For someone who’s about to have a needle repeatedly driven into her skin — her neck, to be precise — Rachel is pretty calm.
“I’ve had a lot of work done,” she says, rolling her shoulders to show two half-sleeves on either bicep. One is a woods scene, half colored in, with what looks like a small girl with her back to the world looking through the trees. (Rachel says it’s taken around nine or so hours of work so far and isn’t done).
On Saturday afternoon, Rachel is sitting in a chair playing on her phone while artist Alessandra Sheppard is bent over a table sketching the solar eclipse-related design that’s shortly going to become a permanent part of Rachel Moon (yes, that’s her real last name).
The top of the tat starts right in the middle of the back of her neck and is a series of circles descending down her back, slowly growing larger until they turn into an upturned half moon. A tiara-like semicircle floats beneath the moon, and under that, from left to right, are the full phases of the moon.
She likes tattoos, Rachel says, but she isn’t “eclipse crazy like the rest of the state.” She wants the ink because she likes Sparxworx, the parlor located down Center Street by Sonic Rainbow, and she likes the special they’re offering on eclipse tattoos: set prices, as low as $50, on a set of pre-drawn designs spread out across the shop’s countertop.
Chris Schirmer — a tattoo artist who goes by Lunchbox or just Box — says the parlor thought it would be a cool thing to offer for a unique event.
“Eclipses don’t happen all the time,” chimes in Chris Smith, who’s spinning in a chair behind the counter next to Lunchbox.
The parlor has several sheets of eclipse tattoos — everything from the moon to a cat in a space suit — that customers can choose from. Rachel wanted one more customizable, she said.
Sheppard obliged: She added more custom lines to the design, linking the cycles of the moon that ring the bottom of the tattoo (think streamers that link balloons at parties, but thinner).
Lunchbox said they’d had steady business at Sparxworx throughout the day, and four artists were hanging around the shop waiting for more eclipse enthusiasts. Other parlors, including Chapters, have offered similar deals.
“It’s just a nice way for someone who wants to get a permanent memento,” Lunchbox said. “It’s going pretty good.”