How does an artist socially distance when their job requires them to be inside shut vary of one other individual? Most tattoo outlets have reopened with protecting precautions however how has that affected the tattoo business? And in the end, the artists? Hayley Osborn interviewed tattooist Cassandra Knox of Oleander Tattoo in Ravenswood about her expertise and what ink fans can anticipate shifting ahead.
What was your expertise with shelter-in-place?
I had simply opened the studio in January, so it was new for me to have my very own non-public house. Myself and my co-worker Sydney each determined early on to shut up store as a result of all of my household is in New York. The extra I used to be listening to, the extra I knew that was going to be the flip of occasions right here. So I used to be like, “Let’s simply be secure as a result of that is on the market.” And it was terrifying. I discovered the house, labored out a lease and began taking purchasers. However being a brand new enterprise and being instructed two months in you can’t work was terrifying.
How is the tattooing expertise completely different now?
We stagger appointments so it’s not more than two working at a time. When it comes to folks not with the ability to convey different folks, we have been already imposing that earlier than there was a pandemic. Once I tattoo, I don’t need anyone else within the space moreover the individual getting tattooed. It’s extra sterile that approach. It’s a really intimate factor that’s taking place between a tattooer and their shopper and it’s nearly distracting to have one other individual round. Additionally the masks factor is so unusual. We’re simply making an attempt to do all the things as safely as attainable… nevertheless it’s unusual. When I’ve consultations with folks I’ve by no means met you possibly can’t even actually see what your shopper seems to be like as a result of they’ve a masks on the entire time. That’s why we rely very closely on verbal cues right here, all of us examine in on our purchasers periodically to see that they’re okay.
Have you ever seen any traits because you re-opened?
Simply the sheer quantity of individuals desirous to get tattooed proper now’s insane. Each tattooer that I’ve talked to is having the identical subject proper now, all people desires to get in without delay. Of us have simply gone a bit stir-crazy being at house. So all people desires a haircut, all people desires to get their nails carried out, all people desires a tattoo, as a result of these are issues that we haven’t been in a position to do for months.
Is there something in regards to the tattooing expertise that you really want readers to know?
I’d like to the touch on the entire intimacy factor. A part of what we’re seeing extra of now’s non-public studios which might be inclusive, comfy. You’re coming by appointment-only, you’re not in a store surrounded by a bunch of dudes ogling. Individuals are beginning to understand that with the tattoo and the permanence of it there additionally must be a superb expertise. I’ve tattoos on my physique which might be beautiful and flawlessly carried out however the individual was harsh or the expertise sucked and I’ll at all times tie these experiences to that piece. We have to give folks extra comfy areas the place they will get tattooed. That was a part of my reasoning for desirous to open a studio, I used to be like, “It doesn’t should be like this.” Anyone can are available in and have a very great expertise and never be bullied into getting a design they don’t need, or body-shamed or talked to love a dummy. In Chicago, we’re super-fortunate as a result of there are such a lot of proficient artists and so many cool queer, women-owned companies opening up which might be creating areas which might be comfy.