Today is Friday the 13th — the only Friday the 13th this year, so you'd better get your permanent bling while you can. Over the past century, this day — so taboo in some circles — has evolved into an unofficial holiday at American tattoo stores, which often offer inexpensive tattoos from an artist's flash sheet. This means that Friday the 13th could be your lucky day if you visit one of the six stores on this list, or any of the others celebrating the tradition.
Although some tattoo shops choose not to participate in Friday the 13th because they don't like the concept of a "discount" tattoo, others celebrate the day by creating artwork on as many people as they can. But just because you might get a deal on a tattoo, don't expect a cheap version: These six Denver shops won't be skimping on design or quality.
To celebrate Friday the 13th in style, Marion Street Tattoo shop is offering a $13 deal with a $7 tip for good luck for any of the designs featured on the flash sheet above. Marion Street always makes a new design sheet whenever the holiday comes around, and often sees as many as 200 customers. "It's our ode to the classic Friday the 13th special," says Marion Street artist Nate Stephens. "We feel it's a great opportunity to give back to the community and to our clients who want to get tattooed in a reputable shop but may not be able to afford it on a regular basis." As with most spots, the Marion Street deal is cash only and first come, first served. The shop is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
5. Landmark Tattooing
609 East 13th Avenue
Landmark Tattoo's artists, including Kevin Hennessy, create some unique designs. "I looked to the master of mixing the occult with superstition and humor," Hennessy says of the flash sheets above. "Flipped through the Lakra line book and redrew some gems." Catch Hennessy and the other talented artists of Landmark on Friday, when the shop opens at noon.
4. Ritual Tattoo Gallery
4241 Jason Street
Ritual Tattoo Gallery opens at noon on Friday the 13th, but you'd be wise to get there early, because the artists here are offering tattoos ranging anywhere in between $50 and $180. And remember to go to the new address at 4241 Jason Street: Ritual co-owners Sandi Calistro and William Crandall will be celebrating a stunning brand-new location in Sunnyside this weekend. Join the Ritual fam artists at their official grand-opening party on the evening of Saturday, May 14.
3. Bound by Design
1332 East Colfax Avenue
Bound by Design opens at 11 a.m. on Friday the 13th, and the crowds will be coming out in droves to this beloved Colfax tattoo shop. The flash sheet above is a sample from the 2015 Friday the 13th special. Each artist will have a range of flash designs and prices this year; the cost is $40 and $80.
2. Lifetime Tattoo
1510 East Colfax Avenue
Friday the 13th is going to be a "Get what you get" drawing system at Lifetime, which means at the lowest price, your tattoo design will just be luck of the draw. Every artist is participating, and for customers it's first come, first served. "We're just trying to do something different," says artist Kirk Wilken. "There's some mystery to it, where you don't know exactly what you're getting." The pieces are bigger than most flash pieces that shops will offer on this holiday. If you fear the random nature, don't fret: Lifetime will let you have your choice for a small up-charge.
1. End of Days
2024 East Colfax Avenue
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The artists at End of Days are among the most respected in the local game — including Frank "Wolfman" Speaker, Melon Davis, Jymi Zez Shores, Jonathan Love and Chris Evans — and range wildly in style. This Friday, the artists all have their own flash sheets with thirteen designs, each for $50. The newest EOD artist, Logan LeBlanc, who's fresh from Georgia, will be on hand, too; here's his flash sheet: