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Tattoo Artists & the Pandemic: A Look at Reopening and How Tattooing Has Been Affected by COVID-19



When the global pandemic hit and the world was forced to go into lockdown, tattoo artists, like so many others, were completely unable to work. Artists who own their own shops struggled to get any sort of assistance via PPP loans as bills and rent piled up, while tattooers who worked as independent contractors had trouble obtaining unemployment benefits and figuring out what they could do to bring in some cash. Many had trouble finding any inspiration to create while their lives were turned upside down.

Now there is some light at the end of the tunnel as tattoo shops are beginning to open up around the world. But don’t think that this means a return to normal—today’s tattoo industry will look very different than the one we left behind a mere three months ago. There will be new safety regulations and protocols that will take some getting used to, for both artists and clients. We spoke with 10 artists from all over the country (and Australia!) to hear about how they’ve been affected by the lockdown, what steps they are taking to ensure everyone’s safety when they open up, what clients can do to help things run smoothly and what they missed most about tattooing.

Note: All of these interviews were recorded over Zoom calls, so the picture quality and sound is a little below our usual standards. Please bear with us.

#Inked #TattooArtists #Covid19 #Coronavirus #Pandemic #TattooShops #Tattoos #SmallBusiness #Reopening #Reopensmallbusiness #Tattooers

Artists featured in this video:
BJ Betts:
Joe Capobianco:
Nick Colella:
Kelly Doty:
Deanna James:
Pony Lawson:
Danny Lepore:
Chris Showstoppr:
DJ Tambe:
Luke Wessman:

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23 Comments

  1. I love Kelly; no matter how green her hair is and how pale she 'trys' to appear, she looks amazing.
    Such an expressive face and gorgeous brown eyes.
    I'm debating whether or not to get my first tattoo, just to meet her–She's only an hour away from where I live.

  2. I got a tattoo right after everything opened. It was by apt only, you had to have a mask (yes, I wore it during the tattoo. It wasn’t bad), they made me use hand sanitizer the second I walked in and even took my temp.

  3. Makes me feel a lot better hearing that even the professionals are having a hard time staying creative! It sucks cuz all this free time you wanna take advantage of but yeah, still a struggle.

  4. As long as all these people know THEY ARE NOT ESSENTIAL tattoos are a huge luxury there really is no need for the industry to open until this shit is done

  5. I understand that paying more or tipping better is ideal but don't they realise everyone is affected by Covid? It's wrecked us all financially.

  6. I absolutely love Kelly… she's an amazing artist, funny af, tells it to you straight, n love her fashion style !!! 🥰 Looks like she's losing weight too…hell yeah girl you keep doing you!!! 💚🖤

  7. I’m glad I live in Atlantic Canada where we haven’t had any active cases in over two weeks so tattoo studios (in my province at least) are now open with only you and the artist, with all the artists staggered and everyone wearing masks. I’m glad we were closed for awhile tho since every business that wasn’t essential is closed we were able to contain the virus and now get to slowly open up and see how it goes