A tattoo inked in the arm of a Tattoo fanatic (Image Source: Body Canvas Tattoos)
A tattoo inked in the arm of a Tattoo fanatic (Image Source: Body Canvas Tattoos)

Ahead of World Tattoo Day: Body art enthusiasts' dilemma deepens, amidst COVID-19 pandemic

ANI | Updated: Jul 16, 2020 01:41 IST

By Shagun Taank
New Delhi [India], July 15 (ANI): With the number of coronavirus cases skyrocketing each day, people's wait to indulge in body-art activities doesn't seems to end anytime soon just like the ongoing pandemic.
One of the most cherished body arts that brighten up a lot of hearts is that of getting the canvas of the human body inked with designs that resonate with emotions, feelings, and most often the contemporary issues.
But, as liberating as the act of tattooing seems during the time when we have nothing much to indulge in, it is equally hazardous as the procedure involves engraving one's skin with a needle opening it up for the virus to readily enter the body. Hence, the Covid crisis has massively hit the tattooing industry with very few people taking the risky route to the art.
"The pandemic has impacted all businesses including the Tattoo and piercing industry. However, since Tattooing is one to one job, the loss is high on our industry. Fear of pandemic is the biggest struggle we are facing as people avoid to step out unnecessarily," Mumbai based tattoo artist Vikas Malani told ANI.
"People are highly cautious about the places they visit, most of them avoid the non-essential stores and shop, because of which we face a drop in the number of client visits. In fact, most of the clients who visit our studio are regular customers and who don't find time in their regular schedules," he added.
After a dry spell of almost three months, most of the tattoo places of the country opened up during the first phase of Unlock.
Despite the drop in their business, most tattoo places are taking precautions and allowing only a minimum number of clients at a given time in the tattoo studio.
"We ensure that all our staffs wear a double mask and sanitize the studio every three hours. We also ask our staff to wear different dresses while commuting and while working. We also recommend our customers to book an appointment, so as to ensure that only one customer stays inside at a time," said Vikas who owns BodyCanvas, a tattoo studio.
"Due to a decrease in the number of clients, we function with minimal staff. We also avoid tattoo/piercing to the customers who have non-chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart problems. This rule applies to our staff as well, because they are under the high-risk category," he added.
While people are back to performing their usual life activities with the Unlock in place, tattooing is something that they are still avoiding with the given risks around the practice.
"I have been wanting to get a tattoo done for a long time but the thought of pain associated with the act had always pulled me back. After a lot of thought, I had decided to get inked on my birthday which falls in April but this sudden lockdown and coronavirus scare has made me all the more paranoid," said Akanksha, a Gurgaon-based Instructional Designer.
"More than the pain, I am scared of contracting the virus now because tattooing involves a lot of physical contact and with the spurt in cases every day, you never know who is safe. As much as I want to get myself inked, I would prefer to wait for the situation to get better," she added.
Although many have chosen to wait hoping the situation will improve, others have made peace with the fact that they will have to live with the virus and the situation can't stop them from getting the tattoo that they have wished for a long time.
Mumbai-based Tattoo buff Dinesh Ingle spoke to ANI about how he decided to get a tattoo done on his shoulder amidst throes of a pandemic and how his tattoo resonates with what the world is going through at the moment.
"I got this tattoo done on June 9 when Unlock 1 happened. I have quite a few of these already, but this recent design is more related to what is going around in the world right now, not just coronavirus but also how humans are responding to it," he said.
"Even before the lockdown, I had this design on my mind, and then suddenly lockdown was announced. I then thought maybe I should wait but then that wait was never-ending and it was already three months and the design that I had in my mind was quite resonating with what is going around so I didn't want it to die out," he added.
An interesting thing about the pandemic that Ingle stressed is that people these days are more cautious than ever due to the virus scare. Tattooing has always been risky but with the extra precautionary measures these days, it also makes a good time to get oneself inked.
"I do agree that given the situation outside you are going to scared but honestly when I went to the studio, I found there were fewer people and more cleanliness than the usual days. I, therefore, feel that it is the best time to get the tattoo done because people are more cautious than ever now," a 33-year old Automotive designer said.
"Honestly the situation will not change overnight. Write it down on a piece of paper, get a tattoo of it. The situation is not getting better in the next 2 years and you have to live with it. If you want to get tattoos just get it done. Just ensure safety measures and go for it," he added.
As the World Tattoo Day is all set to knock on our doors on July 17, seems like several canvases this year will remain devoid of the art that etches memories on human bodies. (ANI)