My first tattoo was of the female symbol. I was 18. I immediately began a yearlong relationship with the tattoo artist, and developed an unwavering addiction to tattoos. The relationship didn’t last and neither did my certainty of gender identity. Oops.
My second tattoo was done at Jinx Proof by Tim Corun, who’s also the owner and a clean line-work master. It was of a wiener dog on my foot and the entire experience was quick, easy, and comfortably painful.
Jinx Proof showed me what a tattoo experience should be like: respectful, clean, and professional. It’s such a proper experience that you might not even feel as rebellious and impulsive as you thought you would in your head.
Jinx Proof is D.C.’s oldest shop, ringing in 21 years in Georgetown. It was around before anyone else, originally bringing in all types of crazy clientele that’s now a more mellow mixture of college kids and “housewives that want their kid’s name.” But they ain’t complaining and it doesn’t mean they aren’t churning out amazing pieces of art.
Reputation wise the shop is seen as the expensive option, but with a reasonable shop minimum (the least you have to pay no matter the size) of $80, that isn’t really true. But don’t forget—they have to pay rent in Georgetown.
People naturally want the cheapest option for their tattoo, but as shop manager Jeff Marsala points out, “there are shops that are cheaper and you get people who price shop, but then they come back here to see if you can fix it or cover it up and then it costs even more than what they would’ve paid the first time.”
Tattoos are a life-long investment, not an accessory. But right now, inspired by celebrities sharing their ink, they’re one of the hottest accessories you can get. What’s the main trend the shop is seeing? “Very small, everyone wants small”, according to Marsala. “Pretty much what’s on Instagram, BoredPanda on FaceBook, that’s what people come in with on their phone and say ‘this is what I want’ and we do our best.”
The Rihanna Effect is strong in tattooing and “even with piercings, Rihanna wears that mesh shirt, a million nipple piercings come through.”
It doesn’t take a genius to see that the most popular tattoos on social media are the small, “single needle” tattoos, usually filtered in black and white (see here, here, and here.) Marsala warns, “A lot of those people on Instagram are young tattooers that don’t have the experience, so they’re doing really tiny tattoos and they have no idea how it’s going to look in 10 years.”
Creating tattoos they know are going to stand the test of time is Jinx Proof’s shtick. “When you see a tattoo that’s 10 years old and still looks the way it’s supposed to look—that’s a good tattoo artist” Personally, the tattoo I got six years ago hasn’t showed any sign of looking less great than the day I got it.
As far as whether Jinx Proof will turn you down, it’s unlikely. Marsala says, “my thing is when someone comes in with an idea and is like ‘is this too crazy is this too weird what do you think?’ I’m like ‘you have to wear it’. We’re gonna do it real good, whatever you want.”
Placement is where you’ll get more input from the artist. A lot of young folks are coming in for their first tattoo on their face, neck, or hands and sometimes artists are hesitant. “It’s hard to have that conversation because you don’t want to be condescending or act like you’re being their parent, but on the flip side of the coin, I don’t want to possibly fuck up that kid’s life,” artist Tad Peyton explains.
Is the shop going to think you’re weird for getting something like a butt tattooed on your butt? Nope. Peyton has done it. He tells us, “To me, the weirdest ones are like ‘celebrity worship’. When someone comes in and wants the exact same tattoo a celebrity has in the exact same place. That’s borderline creepy to me.”
At Jinx Proof you’re paying for skill, something that’s going to last, and an environment low on the douchbaggery meter. No outwardly misogynistic content, no blatantly racist imagery, nothing that makes you feel like an idiot that might be common at other shops. Just good ol’ professional tattooing.
Hours: 12-9:30 p.m.
Number of artists: Seven that work different days
Tattoo style: Good solid tattoos
Shop minimum: $80
Busiest times: Weekends