We’re going to write January off as the first pancake of 2021.
Being back at work takes some of the shine off of the new year celebrations.
January-be-gone! Let’s kick it off again – new month, new start, and nothing says “come at me 2021”, like a fresh tattoo.
For many who are thinking of taking the plunge, their primary concern is whether or not it’s safe to get inked during the pandemic.
The reality is that tattoo shops were better prepared than most. Any shop worth its salt was already keeping things sterile and making sure that the environment was as safe as possible for clients.
If you’re unsure what to look out for when choosing a tattoo shop, here’s a handy guide:
A professional vibe
Having looked around online, you’ll start the process with a phone call, text, email, or DM on social media. Are the staff friendly and helpful? Professionalism is everything. You need to feel comfortable in the space.
Do your homework
These days you’ll find just about every shop out there on social media. Check out the tattoo artists and their work before you book one of them to ink your design. You need to find the right person for the job whose style complements what you’re after.
Don’t pick the shop with the cheapest tattoos
You get what you pay for. It’s better to spend a little more on a professional, experienced, and accomplished tattoo artist than pay less and end up with an awful tattoo. The tattoo is going to be on your body forever, so consider it an investment.
Top-level shops are committed to complete sterility and cleanliness. Their space is immaculate, tools are treated with the same care as a surgeon, and all of their needles and tubes should be medical-grade and disposable. Everything should be individually packaged and sterilised. The ink caps, where artists hold the ink, should also be single-use, disposable, and fresh each time.
Right now, the shop should also have measures in place to enforce physical distancing. Top-level shops are staggering appointments so that there are fewer people, spaced further apart. Artists are wearing masks and aprons and no one is allowed through the door without PPE.
Surfaces are wiped down with alcohol regularly, and shops like Metal Machine have even ramped it up with air purifiers.
Now that you know what to look for, let’s chat about that new tattoo.
To inject a few good vibes into the world, Lee Herbert, working out of Metal Machine, will be giving away a free tattoo.
Lee has been tattooing for 16 years. He started out at Wildfire, and from there went to work at some of Cape Town’s best tattoo shops. He has a diverse portfolio but specialises in black and grey and illustrative tattoos:
Lee is giving one lucky person the chance to win one of these classic beauties*:
If you’d like to throw your hat (arm, leg, whatever) into the ring for the chance to win a free tattoo, here’s how to enter:
View this post on Instagram
Competition closes on Friday, February 12, so get to it.
Oh, and you have to be in Cape Town. Sorry, Jozi (and everywhere else).
The winner will be announced on Instagram, following which Lee will be in touch to set up an appointment.
He has been tattooing me for years, and I legit won’t let anyone else near my skin.
So, competition aside, if you’re keen to book an appointment, send him a DM on Instagram and he’ll get back to you to sort out a time, place, and design.
Fresh ink does a body good.
*The tattoo chosen/won cannot be altered or replaced with another design.
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