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Tattoo artist creates Taylor Swift promotion to raise money for Eras Tour tickets

By Ellie Nakamoto-White

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    ALLENTON, Wisconsin (WDJT) — Since 2017, Epic Ink Tattoos in Allenton, Wisconsin has brought thousands of creative ideas to life.

Located at 510 Main St., the tan building houses some of the state’s finest artists — including owner and tattooist Mindy Murphy.

“It’s crazy because as a kid, you know, I thought I wanted to be a ballerina or an architect or a hairdresser,” Murphy told CBS 58’s Ellie Nakamoto-White. “You know you have all these things you aspire to do, and I’ve always loved art.”

She began tattooing professionally a decade ago.

“I don’t know that I ever thought that I’d be able to have a career in art?” Murphy said. “There’s something really amazing to be able to give somebody a piece of you that they keep for the rest of their life.”

And while she’s spent years making other’s dreams happen, it’s her latest special promotion that’s not only drawing attention from across the country — but helping her children’s goals come true.

“I have an eight-year-old son named Maddox and then I have a 10-year-old son named Jax,” Murphy said. “The whole thing started because [Jax] decided to make friendship bracelets and sell them in order to raise money to buy Eras tickets not only for himself but me, his brother, and his best friend, and her mother.”

If you haven’t heard of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, it’s the highest-grossing music tour in history, surpassing one-billion dollars in revenue.

It’s also the one thing Jax and Maddox want to see the most.

“It’d be something I think they’d remember for the rest of their lives,” Murphy said.

The boys’ love for Swift “escalated over the past year” Murphy said laughingly, noting that she herself has listened to the artist since she was a teenager.

Friendship bracelets quickly became a symbol for the Eras Tour, with concertgoers making and trading the jewelry, which is how the boys decided on their latest project.

“After homework [Jax and Maddox] make at least one or two,” Murphy said. “My eight-year-old complains about all the back problems he has because of all the bracelets he’s made.”

Murphy decided to allow the boys to sell the bracelets inside of Epic Ink — but because concert tickets can cost thousands, she also knew she had to step in to help.

So, she spent days working on several 3 by 3 outline themed tattoo designs, using inspiration from Swift’s music.

Normally, a tattoo at the shop is a minimum price of $100 dollars. For the Taylor Swift special, each tattoo costs the customer’s age, with a cap of $40 dollars for ages 40 and above.

All proceeds raised go toward the ticket fund.

“There’s people traveling from Minnesota and Iowa and Illinois,” Murphy said. “It’s really nice to connect with everyone from everywhere. There’s something really amazing to be able to give somebody a piece of you that they keep for the rest of their life.”

And of course, the promo drew attention from Wisconsinites in the area.

“Immediately I was in,” said self-proclaimed “Swiftie” Kevin Mick of Bay View. “[Murphy] took the time to kind of work with me for a couple hours and she had her ideas, and I was like okay, maybe I change that or tweak that, but she did it awesome!”

Mick got two medium-sized Swift-themed tattoos — one on his shoulder and the other on his chest.

“She’s a great storyteller and really even if you aren’t a big pop fan or country fan, if you just read those as poems, they’re amazing,” Mick said. “I just really like to memorialize those moments and I don’t think that’s gonna be something I’ll ever regret.”

For Lily Henschel of West Bend, Murphy’s art marked her fourth Swift tattoo on her arm.

“I’m getting a lighter which is on the album cover of Midnights. Midnights was a really awesome album. I resonated a lot with it,” Henschel said. “I’ve been a fan for as long as I can remember.”

And she’s not stopping anytime soon — her dream is to have an entire sleeve dedicated to Swift’s music.

“Her songs kind of make me feel understood. Like she describes a lot of different emotions that people don’t usually talk about, she makes you feel seen,” Henschel said. “I thought it was so awesome and the fact that Mindy’s trying to raise money to go and take her kids to tour, I was like this is amazing!”

So, as Taylor continues to take on the world, Mindy is working to also leave her mark of a lifetime.

“There’s happy tattoos and sad tattoos and funny tattoos and you know getting to do it all, it’s a career that is indescribable and I can’t imagine ever doing anything else,” Murphy said.

Currently, she has three dates available for the promotion: Feb. 3, Feb. 11, and Feb. 15.

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