Flash Giveaway: Who’s Ready for a Free Tacoma Tattoo?

Update: Congratulations to Erin Shadensack, whose comment was chosen at random as the winner! Unless she has a change of heart we’ll be seeing that octopus and Narrows Bridges design tattooed real soon.

Thanks to everyone who entered, and don’t forget all of this artwork is available to be tattooed at Homage. Just stop on by and tell them you’re interested in the Grit City Magazine flash sheet.


Tacoma has no shortage of tattoo shops but if you’re into classic American style tattoos, Homage is one of the best.

That’s why, when we decided a custom flash sheet of Tacoma-themed tattoos was what we wanted for the poster that comes along with the second hard copy of our print magazine, we headed for their shop on South Tacoma Way.

Walking around the shop is like visiting a tattoo museum. Original pieces from local and nationally known artists from the last 100 years adorn the walls. The owners have studied with some of the best artists ever to put needles to skin, including San Francisco legend, Lyle Tuttle.

They take tattooing seriously but know how to have fun. Currently Melissa and Matt are in a contest through the end of the year to see who can ink the most giraffe tattoos. The loser has to get one themselves.

Why giraffes? Because the pair used to tease anyone getting a tattoo on their back (or location they couldn’t see) by saying, “Oh, sweet giraffe tattoo!” just to mess with them. Then Melissa and Matt realized they very rarely, if ever, actually did any giraffe work.

Current tally: Melissa—17, Matt—7.

They also have artwork on a dartboard that changes regularly, and for $100 you can toss a dart at it. “What you land on is what you get!”

When we asked the Homage team to create a sheet of Tacoma flash art, we got more than just some cute Tacoma pictures; we got a piece of artwork created by experts whose passion for this city perhaps exceeds our own.

The final product is, as we learned, known as a pork chop sheet. The exact origin of the name is unclear but the concept is as old as tattooing in the western world.

Old school tattoo artists would note their most popular designs and collect them onto one sheet to show off to future customers. Since the art was one-of-a-kind, they would often wrap the edges in tape and install grommets to help preserve the art while displaying it in various locations.

Once the sheet was complete, the artist would write prices next to each piece. If you look at old pork chop sheets, you can see stickers placed on top of old ones when it came time to update prices. The team priced each of these according to what you’d see in a tattoo shop from the heyday of American style tattoos.

Do us a favor and go show the Homage Tattoo team some love. If you Instagram you can follow Matt, Kirk, and Melissa (as well as the shop as a whole) via the links here.

If you’re more of a Facebook kind of person, this is the link for you.

They deserve it, because not only did they put many hours into creating this visual lovefest for our city, they’ve agreed to give away a tattoo of any one piece from this sheet to a lucky winner!

Here’s the detail stuff:

  • Must be over 18 years of age to enter. Sorry kiddos, no tats for you.
  • One entry per person. Be cool.
  • Enter by leaving a comment on this story telling us which tattoo you want to get off of this flash sheet. Use an email address you actually check.
  • No purchase necessary.
  • Prize has no cash value. Don’t punk out on getting inked and expect to get moolah instead.
  • Entries close Tuesday, November 27, at noon PST. At that time a winner will be drawn at random and contacted via email. Winner must claim prize by email reply within 24 hours or another winner will be drawn.
  • Winner will contact Homage Tattoo to arrange appointment time to get inked.
  • Winner agrees to allow Grit City Magazine and Homage Tattoo to photograph/video the tattoo session and use the material on their respective sites and social media channels.

Want a print of this Tacoma tattoo flash art for yourself? We’re including an 11×17 poster with every copy of our fall 2018 issue. Here’s where to preorder yours before the cutoff date of December 2.

And of course, if you can’t wait for the winner to be named or don’t end up being the lucky one, this artwork is still available to purchase as a tattoo. Just pop into Homage and ask for whatever piece is your favorite. Tell the crew we said hi.

Photos by Sierra Hartman