DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE TATTOOS
Interview by Randall B. Jones- The art of tattooing has been in practice for centuries worldwide. Tattoos have experienced resurgence in popularity over the last decade in many parts of the world, particularly North and South America, Japan and Europe. Once thought of as being taboo, you would be hard pressed to walk down the street, beach, mall etc. and not see someone with their artwork on full display. In 2008, an online survey was conducted that estimated 14% (or approximately 30 million) of all adults in the US have a tattoo. I’m sure that percentage has risen since then. The youth of today have been heavily influenced by many pro athletes, hip hop & rock artist whom all have made tattoos basically part of their DNA (I.e. marketing & branding image). That’s great news for a 26 year old South Florida business owner by the name of Parker Beaudoin (a.k.a. “Wingnut”). He’s been in the tattoo industry since he was 14 and now owns and operates “Down The Rabbit Hole Tattoos and Body Modification, Inc.” in Ft. Lauderdale. The young man is talented, motivated and passionate about his craft which has also made him the first of his field to be featured in our publication. Here’s your chance to learn more about the man and his business with the unique name.
Hello Wingnut, it’s great to have this opportunity to speak with you. How does it feel to be the first tattoo business owner/artist featured in Nine5Four The Magazine?
[ WINGNUT ] To be the first of anything is both an achievement and an honor, and I feel both! I also feel that this will be a start to many more talented artist features in this magazine and I wanted to say thank you for the opportunity to do this.
It’s our pleasure. You were born and raised here is South Florida (so was I by the way…one time for TRUE Floridians). What part did you grow up in and you have to tell me how you got the nickname “WINGNUT”…I think? Lol.
[ WINGNUT ] Well, I was born in Palm Beach and raised there. I have pretty much stayed and lived in South Florida my entire life. The name “Wingnut” was given to me from a previous employer who one day just called me “Wingnut”, and from that day on that’s what I go by and created a good name for myself.
OK, I was expecting a more elaborate story behind the name…but that’s cool. How did your interest in tattooing begin?
[ WINGNUT ] My interest in tattooing began when I was young and at an indoor theme park so to say called “Telesis.” They had games that gave tickets for prizes and one of the prizes was a set of temporary tattoos. So I worked hard to win 75 tickets to get them and when I finally did, instead of using them, I kept them and drew the designs on myself. I still have the set saved to this day.
You are the co-owner of Down The Rabbit Hole Tattoos and Body Modification, Inc. Tell us about your business partner and how the both of you came together to start this business with the unique name.
[ WINGNUT ] Well we came together when I was born. My partner, “Jekyll,” is also my father. He has supported me my entire life and when I left my last shop to open my own shop, he was there to help every step of the way. So we became partners and I also helped teach him to pierce. So he is also the co-owner and Piercer.
Oh cool, a father and son team. Sounds like you have a great father whom you share a wonderful relationship with. Who came up with the name for the business?
[ WINGNUT ] Our name came when my friend Madison and I were just hanging out in the pool going over names and she said “How about Down the Rabbit Hole?” And it had that nice ring to it. So we went with it and kept it…and I couldn’t be happier. Thanks again to Madison!
What makes your shop stand out from the competition?
[ WINGNUT ] We are a very friendly shop. We offer all custom tattoos and work well with clients the same as we would want to be treated. We also have very high standards of cleanliness as well as professionalism. To add to this, we also run monthly, weekly, and daily specials from the artists within the shop.
Have you done work on any well known figures?
[ WINGNUT ] I have worked on numerous musicians, some local and some bigger. I am working on an R&B rapper right now by the name of “Rezz Vocals” who will soon be a major hit.
From your experience, who comes to you more for tattoos…women or men?
[ WINGNUT ] I feel it is about equal for me. I am a very versatile artist so I tend to get a variety of customers all asking for different styles of tattoos. But for my “Itty Bitty” tattoos, it is definitely more women for those. But some men get them too.
We will get to those in a moment. What’s your take on tattoo reality shows…good or bad?
[ WINGNUT ] I think it’s both. It is good because it helps make tattoos more acceptable in everyday society, but it also is bad for the reason that some customers watch the drama and get turned off by it. They also don’t understand the amount of time it takes for a tattoo (no, you can’t get your sleeve done in 30 minutes, like they show on TV). But I do like the shows.
Now, you have another nickname or title rather, “The Master of Itty Bitties”. Please tell us why you have been bestowed this creative moniker?
[ WINGNUT ] I was given this name years ago after I set the world record for the smallest tattoo. I believe it was on the front cover of a magazine first and from there it caught on just as Wingnut did. Also for the fact of how small and how many tattoos I do of an Itty Bitty nature.
And you’ve written a book on this technique as well…right?
What was the most elaborate work of art you have done to date and where is the most interesting place you have inked a tat on someone?
[ WINGNUT ] There have been many elaborate pieces I’ve done from a full “Koi” with an anchor back piece to a full sleeve and chest tattoo of an oriental dragon with an oriental themed background that I recently just finished on my good customer and friend, Derek. The most interesting place I’ve done a tattoo would probably be in between the toes. It was an anarchy symbol and actually stayed.
I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a tattoo between the toes! Now that’s different! What would you say is the most important thing people should know about getting tattoos or body mods?
[ WINGNUT ] They should know to not only find a tattoo/piercing by just the price. The price should be the very last factor to look at. It is your body. Do you really want to mess it up just to save a few dollars? Go to the shop and see how clean they are. Look at their work and make sure you feel comfortable with them. These are main things people should know and look for when finding the right place and person to work on them.
Do you have other interests outside of tattooing?
[ WINGNUT ] Yes I do. Cooking, music, and my other business, Wingnut Enterprises, Inc. It is custom clothing, jewelry, entertainment, etc. I was a cook for 7 years and will soon have my own cook book published and out for sale. I also am a DJ and a music manager of local R&B artist Rezz Vocals. I tend to stay very busy and love everything I do. Besides work, just spend time with my girl and my family.
Man you really keep it moving. We respect your hustle! Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?
[ WINGNUT ] I see my business expanding. I want to have another shop open within five years and have both shops doing very well. I also want to be able to travel around the world working tattoo conventions regularly. Only time will tell.
Let the readers know where you are located and how they can contact you. (I just might have to drop by myself).
[ WINGNUT ] We are located in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. On the SE corner of Oakland Park Blvd & Federal Hwy (US1)
Thanks for allowing our readers to learn about you and your business. We wish you success in all of your endeavors. Anything else you would like to add in closing?
[ WINGNUT ] Take every minute as if it was your last and live it to the fullest. And everything happens for a reason. Be safe, have fun, and make the world more colorful, one tattoo at a time. Peace!