"It's scary." That's how Bradley Farrell, filmmaker, tattoo artist, and CEO of the social networking site eCirkit, describes what it's like to drive his matte black Ferrari 360 Modena on the track. "Even if you drive really well on the road, it's a totally different feel on the track, especially when you're throwing around a $150,000 car. You don't want to throw it into the wall." Farrell, 33, got into racing Ferraris after he sold his Long Island tattoo shop, High Rollers Tattoo, to a friend in 2005.
Farrell opened the Hicksville shop in 1997, and over the years, filled it with a ping-pong table, a skateboard ramp, a gigantic shark and eel tank, and a wealth of celebrity guest artists, including Chris O'Donnell, Timothy Hoyer, and Grime. And though he did some of the tattoos himself, he admits that while he was learning he wasn't very good. "They always say the only way you can learn how to tattoo is by tattooing guinea pigs. And the guinea pig is basically your stupid friend. There have been plenty of stupid friends who I've misspelled things on and done portraits on that ended up looking like Robert De Niro when they should look like their baby."
Despite the friends and the shark tank, after eight years of running the shop, Farrell was burnt out. "When I sold the tattoo shop, I hated tattooing. I thought it was a mediocre art form and everything was being done and done and done. Everybody wanted to be Ed Hardy or Horiyoshi and nobody wanted to be themselves, except for a few tattooists, like Grime, who really stood out. I felt it was a freedom of expression that became such a mainstream thing and a scene, so I moved away."
Farrell moved on, investing his time in filming pro skateboarders, racing exotic cars—including the Ferrari—and developing the concept for eCirkit, a social networking site that launched this past New Year's Day. The site is a "web-top," which means it operates like a desktop, allowing you to open windows and access data wherever you go by offering each user a gigabyte of space on the site. It also features a tool called the Social Penetrator that lets you grab your information from Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, or eBay and insert it into your eCirkit profile. It's a site that has a chance for success, but Farrell is in the middle of selling it since he feels he accomplished his goal. "I set out to create something from nothing and have it be organic and cool. Right now, I'm just enjoying life and filming and spending time for my family."