Despite the Covid-19 lock down many tattooists seem busier than ever. They may have put down their tattoo machines and shut their studios but that hasn't stopped them being creative. Many are keeping busy drawing, painting and sculpting. Yayo blogger Matt Haddon-Reichardt found a dark corner of Facebook messenger and had a quickie with Yayo bad boy Chris Bowater, to find out if a picture really does tell a thousand words.
1. Why did you become a tattooist?
“I always thought it would be cool to become a tattooist so I started tattooing at home then I got offered a place in a studio. It was about two years after that I opened my own Studio. I am pretty much self taught I have picked up a few hints and tips off some other artists in the Industry.”
2. What do you love most about the industry?
“I love doing cool tattoos, meeting new people and enjoying others company, the downside to it is dealing with the arseholes of the world.”
3. Have you ever refused to tattoo someone?
“The only people I have turned away are those under 18.”
4. What is more challenging the physical or psychological process of tattooing?
“I find tattooing more mentally draining due to the concentrating for long periods of time, but I do struggle with back pain.”
5. How did you develop your style?
“I find the realism work natural to me I tend to work fast and soft for reduced trauma. Painting is quite similar to tattooing in that you are working with layers.”
6. Tattooing is very intimate. Do you get your customers opening up to you about their life and problems?
“Yes we definitely hear some funny stories; I feel like a counsellor most of the time!”
7. What Yayo products do you use?
“We use all the foams and green soaps. Yayo Clean and Prime aftercare is very popular in our studio; my personal favourite is the Yayo Guard. Yayo are an excellent company to work with I was fortunate to meet Kirk at a convention we had the same wave length.”
8. Do you think tattooing is one big family?
“I think the industry is friendly but can be bitchy at times but I think you find that in all industries. Despite the bitches I think that overall it’s quite friendly.”
9. Any plans for when the Covid-19 lockdown ends?
“My Plans for 2020 is to leave better than I started and tattoo as much as possible. To get booked in with me people can find me on Facebook, Instagram, email or contacting the studio directly.
10. What do you enjoy doing outside of tattooing?
“I do enjoy drawing and painting in my spare time. Away from art I also love playing golf and watching Motorsports.”
A final thought from the author: "Covid-19 has hit tattooing hard, but its great to see tattoo artists are still busy creating works of art even if they aren't on skin. Social media has proved invaluable in keeping people connected and allowing them to share the art they are working on. Its also enabled me to keep writing for Yayo, so i want to say a big thanks to all the Yayo artists who are meeting me online to talk tattooing."
Yayo... its a family thing.