LEWISTON — The minimum price for a tattoo at Altered Image Tattoo shop is $75.

“No exceptions,” states the sign at the front counter … except on Friday the 13th.

“It’s kind of like a tradition here,” tattoo artist Bernadette “Queen B” Racine said about offering tattoos for $13 one day a year.

Customers started lining up an hour before the shop opened Friday morning. Katie Sinclair and Adam Burdin arrived at 8 a.m. and were first to grab the $13 special.

Artist Ryan “Rhino” Dean said $13 tattoos are common at shops on Friday the 13th as a way to get the names of the newer artists out there. Racine recently moved up from an apprentice to a licensed artist so offering $13 works of art is a good way for her acquire a customer base.

As far as Dean inking an arm for $13, “No thanks,” he said.


With the amount of time and materials needed to produce so many small tattoos, Dean acknowledged the business loses money on Friday the 13th, but getting new customers through the door is a good thing.

“COVID hit us pretty hard and shut us down for four months,” he said.

Since they started the $13 tattoo promotion, Altered Image’s record for the most customers getting new ink is 31, Racine said. She was hoping to do at least 13 on Friday and Burdin gave assurances it was a realistic goal.

“You won’t have any problems reaching that,” he said while looking at people waiting outside the shop.

To take advantage of the $13 promotion, customers could either choose from one of 13 designs created by Racine or a zodiac sign. Any other artwork would cost at least $75.

“I’m still learning and have a lot more to learn, but I absolutely love it,” Racine said. “I get to draw for a living.”

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