Most people know her as Barbie, one of the tattoo artists at Hardcore Tattoos and Piercings, located at 397 Talbot Street in St. Thomas. By the end of November, she hoped to be known in the Guinness Book of World Records as the artist who has given the most tattoos in a 24 hour period. The number you ask? At least 802, but Barbie has higher aspirations.
|Mandy gets some work done by Barbie|
A longtime St. Thomas resident, having attended both Arthur Voaden Secondary School and Central Elgin Collegiate , Barbie began at Hardcore Tattoos and Piercing six years ago as an apprentice. Having completed her high school co-op placement there, it was Barbie’s “love of art” that drew her to the unique field of choice. Much has changed in six years; she has completed her apprenticeship and has been tattooing full time for the past three years. Barbie has even taken first place in the “Biker Theme” category during the tattoo competition at the Canadian Biker Build Off held annually in Wellend, Ontario.
Kat Von D from LA Ink fame set the original record at 417, which has been shattered a number of times since and the record now sits at 801. Barbie is confident that she will set a new record, hoping to surpass 850, possibly closing in on the 1000 mark. Barbie planned to tattoo an outlined 3” by 3” cancer ribbon, with shading in a choice of colours to reflect the cancer being recognized. With each tattoo, a $20 donation was required with all money raised going to support the Canadian Cancer Society.
With a number of supply donations from community businesses, Barbie has been well stocked with the needed gloves, masks, cleaners and razors. Stencils were prepared and everyone was in place.
I was there at noon on November 27 when Barbie began the task. Francie Bisson was number one, getting her first tattoo ever, inked forever on her leg. Francie lost a sister and an aunt to cancer. One down. 801 to go.
By 5:00 p.m., a friend of mine had his done, and he was number 80. Seems like things aren’t moving fast enough by my calculations to pull this off, but I know Barbie was excited about his and the team at Hardcore wanted her to succeed.
I went back at 8:30 p.m. to follow up. It wasn’t looking good. Barbie was in pain. Her back was sore, but much worse, her hand was stiff, sore and swelling. She iced it, she wrapped and kept at it. Until 10:30 p.m. when she called it quits. Over 200 tattoos were done, but far from the record.
Barbie decided to take a week off to heal from the ordeal. She was in pain, but more so was disappointed. It’s okay though. Remember the $20 donation that was required? In just ten and a half hours, Barbie was able to donate over $6000 to the Canadian Cancer Society. That’s something to be proud of.
Everyone has a story. Francie is wearing hers for everyone to see.