Well it all depends on where you go I suppose. As it is with any business.
So, is it safe to get a tattoo during a pandemic?
I for one think yes! But there are some things you need to consider.
I’ve heard stories of some shops here in Tucson cramming artists and clients into a shared space… while that doesn’t sound too bad, it totally increases the chances of a small blood borne pathogen transmission, or in times like today a viral airborne or contact spread incident.
That’s a risk I’d rather avoid. My personal clientele and that of my shop are higher end folks that are accustomed to a personal experience where their health is the highest priority. I charge premium prices compared to most tattoo artists in Tucson and so, the experience we offer, reflects how serious we take health and safety.
I’ve had a few clients think we are a bit over the top with our sterilizing practices, but that’s ok with me. The majority value what we offer for them! And that, in my opinion, is how all successful businesses run!
Masks are at the center of every conversation lately. And it seems like no one can agree on the usefulness.
I have been around some folks early on that were asymptomatic, and we followed CDC guidelines very strictly.
I put the health and safety of everyone that works at my shop or visits my shop as the highest priority on our list!
We require all of our artists and support staff and even my daughter to be current on blood borne pathogen training as well as covid training!
When you visit our shop, we require everyone to wear a face covering that covers both your nose and mouth, we have put in place a designated area for your non essential items during the tattoo. Purses, keys, backpacks, coats , basically anything you dont need while sitting for a few hours.
Then we ask you to sterilize your necessary items. Phones, chargers, waterbottles etc at our stainless steel station at the entrance.
We follow that up with a trip to the restroom to wash hands, so that you can come back to your clean things, with clean hands.
A quick temperature check and you are ready to get tattooed.
Everyone that comes in, follows this procedure. And it is the best feeling to k me that everyone is safe.
Throughout the day all of the entrance handles, light switches and any high traffic areas are routinely sterilized!
So if you are wondering if it’s safe to get tattooed during the coronavirus pandemic. I assure you that there are places that are putting in the extra effort to lessen your chances of exposure.
My feeling is that, it’s easier to tone down our efforts if we can agree that it isnt that bad, but I sure as hell dont want to be caught off guard if they raise safety protocols.
I for one, do not want to close my business again.
Its seems to me that every single tattoo shop is experiencing unprecedented boom times. So much so that Im seeing post after post on multiple tattoo shop social media pages announcing that they are hiring. I admit, even I have put out the help wanted call for my shop Art and Sol.
As of this writing, Im currently booking for spring of 2021 which is a bit hectic when trying to consider birthdays, holidays, weekend getaways with the family, school breaks etc etc.
Im beyond grateful for the trust when it comes to making tattoos for my clients. In fact, the work Ive been asked to do is really starting to line up with the work that lights me up. The large realistic black and grey work!
The problem for me is, the more of that large realistic black and grey tattoo work I get asked to do, the less time I have for the work that got me to where I am today.
Its quite a new dilemma for me. Which is why I was looking to bring in someone that could use a change. Someone that needed a place to feel like they could grow as an artist and a person with our culture.
My clients deserve the best I have for them, but thats coming at a 5 month wait in some cases for a smaller tattoo.
The best I can come up with is bringing in an artist that shares the same values and moral compass as the shop artistically, and as a business in the Tucson community.
Someone that my clients will feel just as comfortable with as they would with me.
Its less of a financial thing for our shop and more for my clients. I feel a responsibility to make sure they get great tattoos. And not have to wait half a year lol. Or settle for a tattoo artist that they are unsure about.
So I guess the point of this post is to let everyone know that I am actively trying to address my new demand and still take care of everyone that wants to get tattooed.
I do have 3 shop helpers that hope to begin a tattoo apprenticeship with me and that will be a great boost of energy for the shop and to the tucson tattoo community. But til then, Ill practice patience and continue working very hard to make things better for the shop, the artists present and future, and our shop helpers.
Im taking appointments for large black and grey realistic tattoos almost exclusively and my rates have increased to counter the new demand. If you are interested in booking with me text Art and Sol at 520-314-7358 to start the process.
Holy freakin moly, what a year its been. We opened up Art and Sol Tattoo Gallery in October 2019. With stars in our eyes, and hope in our hearts that this was going to be something special. Well… who could have predicted one of the craziest events in modern history.. you know the whole Covid 19 thing. Well, despite the obstacles, we have pushed on and leaned into the wind as it were. While it hasnt been easy for anyone of us, it sure will be memorable.
My personal philosophy was that this was the best thing for small businesses. It created an opportunity to grow and innovate in new ways. The playing field has been leveled and while others wait for a return to normal, Im playing offense and pushing harder than ever before.
Our shop is growing with new energy from our shop helpers (soon to be tattoo apprentices) and new clients!
We are working on making everything we do the best it can be…. which reminds me of a quote… How you do anything is how you do everything. And we are setting the bar higher for ourselves in everything.
October will be 1 year of many. That isnt even a question. But our first year is a testament to our resolve.
Im working on figuring out how we can celebrate the shops birthday together and really make it special. Which, given the circumstances, it will undoubtably be.
If you would like to participate shoot the shop an email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to be featured in our birthday video, send us a happy birthday video to email@example.com
Hey all, great news, for the 3rd year in a row, I’ve been included as a finalist in The Tucson Weekly’s Best of Tucson. Its something that truly makes me proud. I love Tucson. And to be included with really amazing tattoo artists is quite an honor. I love to make Tucson a better place by making tattoos for the people of this community.
Its that wonderful time of year! The Tucson Weekly is accepting nominations for the best of Tucson. Ive been fortunate to be nominated in the top 5 for Best Tattoo Artist the last couple years and would love to keep the streak alive! If youve been lucky enough to have been tattooed in my new shop Art and Sol Tattoo Gallery, then you know all to well that it is the best place to get tattooed in Tucson. If you haven’t, well, we eagerly await you coming down. Not only is the shop super clean and inviting, we also host amazing local artists every month (pandemic permitting) in our gallery space.
So as of today we are officially closed for appointments until at least the 17th of April.
Johnna and I plan to shoot some texts to everyone that will be affected between now and then.
Our plan as of now is to get all of our drawings and design work done, so when this is leveled out and we can have you back in the shop, we will fit you in however and wherever we can!
I am still doing virtual consultations for tattoos, but am booking for august as of now. we can use skype ,google hangouts, messenger, or IG as of now.
So thats the main news here. Im hoping that you are doing well and are able to stay safe if you have to work or stay sane if you are stuck at home.
Our little family just discovered how much we love rock climbing and its killing us not to get over to the rock gym. But we arent sick so we have to be grateful for the right things instead of bummed about the things we cant do.
You have to know that I am a chronic optimist. I try to find the opportunity and drive in most instances…. and this no different. My wheels have been turning for weeks now.
Ill be bringing back The Tattooers Podcast next week, so stay tuned for that…( send me questions youd like to have answered or tattoo artists youd like to know more about)
We want to do everything we can to stay open after all of this.
What kinds of things can we do for you? Limited run T-shirts? Hats? live drawing? Drawing tutorials?
Send me any and all suggestions. I am game to work on things that will make you happy!!
Johnna will be teaching online yoga classes out of the shop too! you can find her on Instagram for now but a youtube channel is in the near future.
Ill wrap this thing up for now, but just know that we are so grateful for you. Art and Sol is a big part of my life, and it wouldnt exist if people like you didnt support it.
So for now, on behalf of Johnna, Molly and Myself, Thank you for everything, and we will see you soon.. online or in person!
Hi Tucson, how are ya? have you been well? thats great… me too. 2019 has been one heck of a ride. Ive been able to do some really fun things this year. One of which was planning and marrying my sweetheart of the last 11 years. Hard to think we could squeeze any more into a 12 month period but I’m trying hahaha.
In fact, its already happened. We made the decision to expand our private studio and create a bigger environment that many artists could use to cultivate their artistic and personal dreams.
Art and Sol Tattoo Gallery is just that. Our little utopian tattoo studio. But not only that. We will also host new local artists each month.
Tucson is filled with 2 of my favorite things. Art and Sunshine ( and tacos)… hence the spelling of sun in our name. So maybe its like 3 things but it doesnt roll of the tongue the same way.
We’ve also added a new website, instagram, Facebook blah blah blah your favorite social media. Ill link to them so you can follow the ones you love.
what else? oh, i almost forgot… We are now offering permanent makeup and paramedical tattooing by appointment. In my opinion she is one of the best cosmetic tattooers in the tucson and you know how picky I am. or if you don’t, just know that i am.
Our first gallery artist is a dear friend that I happen to have 3 paintings in my personal collection Wallace Book… so it was a no brainer to have him show in our gallery first. You need to come down to the gallery to see his work, or if you cant make it, check him out on social media.
Ill keep you posted here but you can also check out our new shop site to get to know the other artists and all the activities we have planned each month. Ill let you know when thats ready. Til then you can follow all the news @artandsoltattoo on Instagram and Wallace Book @wbookart as well as our new artists @off_tatt_molly and @raemorgan315
Hope we see you soon… like real soon. like October 25th at 6pm soon.
It was incredible. To be able to share that space with other Walt enthusiasts was pure Disney Magic. We also checked out Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge which left me vibrating after my smugglers run adventure. The whole area is a must see.
We followed it up with a 7 day Mexican Riviera Carnival Cruise. Its both relaxing and quite demanding. Im still trying to recover from a small cold I had on the honeymoon, while my wife feels like shes still on the boat….
Once I get more pictures from both of our phones Ill post a bit more.
But alas, the rest of this post is a reminder that today is the last day to vote for Best Tattoo Artist in the Tucson Weekly’s Best of Tucson. Im lucky to have been nominated to the top 5 for 2 years in a row but c’mon, winning would be so cool hahaha.
You can cast your votes by clicking here or you can click the button below.
What a month. I just got married and Im a finalist in the Tucson Weekly’s Best of Tucson for Best Tattoo Artist for the 2nd year in a row. Im blown away. Its such an honor that my friends and customers think so highly of my work. As an artist its hard to see what others see, as Im always questing for improvement. Always wanting each piece to be better than the last. Not to say that my work isnt fantastic… Its just the plight of an artist. Never settling for “ok”. Staying up at night worrying about the small details that most never see.
Its truly an honor to be recognized in my community. I learned how to tattoo here back in 2006 and 07. And to be among such amazing artists in the top 5 is mind blowing for sure.
My goal then and now has been to make great tattoos that stand the test of time! True collaborations between artist and collector.
Its my first day back at the studio since I was married on Saturday. There is this crazy haze I’m walking around in… Nothing seems to bother me.
I walked into the tattoo studio this morning to discover there had been a little flooding from our first few monsoon storms of the season ( the first of which occurred during our ceremony) and the power is out on the entire back wall of my studio.
Ill have to rearrange so I can tattoo from a different outlet if we don’t get it fixed soon…. But thats it… Thats the worst case scenario. and its not that bad.
I feel like normally I would be in a state of panic.. Not the kind of panic that creates more problems, but the kind that distracts me from getting the right things done in the right order… Im married now. Which outlet I use to make tattoos is a very small issue. My wife has entrusted her heart to me…. That.. is a very big responsibility that I will handle with the highest urgency and regard.
I’ve heard of Pregnancy brain.. You know…. where you kind of get a little spacey… My wife has even exposed me to yoga brain after I’ve taken one of her classes at Yoga Oasis…. But this. This feels different. Or maybe its the same.. Im just content with all things good and bad. There is a peace that has washed over me…
Is this Honeymoon brain? Is this ” thank god the stress of the wedding planning is over” brain? Perhaps a little of column A and little of column B? Who cares? I sure dont.
Ive got a couple weeks til the honeymoon actually takes place. Which is nice. A little more time to relive the memories of one of the best weekends of my life.
Weve been pouring over the pictures all of our guests have taken. I could look at them all day long…. My wife and I were stunning ( she was 1000% out of my league then and now). The Hotel Congress was a main character in our wedding story as well, and she looked marvelous. Not bad for being 100 years old either!
The weekend was fantastic… From our favorite people flying in to celebrate with us. To our closest friends doing everything in their power to make us feel as if we were the center of the universe( Bobby Cyndi/Erika Jenn/Oli Jay). To my wifes tear jerking vows ( she was unamimously voted the winner of the vows haha). Our first dance… Dancing with my daughter to the Toy Story Theme Song that she picked for us. And the epic after party that so many of my clients and friends attended. It was pure Magic. ( it didnt hurt that we actually got married on Walt Disney and Lillian Bounds wedding anniversary either)
I thought for a second that I might be crazy enough to want to do it all over again (which I would in a heartbeat) but I think Ill be OK with a one and done.
Weve got some great things in store for the tattoo studio. Just had to get through this wedding business and the honeymoon and then itll be back to business.
Ill wrap up with some personal insights and a list of thank yous…
I wanted to mention what I personally took away from this… This was one of the very first times that I was able to focus on myself and my family exclusively.. Im sure you understand. In everything I do, I wonder what someone thinks about me… if they approve of what Im doing or if they are judging me. I think we can all be guilty of that from time to time… In fact, we had set expectations in our minds in regards to how the night would play out… how the family would get along, what would people wear ( semi formal was the code) and so on. I worried about that stuff… I really did.
It was all for nothing… At the end of it all. It was my wife and I floating around the room smiling and happy together.. The rest of the world didnt matter. Maybe I just needed to be married to her this whole time (11 years later).
I feel more unstoppable than ever before. and if things don’t go as planned. Im still married to my best friend. There is no downside in life anymore. We have our daughter and each other.
A huge shout out to our host, the lovely and aging so gracious Hotel Congress. It is truly my honor to be a part of your history. Specifically Melissa and her team in the Copper Hall. From day one with her we knew it was going to be her that made this day and weekend what it was. I only wish I had more events to host so I could visit with her weekly… Please do yourself a favor and consider her when looking to host any event. Thanks Melissa.
And of course for capturing all of the evenings festivities, a huge thank you to Sergio our Photographer. His skill are second to none. The most common issue we ran into while talking with other couples was their photos. We took our time and made sure to find the right person… and Sergio is hands down the best decision we made. Thanks
Jocelyn, Nate and Miriam at the front desk were incredible as well. We felt right at home for our stay. As did all of our guests. Im already planning on booking my next stay.
Matt at the Cup cafe was incredibly accommodating to my everchanging reservations for my family to join me for a post wedding brunch.
Keith and Mike in the Lobby bar were equally amazing. Making sure my cup never runneth dry haha.
All in all, the Hotel Congress and all the staff made sure our weekend and wedding day was exactly what it was supposed to be. This was the epitome of hospitality. I really can’t stress this enough. Im looking forward to enjoying this Tucson gem for years and years to come!
Have you ever stayed at Hotel Congress? What did you think? share your thoughts in the comments or this post with someone thinking about hosting there!