Tag’s N Tat’s Encourages Spontaneity and Sustainability

Tag’s N Tat’s brings together creative vendors and flash tattooing at their monthly market. On Sunday, July 17, the fifth Tag’s N Tat’s market was held at Infinite Monkey Theorem. The space hosted twenty vendors featuring vintage and other secondhand pieces, handmade art and jewelry, and – the market’s biggest niche – flash tattoos.

Abrean of @asm.body.art on Instagram creates queer-centered art that celebrates all bodies.

The event’s curator, Sydney Swing, sought to create an event that felt less like a shopping experience and more like a party with friends. Wanting to construct a space where attendees could be themselves and let loose, Swing curated an event that paired spontaneity with unique, everlasting souvenirs: flash tattoos.

Michael Penhale of Lumenati Tattoo was one of the event’s tattoo artists.

“One element I thought would let people’s guards down would be tattooing because I feel like you’re very vulnerable when you’re getting tattooed. It’s a very sporadic moment and it leaves an impression in your life,” Swing said. “So that’s the vibe I wanted to go for – people just being like, ‘it’s ok to be a little frivolous at times’ and to feel like life is fleeting. You can live in the moment and get a tattoo because we could all die tomorrow.”

From the first market, Swing’s focus was on those fleeting moments.

“The vibe is spontaneous. It’s like, maybe your friend sent it to you on Instagram and you were like, ‘whatever I’ll go because they want me to go,’” Swing imagined. “Maybe you saw a tattoo and you were like, ‘I want to go for the tattoos.’ Maybe you didn’t even know it was going on, but you walked by and heard a party and you went in, and now you’re leaving with two tattoos and a bunch of new clothes.”

Ultimately, the event came together through connection and community. Swing began by gauging interest amongst friends and acquaintances. Through these conversations, she met artists, vendors and food truck operators – as well as her partner and one of the event’s tattoo artists, Michael Penhale.

At Sunday’s event, Penhale was joined by fellow artist Sean Hill. Both men tattoo at Lumenati Tattoo. They emphasized their passion for providing quality tattoos at a reasonable price –something they stay committed to even after the event’s conclusion.

These artists were joined by other creatives, whether that be visual art, handmade jewelry or vintage resale.

Wells and Andrae are the curators of Electric Goodies, a size- and gender-inclusive resale shop.

Electric Goodies has been vending Tag’s N Tat’s since the market’s creation. Colleen Andrae and Kiley Wells, the shop’s owners, met at a previous job and found community when they began reselling together. They hail Tag’s N Tat’s and the connections they’ve made at other markets as a great space for meeting like-minded vendors.

With their shop, Andrae and Wells seek to provide a wide variety of clothing options for a range of consumers.

Arial Hudler of Freaky Finds Vintage seeks to help her customers feel comfortable in their skin.

“There’s a real lack of plus size representation,” said Andrae of the resale scene. “So we’re going out of our way to be more size-inclusive, for all genders and all sizes.”

Inclusivity and connection are common themes among most vendors slinging their products at Tag’s N Tat’s.

First-time Tag’s N Tat’s vendor Krisanna Raymond of Shutter Haus creates cyanotype, candles and concrete art that she describes as “eclectic, weird, and abstract.” She credits the connections she’s made within the community as a vital component of the market’s vibe.

“I’m an introvert, so I don’t always feel energized after these types of events,” Raymond confessed. “But there’s just something about this community and this vibe and this event specifically that’s just really rad. I go home with my heart full.”

And the event wouldn’t be what it is without music from DJ and local rapper Cat Evans. She shared her perception and summed up the general atmosphere of the event.

“The tattoos are sick. The people tattooing are sick. The clothes are dope. The people walking around are dope,” said Evans. “The food is fantastic. The vibes are high. You never know what you’re going to find.”

The next Tag’s N Tat’s event will be held on August 21, 2022, at Infinite Monkey Theorem (3200 Larimer St). Details for the event will be posted on Instagram at @manicpixiethrift.

All photography by Kymberly Drapcho.