Ed Crooks catches up with Japanese artist Yutaro during London's Covid 19 lockdown and his current thoughts and feelings of the global pandemic on the tattoo industry.
So how have you been during lockdown? What’s been keeping you busy?
We are doing great. We have 16 month year old baby and he is so active, he keeps us busy for the most of day. Claudia and I made morning routines and switch shifts to take care of him, whilst work on our paintings.
Do you think a lot of tattooers will paint and try stay active?
I’m not sure, I can only speak for myself. I hope they do stay active.
What was your last day in the shop?
My last day working was 14th March. Feels like ages ago now....
How has the pandemic effected you personally and then directly as a tattooer?
I had a little bit of savings so trying to live off of it. Financially it is very very tight. But I’m staying with family and challenging myself with new things (making YouTube video and making new paintings) so that makes me really happy.
I miss the guys from the shop a lot, also miss my customers and tattooing them.
What do you see the industry looking like directly after the pandemic, as I'd say people won't have the money to get tattooed or at least won't be looking at that as something they need to do?
I am really not sure. I have no idea how the economy is gonna be. There is a possibility of another Great Depression. Then there will be much less tattooing sure. I'm hoping that there will be people still wanting to get tattooed.
How much longer do you think the effects of the virus could last on the industry?
I’m guessing just social status alone will take some time to go back to normal, maybe around summer 2021 taking into consideration any development of a vaccine - our tattoo industry may take longer to recover. I hope it’s sooner.
It’s going to make you behind for existing customers too, no? Meaning you will have to honour pre pandemic bookings and wont be able to take on any new for a while, is this going to again drag on the process of getting back to normal even more?
I haven’t got that far yet. I just want to see my customers and I miss them! Scheduling wise, I have no idea how is going to be. I will make sure things will work for everyone involved.
I have a feeling we might be seeing a ton of flash days from a lot of shops once its all over. Would you agree?
Maybe ? It could be great promotion for tattoo shops.
What’s your view on how the UK has dealt with the pandemic?
They started quarantine too late, not closing the tube, public transportation restrictions too late....
A lot things were too relaxed in the beginning. People didn’t take it serious either. My friends told me that people are having pub closing parties when the government announced all pubs and restaurants to close. Now look how many people are dying - close to 1000 people a day. I could see it coming from miles away, like China and Italy is going through. But then I was impressed by how government reacted when they realised this is a very serious matter. I wish that reaction was made earlier.
I hope everyone is doing okay, especially the people at the hospital working. I pray for everyone in any dangerous situation right now.