How my fallback career as a carnie is coming along. Damn the torpedoes! MAGIC UNICORNS AHEAD

Did I mention that at my Nerdlepoint booth at the West Chester Festival of the Arts succeeded in selling exactly ZERO hand-painted needlepoint canvases encoded with unique 2D barcodes controlled by a secret password included in the kit? For the love of god, how did this product not find its audience?

I did that booth as a lark, but still, it smarts a LITTLE bit not have sold a single one. I put the remaining inventory (which is all of it) up on for sale on Etsy, and I’m going to refine my role as a carnie. No more machine-readable hand-embroidery for me, man: that fringe-market stuff is for the birds. No, this time I’m going RIGHT FOR THE JUGULAR. With temporary tattoos.

More specifically, airbrush tattoos. To be precise, using an airbrush rig that I’ve powered with a tank of compressed nitrogen. And just to be complete, here, I’ll mention that I’m going to be delivering glitter paint using this rig. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m pleased to announce that from noon to four PM at West Chester’s South Walnut Street Block Party, you can find me, Matt, and my sidecar, offering for sale for a low, reasonable price:


Let me show you the progress I’ve made so far. Pictured below are the sidecar rig (in Guerilla Drive-In mode; I’m setting up a separate table module for the tattoo rig) and the nitrogen-powered airbrush set:

Let me tell you about my boat The Tattoo Kit

Now for the designs: Matt put together three pieces of classic tattoo flash: A sailor’s fluked anchor, the ubiquitous punk “Black Flag” tattoo, and a magical unicorn with a flowing mane and stars. I sent the Illustrator files to family friend and awesome guy Dave Moroz-Henry of Barking Dog Signs. Dave used a vinyl plotter to cut stencils into Oracal 631, which is sticky sign vinyl with a light, water-based adhesive (unlike most sign vinyl, which is meant for permanent sticking to, say, a truck door.)

Here’s Dave “weeding” the prototype stencils, and Kate modeling a Black Flag stencil, through which the airbrush shoots the color:

Cutting Stencils Kate with the Black Flag stencil

Okay, NOW: with glitter paint delivered through the airbrush (or separately via a “poof” bottle, more about that later”, I’ll be able to create the following AWESOME GLITTERY DESIGNS, visualized below. Click on the unicorn to see the actual by-god glitter animation on Flickr!

Glitter paint for airbrush Unicorn Glitter Tattoo Black Flag Glitter Tattoo

YES, America! You know you want gold-colored MAGICAL GLITTERY UNICORN TATTOOS! YES, you gen-Y kiddies and sarcastic millenials, steeped in ironic duality! You KNOW you want to sport a Black Flag tattoo, traditional passport to punk legitimacy, except made SCORNFULLY ABSURD with the MySpace Glitter treatment! I will SELL you these tattoos, carefully and conscientiously applied using non-greenhouse gases, all with a background of hand-selected hair-metal music for an optimum carnie experience! With God as my witness, I WILL FINALLY BREAK EVEN ON A HOBBY PROJECT!!!

Well, maybe breaking even is a bit much to ask, given that it’s gonna rain. But if you want to come by on Saturday, Matt and I can sell you a GREAT glittery sailor’s anchor!

PS. Yes, the glittery unicorn tattoos really are magic, and I am prepared to prove it. See you there!

3 responses to “How my fallback career as a carnie is coming along. Damn the torpedoes! MAGIC UNICORNS AHEAD”

  1. Bitchin!!! I live on that part of Walnut so I’ll stop by for a Uni-Too and to verify you don’t blow yourself up.
    -Esteban the Tankmaster


  2. Beth, all you have to do is get on the Amtrak Keystone line. There’s a WHOLE NEW FUTURE for interactive programmers here in West Chester. Like I’ve said many times, during the comming economic collapse, I plan on starting a programmers’ collective down here. We’ll farm vegatables in the cool of the morning, then program websites for giant multinational corporations during the heat of the day.
    Toren, I’m please to report that Keen Compressed Gases in West Chester swapped my Sears-green tank for one painted a ridiculous shade of candy-apple ZOMG WARNING red. You’ll be proud to be a tankmaster for it. Plus, the table into which I’ll be integrating the tank has a skirt made of genuine fake gorilla fur.


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