HONOLULU (KHON) – Imagine entering a tattoo shop with your friends. They all know what they want, but you’re stuck on what to get. A plumeria? Monstera leaf? What about something with hearts? You can’t decide.
At Tattoolicious in Honolulu, Hawaii there’s a solution for that with the “Get What You Get” machine.
“It’s kind of an upgraded, futuristic version of the ‘drunk tattoo’ that you would get with your friend, right? But it takes out all the bad decision-making in the process,” said Michael Russell, a tattoo artist at Tattoolicious. “It’s a more fun and jovial thing where you don’t know what you want, but you know you want something from Hawaii.”
Roll the dice and take your chance. You might end up with a palm tree, a hibiscus, a little beach or something cooler.
“The idea is to provide options for people who may not be the strongest at just making one decision or don’t care about what they get, per say, as long as it’s done well of course,” Russell continued.
Sean McCready, owner of Tattoolicious, added that the timing feels right to introduce something fun like this. They brought in the machine right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
“People love tattoos, and sometimes they want to just run with spontaneity with their friends,” said McCready. “So they can come in as a group, roll their chances, get a design out and kind of have fun with it together.”
Here’s how it works: For $200, you get two spins, so you can choose between two designs. If you don’t like what you get, pay an extra $20 for an extra spin. There’s over 200 designs in the machine, and the artists are constantly refilling it with new ones.
There’s a lot of classic designs, like hearts and roses, but the machine also has a lot of Hawaii-inspired tattoos as well.
“It’s great when groups come in. It becomes a fun thing where friends will spin for the other friend. We’ve even had little children come in — where obviously they’re not allowed back in the tattoo area — but to be part of the process,” said Russell. “They’ll spin the machine like a gumball machine and they get excited for their parents and vice versa. It’s just a nice, jovial, fun environment that leads to fun, great tattoos.”
Russell gives credit to his friend Ricky Bird, a tattoo artist from Chicago who now has a shop in Florida, for coming up with the idea behind the “Get What You Get” machine about 12 to 15 years ago.
“So it’s been spreading around the country,” said Russell. “We hosted him, and he passed along the idea, since a few of us paint so much. He thought it would be great — he was absolutely correct.”
“There’s nothing that can’t be turned into a good tattoo design,” said Russell. “We just want to thank everybody who comes out and gets tattooed and rolls the proverbial dice, if you will. Good luck, and may you get what you get!”