Tattoo artists are looking for new ways of income as the lockdown hits

Tattoo parlours are on the long list of businesses that have had a difficult year and lost a significant part of their income

Tattoo artist in her studio
Face masks became standard for tattoo businesses as additional safety for everyone
Credit: Costa Sister Production

With the lockdowns and restrictions, tattoo artists have been looking for different ways to monetise their skills.

The government would often talk about the effect of Covid on restaurants or hairdressers, and we would get clear information about their reopening.

Clear messaging was allegedly missing when it came to tattoo parlours as it wasn’t discussed as much in the news and artists had to call their local council to get the new guidelines when the first lockdown ended.

Under these guidelines, tattoo parlours became appointment only with a limited number of clients in a day.

The guidelines also described the hygiene rules and needed equipment to make the space safe.

Some tattoo artists also thought it was unreasonable to open hairdressers prior to tattoo parlours as they have always kept a high hygiene standard.

Lala Taylor, a tattoo artist from Penarth, said there is still some prejudice about the tattoo business, but they are not a “back of the alley” kind of places.

“Everything I use to clean with, you’d find in a hospital,” said Lala.

Looking for new ways of income

As the artists started losing a significant part of their income, they started looking for different ways to fill up the gap.

The most common option was selling their art prints, creating subscription clubs or selling gift vouchers.

These options are not a long-term solution for them, and they are looking forward to going back to their studios after lockdown.

Lala said that the artists will struggle even more with the second lockdown, but thinks the situation would be even worse without the government’s decision.

Even though we might see some job positions and businesses become obsolete, artists think people will always get tattoos.

As no one knows for a certainty what will next months look like, artists are carrying on the look for new business opportunities.