April is over, and so our cherry blossom flash special has come to an end. We got to do so many of them, but nobody got the cockroach one! Oh, well. There’s always next year. At least I got to do a couple of the rats.
Electric Cat Scratch Tattoos recently celebrated a birthday! The shop turned one year old on April 21st. We didn’t want to make a big thing out of it since 1-year-olds rarely remember their first birthday party, but we did have an unplanned gathering of just a few of our favorite people last night and said cheers! Thank you to Sheila, David, John, Chris, Julie, Warren, Jessica, and Ian for a super fun night, and to Julie for making amazing cupcakes! Thank you to all of our clients and friends and family for your support, referrals, patience, and encouragement this past year – we love you, and we couldn’t do it without you!
Happy 1st, ECS!
A huge thank you to Berto for being with us for a week at the beginning of April! It went by too fast! It’s always great to have you in the shop, and we look forward to the next time you’re in.
If you missed Berto, don’t worry, he’ll be back! In the meantime, check out his recent work and follow him on ig @tokatattoos!
In celebration of cherry blossom season, we’re doing another flash special from March 22nd through the end of April! This one is all DC-themed pieces (the usual – cherry blossoms, DC flags, rats, cockroaches, etc.), starting at $50. Come by the shop to check them out!
Sheila is tattooing!
Sheila is currently doing $20 apprentice tattoos – primarily line work and solid black fill, and depending on the design, limited shading and color. She has a sketchbook at the front desk of available designs, some of which are also on her website, or she can draw something for you!
If you’re interested in being a part of Sheila’s learning process, please check out her portfolio at forkspit.com, and then come into the shop for a consultation so we can review your design and placement. No first timers, sorry! Because she’s in the early stages of learning, we need to be sure that anyone she’s practicing on already has experience getting and healing a tattoo, and is comfortable with a potentially less-than-perfect piece initially. We also ask that you be available to come back in in 2-3 weeks once the tattoo has healed so she can make any needed repairs. Being able to see how a tattoo has healed is immensely helpful in improving technique and consistency.
Flash Me February
Our Flash Me February special flew by! If you missed this one, check back soon for our next holiday special.
And now for the monster at the end of the post…
If you’ve been concerned by our absence at the bar, it’s because… We got a puppy! Nazgul is 4 months old and is already a dramatic, opinionated little butthead, just like our other dog. Please enjoy some photos of our adorable little monster.
What a year! This time last year, Brian and I were trying to decide what the hell to do with ourselves. We were both looking for a new spot and really wanted to work together. We got an offer in Texas and seriously considering relocating, but our hearts belong to DC, so we decided to try opening our own place instead.
Naming the shop was easy. In fact, we had the name long before we even considered opening a shop. We shared a room in the last studio we were in, so we had a running list of silly band names written on a scrap of paper – basically, anytime somebody said a phrase that we thought would make a good band name, one of us would yell BAND NAME and write it down – it featured such gems as Wormurderer, Premeditated Shart, Involuntary Jazz Hands, Guilt Boner, and Remote Controlled Fart Symphony. So one day, I was tattooing this girl, and her friend asked what it felt like. She said, “kind of like a cat scratch,” and the guy Brian was tattooing added, “but electric.” Brian and I both yelled BAND NAME, but then we were like, actually… that would be an amazing tattoo shop name. I wrote it down that day and it waited in my toolbox for a couple years.
When we set out to find a physical location though, we had a surprisingly difficult time. We found quite a few spaces that we loved and could afford, but as soon as we uttered the words “tattoo shop” we were immediately shut down. We even offered one landlord 6 months rent up front, which gave her some pause, but she ultimately turned us down anyway. We eventually found this spot and hit it off with the family-owned realty company that manages the property (thank you to Nomadic Real Estate for giving us a chance and being awesome), and signed our lease mid-February. We worked our asses off for the next two and a half months and opened on April 21st. Our walls were pretty bare, and it took some time to streamline things, but we were thrilled to be working for ourselves, and just hoped that we’d have work. As it turned out, the location worked very much in our favor, the neighborhood seemed happy to have us, and there was no shortage of clients right from the beginning.
We can’t believe it’s been 8 months already, and we look forward to many more years (hopefully in this location)! Please enjoy some photos from this past year:
Shirts, stickers, and cards:
A few selections from our joke board:
LeDroit Park Block Party:
Sheila and Lindsay’s wedding:
Career Day at Quander Road School:
Sheila making progress in her apprenticeship:
We did lots of tattoos!
And had tons of fun!
We were recently invited to do a presentation for Career Day at Quander Road School in Alexandria, VA. Many of the students are nearing the end of their high school careers and are in the process of deciding what to do next, so we talked to them about how we went from dropping out of school, to finding a career, to becoming business owners.
The three of us have had vastly different educational and work experiences, and we all got into tattooing at varying ages, so it was a great opportunity for us to explain to them how different each of our paths were, and what we learned along the way. Our main message to them was that there is no “right way” to get where you want to be, and college is not the only way to get an education. It’s important to work hard at whatever job you have, even if it’s not the one you want to keep, because every experience you have can help you later in life, and a strong work ethic will get you far!
A lot of them were very interested in tattoos in general as well, so we talked about the process of getting a tattoo, what to look for when choosing an artist, and helped them understand why it’s so important to get tattooed in a safe, clean, and professional environment.
We had about 40 minutes with each group, and we spent the last portion of each presentation answering their questions, and were delighted when many of them pulled out their own sketchbooks to show us their art! We met a lot of bright, strong-minded, and well-spoken kids, and we enjoyed hearing from them about what they are interested in and their plans for the future.
We want to give a huge thank you to all of the students we met, as well as the teachers and staff for being so welcoming, to Ms. Greta Thomas for reaching out to us on Mr. Joe Barbee’s recommendation, and we look forward to returning next year!
To the students: You are welcome to come through the shop anytime, whether it’s for a tattoo, drawing advice, life advice, or just to say hi! We hoped to have a positive impact on you, but you had a positive impact on us as well, and we thoroughly enjoyed meeting each of you!
Our Trick-or-Treat game was a smashing success, and we will definitely be doing it again next October, with even more designs. Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate Halloween for a whole month!
We had a pumpkin carving party at the shop, and ended up with a million pumpkin seeds to cook up. Yum! Thank you to everyone who came out to stab pumpkins with us!
The Friends of the Park at LeDroit hosted their annual Falloween event with lots of fun activities for the kids, including a slime station, music performances, food, and a Halloween parade. They invited us to set up a table to do temporary tattoos again, and we had a blast!
Enjoy some more spooky photos:
The most important news of the month:
SHEILA AND LINDSAY GOT MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!
Congratulations to Mrs. & Mrs. Larson! The wedding was beautiful and we had a blast. Brian even got his hurr did for it. We love you both so much and are lucky to have you in our lives.
Such a busy month for us! Welcome back to all the college kiddos – I think we tattooed almost every single one of them last weekend. We love “don’t tell mom” season. To all the disappointed moms out there – good news! We are now offering tattoo removal! Thanks to @mindofiron for another great hand-painted sign.
LeDroit Park had a block party and invited us to set up a table, so we put out a tattoo table and arm rest and put temporary tattoos on everyone. Gotta get the kids started early! It was great to meet all of our neighbors and we thank the neighborhood for welcoming us. Thank you to Taylor Barden Golden for the mention in the September issue of Mid City DC Magazine. You can check out all of the photos from the block party on the LeDroit Park Civic Association page.
We thoroughly enjoyed having Berto guest spot for a week and are looking forward to the next time he comes through. Our only complaint is that he broke our no-infinity-symbols streak, but we forgive him and would be willing to have him back. Thank you to Alexis for being such a good sport when we made her reset the infinity-symbol-free count to zero herself. Berto made a beautiful custom piece for her and she was a pleasure to have in the shop.
We made another trip down to Loose Screw in Richmond to visit our friends Gwooki and Sabrina. Thank you to Jesse Smith for the hospitality, as always! Sabrina got started on a beautiful chest piece for Sarah, and then we all went and hung out at GWARbar. Gwooki and Sabrina are incredibly talented, genuine, fun people, and we are lucky to call them friends. If you haven’t seen their work yet, check them out at @sabrinaelliotte and @gwooki.
We went to see our friend Tim Freak‘s show at The Fridge, and couldn’t help but buy another painting. We are addicted to good art and can’t seem to get out of that place without claiming a piece. We also picked up the piece we got at Rei21’s show, and it looks great in the shop.
We got a chalkboard A-frame (and doggy water bowl!) for the sidewalk in front of the shop and decided that the current best use of one side of that board is dad jokes. We love catching people’s smiles when they stop to look at the answer. Here’s a sampling – follow us on instagram @ecstattoos for the answers!
We made a brief trip down to Florida to visit a friend and see how fast we could finish a keg.
There was a solar eclipse last month. We caught a glimpse of it in a lens flare and in all the little crescent-shaped shadows cast under the trees. We are still on the lookout for Audrey II…
Enjoy some other photos from around the shop, including Brian riding our penny farthing bike!