Friday the 13th brings fun tattoo tradition to Denton and Austin

Friday the 13th brings fun tattoo tradition to Denton and Austin

Friday the 13th brings fun tattoo tradition to Denton and Austin
October 19
20:49 2017

At 12 a.m. on Friday the 13th, a crowd has already lined up in front of Austin Tattoo Company. People looked on in confusion as the line of eager customers wound from the doors of the establishment to the end of the block.

Both in Denton and Austin, tattoo lovers began gathering for the Friday the 13th Tattoo marathon. Some parlors, such as Austin Tattoo Company, did all-nighters, tattooing from 12 a.m. on Friday to 12 a.m. on Saturday. Other companies like All Saints Tattoos in Austin opened their doors around 10 am on Friday.

Miranda Mansfield, 25, was just one of the people gathered at Austin Tattoo Company. Mansfield had only done the Friday the 13th ordeal once before, but has several tattoos on her hands, arms and shoulders.

“I’m going to start a collage all along my lower back of Friday the 13th tattoos,” Mansfield said. “Last time we came here it was kind of on a whim. I was at my friend’s house and we just decided to go.”

Mansfield chose a camera from the sheet of available tattoos. She said overall the process was easy, but the wait can be over three hours. Mansfield was accompanied her friend, Carly Dalby. Mansfield said Dalby was the expert compared to her.

“I have gotten many Friday the 13th tattoos, only one which I regret,” Dalby said.

Dalby has been growing her Friday the 13th tattoo collection for four years. She has a hang loose hand on her lower back, a butterfly underneath her clavicle and a 13 on her ankle.

“Every experience I’ve had with Friday the 13th has been awesome,” Dalby said. “I haven’t always gone to this tattoo shop, but last year I decided to.”

Dalby said the tattoo artists at Austin Tattoo Company were genuinely nice, quick with the design and sanitary. For Dalby, sanitation is one of the most important factors when choosing a tattoo parlor, especially when that parlor does tattoos for hundreds of people in just one night.

“It’s an experience,” Dalby said. “The whole waiting in line, deciding what you want — the anticipation. Hearing other people’s stories is fun, too.”

Dalby said she originally heard about the Friday the 13th tattoo event through Facebook and other social media.

The tradition of getting small tattoos on Friday the 13th — often incorporating the number 13 in the design — originated from Oliver Peck, a current tattoo artist at Elm Street Tattoo in Dallas.

Peck heard from a client that contrary to popular belief, the number 13 does not attract bad omens, but instead wards them away. Peck loved this concept and began tattooing “13” on his friends. Soon, other tattoo artists and shops caught along with the trend, and it hasn’t stopped since.

At Denton Tattoo Company, tattoo artist Lauren Hutson was modifying individual file sheets around 8 p.m. on Thursday evening.

“I’m really into horror movies, so I have some graphic ones,” Huston said. “I add some popular themes. Last year we had a lot of Stranger Things references.”

Huston said she was considered doing IT tattoos, but decided not to.

“It’s insane,” Huston said. “The last few years we have been doing this, we had five artists, and each of us did a minimum of 45 tattoos even before the line was out the door.”

A local Denton tattoo artist is taking the tradition of Friday the 13th tattoos and giving it his own personal spin.

West Brown is the owner of Metropolis Tattoos in Denton. Instead of allowing lines to run out the door, he threw a block party. This is the first year they have decided to switch it up.

“We wanted to do something different and incorporate local businesses,” Brown said.

Businesses found at the block party consisted of food trucks, a car club, live music, a raffle to support breast cancer victims and a DJ.

Brown said he hopes that with his event he can grow the Denton community — and show people how fun Friday the 13th can be.

“It’s more or less for me as a business owner and a Dentonite — I’m big on community,” Brown said. “It does a lot for me a business owner because it brings me closer to the people.”

Featured Image: A tattoo design from Metropolis Tattoo and Fine Art shop for Friday the 13th. These designs are specifically created for Friday the 13th. Victoria Nguyen

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Anna Orr

Anna Orr

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