The Coronavirus Tattoo Boom Is Surely Coming After the Pandemic

The Coronavirus Tattoo Boom Is Surely Coming After the Pandemic

“2020 was supposed to be the year I finally added more tats to the forearm museum—I’d even sketched out fonts and shapes,” says Brooklyn-based writer Chanel Parks. “It’s a bit of a first-world problem,” she says, but, “like most people, I’m mourning the loss of my ability to do the things I planned to do. Now I’m like, fuck, I wanted these tats and I have to wait even longer?

At least anecdotally, Parks is speaking for a lot of people right now. Like longing from quarantine for a late-spring trip to Italy or a cold martini at a bar, the impulse to get inked seems for a lot of people to be a reminder of how much we used to take for granted in the Before Time. Others are looking forward to permanently commemorating making it to the other side of the coronavirus pandemic. Or maybe it’s just cabin fever. Either way, know that if you have the urge to get a tattoo right now, you’re not alone.

A cruel irony of this situation, of course, is that interest in tattoos is surging even as as the parlors and artists behind them are suffering from the coronavirus crisis. Anything that calls for close contact with other people indoors for an extended period is going to be hard to adapt to our new reality, and it’s already deeply troubled time for the tattoo industry.

“I hate to put it this way, but you’re kind of screwed.”

“The tattoo industry has been intensely and doubly affected,” Maxime Plescia-Buchi, founder of the Sang Bleu Tattoo studios in London and Los Angeles, writes in an email. “Because we work with constant physical contact, but maybe more so indirectly because, in spite of tattoos growing mainstream appeal and general integration in society, a lot of tattooists still conduct their businesses as if they were in a sort of parallel world.”

To Plescia-Buschi, who has tattooed the likes of Sophie Turner and [Kanye West], this distance from the mainstream is usually something to celebrate. “Tattooing is that big colorful community where no one will ever get asked what diploma they have,” he says. “You have eyes, you have hands, you have needles and ink, you can be a tattooist.” But for this very same reason, he adds, “unlike any other industry, it doesn’t have any structure where a talented individual would be ‘taken care of’ or managed by another entity focused more specifically on finances, marketing, etc.”

This lack of structure has had its advantages but can bring problems in a crisis. “Artists and studios have little to no back-up plan, and try to avoid a lot of the simple basics that allow individuals to get some sort of support from the system (with huge differences between countries, of course) when things do get bad,” he says. “Most artists and studios saw their revenue stream come to a complete halt with little to no access to the help available through government channels.”

Source : Taylor Trudon Link

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