
The South Park shop opened last week, a spin-off from the Vasquez’s downtown location, Superfly. Dom Vasquez said he opened the South Park shop to have a little more time with his client base.
“At Superfly, I’m mostly in the way,” he said. “The tattoo artists there are strong and there are plenty of clients, but I don’t really have time and space to do the really creative work for my clients because there’s always something that needs my attention. I wanted a smaller neighborhood shop to do things by appointment only.”
The downtown shop has a brisk walk-in business, he said, and there’s no thought of making it more exclusive.
"With downtown being as expensive as it is, you have to do whatever you can to keep people coming in,” he said.
Vasquez has been mentoring an artist apprentice, James Jigarjian, who did his first tattoo on his boss — a Friday the 13th design. As luck would have it, it came out great.