Flash Tattoo

Who’s brave enough to get a Friday the 13th tattoo?

New tattoo shop plays with an old superstition

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Annalee Peeples is a daring client who isn’t afraid to let her artist pick the tattoo.

Lyle Street Tattoo Company in Dartmouth hosted a flash event in honour of Friday the 13th and the designs got to be a little uncanny.

Flash events are meant to reverse the roles between the client and artist. The client sits and picks a pre-designed tattoo and the artist gets complete freedom in the artwork.This isn’t Peeples first time receiving a surprise tattoo; she showed her favourite artist, Rachelle Gammon, some support during the Halloween flash event and has come back for more.

“I’m pretty laid back,” Peeples said. “Whenever Rachelle has flash stuff, I usually try and hit her up.”

To pair with her Simba, jellyfish and cat tattoos, Peeples took this flash to add a shark to her animal kingdom.

Annalee Peeples’ first tattoo by Rachelle Gammon   Alexandra Biniarz

Along with the appeal of the element of surprise, the custom flashes are offered at a reduced cost of $113, discounted from the average tattoo price of $150. The number “113” is a play-on the superstitious pastime.

Tattoo artists celebrate Friday the 13th by incorporating the number 13 into an original design and lowering the price to $13. Having the unlucky symbol tattooed on this day is believed to reverse its meaning. This is the first year that Lyle Street Tattoo took part in the traditional “unlucky” day.

Mike Geislinger, owner of Lyle Street, says that, “Along with the event being the first Friday the 13th flash event for us, it’s also the first one that we’ve hosted on a workday.” Geislinger adds that the biggest rush of clients came in around 1 p.m. He says the clients like the idea of having a tattoo party; Geislinger offered pizza and showed Friday the 13th movies all day.

Owner Mike Geislinger ordering pizza   Alexandra Biniarz

Rachelle Gammon and Ian Preeper, artists at Lyle Street, have never done a Friday the 13th flash event. Gammon said that tattooing her own flash is one of the best parts of her job.

“A lot of artistic juices get stifled and I think custom flash is where that ‘cup runneth over,’ so to speak,” she said about having control over the subject matter.

For other artist, Preeper, it’s the appeal of being associated with the superstition and unlucky aspect surrounding Friday the 13th.

“It’s being the outcast or society’s loser,” he said. “It’s a title I’ve grown to like.”

Unlike Gammon, Preeper said that showing off his artistic flare isn’t out of the ordinary for him. He doesn’t wait for a flash event and is confident that his client base trusts his artistic style on the regular.

“If I wanted somebody standing over me, telling me how to do the art that I make, I’d work at Subway and make you sandwiches exactly the way you order it,” he said. “I refuse to compromise my art and personality for a pay check.”

Andrew Stones is the newest addition to the Lyle Street team. However, this is not his first Friday the 13th flash. Stones has an artistic flare of his own to contribute to Lyle Street’s eerie event.

The apprentice loves how he gets to draw up any “spooky horror tattoo” that he wants.

“I was really looking forward to tattooing the skull with mushrooms sticking out of its eye sockets,” Stones said.

There were no limits on the designs put forward at Lyle Street.

Mike Geislinger said the Friday the 13th flash was a successful and fun event and that they are highly considering hosting a Valentine’s Day edition.

“We weren’t sure how it was going to go,” said Geislinger. “It’s been great. It’s been a much steadier stream than a Saturday or Sunday even.”