BOGOTA – Colombian tattoo artists have had their schedules disrupted as a result of the coronavirus epidemic, which has forced many of them to adapt their private studios before returning to work under strict measures that will enable them to continue inking their clients’ bodies.
Over the past weeks, the government has been resuming economic activities ranging from manufacturing and construction industries to non-essential businesses, as well as setting tentative dates for the resumption of domestic and international flights.
However, the tattooing sector has not yet been able to take off, which worries tattooists such as Dani Martinico, who welcomes clients into his home with all the necessary sanitation measures to prevent contagion.
“It is… important to understand that all these rules are something additional so that we become aware of this situation that we are living. It is important that if the person has a cough in the morning, it is preferable to postpone the appointment until he is completely healthy,” the tattooist tells EFE.
He says the quarantine enforced by the government since March 25 was a “hard blow” and forced him to seek the necessary measures to enable him to get close to his clients without running any risks.
Faced with the uncertainty of the situation, Martinico designed a protocol to reopen his private studio based on the measures enacted by the government for hairdressers, beauty salons and barber shops, instructions that he has adapted to his business.
“Regulations have been pending for a long time and have not been given so far,” he says.
The young man, who has been working in this field for four-and-a-half years, says that in his plan to “isolate any external bacteria” are the mandatory use of a mask and hand washing to protect himself and his clients.
“Throughout the session it is important to have (face masks) for both the tattoo artist and the client. Let’s understand that the essence of all these rules is to protect each other,” he says.
In addition, prospective clients must fill out a form about their health before they can get an appointment, which they must attend unaccompanied.
Martinico considers it pertinent that people understand “that the essence of all these rules,” as uncomfortable as they may be, is the protection of everyone until they can return to “normal life.”
One of Martinico’s first clients is Andrea, a young woman who went to his home studio to get two tattoos, one that says “Amor Vincit Omnia” (Love conquers all) and the other with the word “Resiliencia” (Resilience).
“(The sanitation measures) are very important because you as a client need to have everything aseptic and be sure that wherever you go, you have all the safety protocols they are requiring due to COVID-19 at this time,” the woman says.
In this respect, Andrea appreciates that the procedures Martinico takes are appropriate and make her feel safe, despite the risks of contagion.
Regarding the future of his work, the tattooist considers that the pandemic only changed “some measures to protect each other” but he considers that “the art is still the same, the talent is still the same.”
“Art as such remains exactly the same,” he concludes.