Dawn Mounce and Stanley Cup Hangover tattoo (photos by DG Photography, House of Ink)
If you think you're a die-hard fan, check out the artwork Dawn Mounce had tattooed on her leg to commemorate the Los Angeles Kings' second Stanley Cup. It took 16 hours of work by tattoo artist Sean Heirigs, but the result is impressive.
Dawn Mounce bleeds black and silver. Or purple and gold. Or whatever color scheme the Los Angeles Kings are sporting that day. Now, with the help of graphic designer Eric Poole and tattoo artist/pal Sean Heirigs, Mounce is oozing every shade of her team spirit and then some via a stunning playoff-themed tattoo.
A veterinary technician by day and Kings die-hard the rest of her waking hours, Mounce personifies the super fan. She says she fell in love with the club as a child in the late 1970s, is a season-ticket holder and even attends club practices sometimes on her days off. And she’s been doing it since before it was fashionable. “Both of my kids were raised in a hockey environment,” she said. “In fact, the first outfits they ever wore as babies were Kings outfits.” She got the idea for the body ink when, while surfing the ‘Net, she came across Poole’s depiction of the 2014 playoffs, a piece he called “Stanley Cup Hangover.” The de facto mural portrays a representative cartoon-like image/mascot from each of the 16 playoff teams in a colossal heap. Fifteen of them are injured or sick, having been knocked out of contention and swooning from the intensity of the NHL playoffs. The Kings’ mascot, Bailey, stands at the top of the pile, triumphantly holding the Stanley Cup. Mounce contacted Poole about using the image for a tattoo and he was happy to oblige. He only asked that he get to see the finished product.
At that point, Mounce turned to tattoo artist Sean Heirigs. A self-proclaimed Kings’ devotee since Wayne Gretzky’s arrival in 1988, Heirigs made something of a SoCal splash in 2012, during the Kings first Cup run. He offered free tattoos to all comers if his hometown team won it all. When the dream became reality, his Venice Beach studio,
House of Ink, was flooded with patrons wanting the freebie, the lines flowing out the door and onto the street. Heirigs, who has done work on Kings players such as Mattias Norstrom, Ian Laperriere and and Jason LaBarbera over the years, said it was a labor of love. “When we won the Stanley Cup I was there with tears flowing down my face,” he says. “I was so proud. So when people ask do you regret saying that you would do them for free, no way.” This time around, after some hesitancy – he didn’t want to jinx Darryl Sutter and the boys – he made a similar offer: if L.A. won again, he’d do free Stanley Cup tattoos, and give 50 percent off Kings ink. Again, his generosity of spirit meant a ton of unpaid effort. His pride and joy, however, is the Stanley Cup Hangover. He didn’t have to think twice about accepting the job when Mounce floated the idea. “When she showed me the artwork, I was blown away,” he said. “Eric Poole knocked it out of the park.” After three sessions, 16 hours in the chair and some pain endurance – "Sean said my new swear word was 'shin bone!' Mounce quipped – the epic was complete. “I'm grateful that she chose me to do her tattoo,” Heirigs said. “Her tattoo is just as special to me is it is to her.”
When images of it starting appearing online, it played to mostly rave reviews, but there were doubters. It looked so vibrant, some commenters questioned its authenticity. “I know there are many cynics out there as well as many (Kings) haters,” Mounce said, “but I do know that I will be thinking of them when I get to hug and kiss the Stanley Cup for a second time.”