It’s been three months and seven days (who matters?) Since my last tattoo, and I know one of the first things I’m going to do, when it’s safe to do, is get a new one . I think I might even want that new tattoo itch. It might be pushing a bit too far, but I really miss getting a tattoo.
For me, a new tattoo is usually an excuse to see a new part of the UK, a day trip alone or with a friend – an adventure. Where I can get a tattoo, meet a new artist, discover great food and a new place in the process. Last year I even stayed one night, alone in a hotel, which might not be much for some people, but for an anxious person it was worth celebrating. I travel miles and hours to get a tattoo, sometimes booking months in advance to save money and plan my day. In addition to checking train travel and Google Maps, I scour Instagram for restaurants, shops, and things to do after my tattoo.
It’s not just the excitement that a new tattoo brings that allows me to add to my collection. The freedom to add something new to my body, to appropriate and decorate this house in which I live with something that I have chosen or dreamed of. A little collaboration between me and an artist is quite special. It has been a tumultuous, unsettling and disruptive time for many, but I am grateful that it has allowed me to slow down. I was chatting with a friend (on the phone) about how we ended up with even more time to think of new tattoo ideas and meet new tattoo artists. My screen time and tattoo wishlist have definitely increased, but I’m okay with that. With lives on hold, there is space to admire and gaze at our bodies, all the gaps we can fill in and those perfect locations for this new, yet to be created design.
Unfortunately, tattoo artists now find themselves temporarily out of work, but many draw, post new commissions and artwork almost every day. The wave of creativity makes me covet every message, every possible sketch could be my next tattoo. My list of tattoo artists to get tattooed is growing by the minute! In this new expanse where we find ourselves with free weekends and an empty calendar, it seems natural to start booking, buying gift vouchers, or leaving deposits for what looks like almost tattoo dates. imaginary. Claiming these designs before anyone else, filling our walls with tattoo and art prints are ways we can offer to an industry on hiatus.
If anything has helped me reaffirm that tattooing is important, it is the part of my life that I devote to this art. Besides cementing the way tattoos allow me to be my authentic self, they’re even more of my identity than I first thought. Lockdown has also shown us all how fleeting and precarious everything is, showing us what matters and what doesn’t. Before that time, I wondered if people (foreigners) liked my tattoos or if they thought differently from me because I have them. Of course, that doesn’t matter, and I’m not going to let these blockages stop me from getting bigger tattoos. The first new tattoos I get will be on my fingers and they will be glorious.
Words: Rosalie Hurr