Oct 12th, 2017, 12:38 PM

Flash-Tattoos of Paris

By Leona Caanen
Image Credit: Facebook/Flash-tattoos et piercings—La Mutinerie
Chronicles of body art, bars, and personal experience.

Flash tattoos have become a la mode in Paris—a person can walk into a bar, grab a beer, and get a casual tattoo in front of onlookers. It's a way to make an intimate moment between an artist and a customer much more familiar and open. The flash-tattoo event on October 16, 2017, was the first of a two-day-long affair. La Mutinerie, a bar situated in the heart of Le Marais, the art district of Paris, hosted the event. Tattoo artists Victoria Linhares and Jess concentrate on their art, as people are moving in and out of the bar to get inked. If you have the cash and the desire for a new tattoo, whether it is your first tattoo or the next one in your personal series, flash-tattoo events are a cool place to get them. You pick out a design, grab a beer while you wait for your turn, and go and get inked. By the time you leave the bar you'll have a happy buzz on as well as a new design on your body.

Image Credit: Leona Caanen

A flash-tattoo event, to put it in simple terms, is like a mini tattoo convention. There are usually only one or two talented but not famous tattoo artists and no entrance fee. These events are for people to come and get a tattoo, or a piercing, or to just observe and admire fellow Parisians getting inked. The photograph above shows some of the designs that were offered in the look-book. As a first-timer at a flash-tattoo event, I was surprised not just by the venue, but also to see how relaxed all the people were: both tattoo artists and participants. The only one that was not relaxed but extremely excited was the spotted puppy roaming through the bar. 

Image Credit: Leona Caanen

If you know Heather Linebaugh, you know she adores tattoos. Tagging along with her friend, Heather "spontaneously found the tattoo at the table of an artist who was there from Clermont-Ferrand, France." Up until that point, no tattoo artist had yet managed to grasp Heather's attention and keep her interested, until Audrey appeared. "Her name is Audrey Contesse de Whitechurch... I'd never known who she was before this... [but] her work is really remarkable and I'd recommend her to anyone who wants beautiful black and white work." Heather told me.

When asked about the privacy of being tattooed, Heather spoke about the difference between getting a tattoo at the event or at a tattoo parlor. "I think a big difference is privacy and timing. At a parlor, I can be alone with the artist and we talk and take our time. It's more intimate." The convention is its own experience, "the cool part of the convention, in particular, was that it was on a boat, so I got to look out the window at the clouds." Additionally, there is much less privacy at the flash-tattoo event, "People stopped and watched here and there, but I think just to get a glimpse of what I was having done."

Image Credit: Heather Linebaugh

If you ever want to get a tattoo for a very good price, stay on the look-out for the next flash-tattoo event coming to Paris; same goes for well-priced piercings. Take a friend, grab a beer, and get a new tattoo or piercing. Just make sure you are comfortable having about a dozen strangers watch as you get them.

The next upcoming one is Journée Flash Tattoo Halloween at Savage Tattoo on November 1st, 2017.