Capitol Hill’s Laughing Buddha waiting to debut its new home — once it’s safe to again begin inking and piercing

Turns out, the former “largest float pod center in North America” will make a good home for a new tattoo parlor (Image: Laughing Buddha)

By Lena Friedman, CHS Intern

Laughing Buddha Tattoo and Body Piercing had plans to open its doors in a new Capitol Hill location on E Union, Madison, and 12th after losing its Pine and Broadway central spot. Then the COVID-19 crisis led to the closure of all non-essential businesses, putting a halt to its new plans. But as the COVID-19 phases play out, you’ll soon see the studio back in motion in a new part of the neighborhood.

Owner Christy Lillian Opal said that the Pine and Broadway building’s change in ownership from Seattle Central to YouthCare, a non-profit organization with plans for a new center providing services and housing to homeless youth, prompted this move.

“YouthCare bought the building and they didn’t allow us to stay,” Lillian Opal said. “We wanted to stay but they’re an amazing organization and they’re going to be using that space for a really good cause.” Continue reading

Making way for E Olive Way academy, Artful Dodger finds new E Pike home

When CHS broke the news about the next big project on E Olive Way being the kind of surprising, kind of not International Montessori Academy, an important element of the story didn’t get much attention. We’re happy to break some more news — displaced by the new future for its longtime E Olive Way home, Capitol Hill tattoo shop the Artful Dodger is making a few block move to E Pike.

“All of our artists will still be with us, so it will be the same talented team of tattooers that people know and love!” manager Erick Lingbloom tells CHS. Continue reading

Capitol Hill tattoo artist’s restorative work helps breast cancer survivors mark end to battle

IMG_1049For most of his 27-year career, Dark Age Tattoo artist Eric Eye has specialized in realistic portraiture and textural work.

“It’s something that’s come naturally to me,” Eye said about his focus.

About a year before Eye met his girlfriend, she had had a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery in her battle with breast cancer. To get a well done restorative nipple tattoo, she had to travel to the east coast.

“Her story, it really kind of spoke to me. I understood it on a very personal level how much of a transformation it had made for her,” he told CHS.

Not safe for some people’s work warning: A couple nipples below.

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Capitol Hill’s Laughing Buddha ready to turn 20 under new owner

As its 20th anniversary on Capitol Hill approaches, the Laughing Buddha tattoo and piercing shop in Broadway Alley is undergoing some changes including new ownership and plans for a renovation.

After an invitation from the property owners to start a tattoo parlor in the odd Broadway mall, Michelle Hamilton originally opened the shop in 1996. Christy Brooker, owner of Damask Tattoo in Queen Anne, purchased Laughing Buddha from Hamilton last year and is ready to take the shop into its next decade.

“I want to create a welcoming and calm space here,” said Brooker. “We will be completely remodeling the whole space, creating a much more modern feel over the next one-to-two years.” Continue reading

The force is strong in the Artful Dodger and the comic book community on Capitol Hill

Lucky Barnard (left) (Image: )

Lucky Barnard (left) (Image: Nate Leese for CHS)

He named his son Oliver Quinn after the Green Arrow. Now CHS is exploring the comic book side of East Olive Way’s Artful Dodger with owner Lucky Barnard to hear about his plans for expansion into a full-force ink and comic shop. First, a tattoo.

It was perfectly timed. Entering the tattoo parlor and meeting Barnard, CHS witnessed the beginnings of a tattoo sleeve laden with comic book heroes. Draped in tattoos himself with a full beard, spectacles, and a newsboy cap, Barnard tells CHS about the tattoo in progress; lighting up while describing the Marvel characters about to be inked on the man. Barnard said his tattoo shop already has a close relationship to comics._I3A1313

“When people come in here because they haven’t (before) or they discover it; it’s like their hidden treasure, ya know? They come in and go, ‘oh you have all this stuff, this is amazing’ so they come in and get really excited about that,” Barnard said. His origins in the sequential arts — fancy for comics — were influenced by Star Wars, seen in the Boba Fett portrait over his work station next to a dangling Millennium Falcon, and the Green Arrow — Barnard says he is the underdog of superheroes.  Continue reading