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Surviving Self-Quarantines: A Toolkit for Tattoo Artists

Surviving Self-Quarantines: A Toolkit for Tattoo Artists

Tattoo Artists7 min Read


For this tattoo artist toolkit, we talk about setting up a creative space, fun projects to inspire, and the best apps to stay connected.

Whether you’re looking to create your dream artist studio, or need new ways to feel motivated during the global coronavirus quarantines, here we cover some seriously awesome ways to beat back the Covid-19 blues. From visiting virtual reality galleries, to creating your own fabric with Spoonflower, and even the best apps to keep in touch with friends and family, here you have a super survival toolkit for self-quarantines.

Fight Corona - created by Paul Fuentes Design #fightcorona

How to Make the Perfect At-Home Studio

Hopefully most artists already have this well taken care of. Carving out a corner of your living room or reinventing an old closet into a haven for creativity is usually one of the first things artists do when moving to a new spot. But if you haven’t done this already, and even if you have, redecorating your space can be incredibly therapeutic. You should feel inspired by your surroundings and this definitely includes your home!

Francis Bacon's art studio #FrancisBacon

Things to Keep in Mind:

Finding Space: If you don’t already have a studio set up, it may be because you do most of your creating in your tattoo shop, or because you simply don’t have the space. But this is where your creativity can come in handy. Any room can become exactly what you need with a little ingenuity. You can use the floor, take a door off its hinges and balance it on some speakers or heavy books or your bed, you can use your kitchen counter, space under the stairs, a closet, a folding table. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Cliche, but absolutely true.

Tattoo artist Servadio's studio #Servadio

Light: Many people think that natural light is best for an art studio, or home in general, but that’s not always the case especially if your artwork relies heavily on color. Natural light changes throughout the day and can cause tonal shifts in the way you see your finished piece. But it’s safe to say: north-facing windows are best in the northern hemisphere and south-facing windows in the southern hemisphere. This will help ease light fluctuations. You can also get Halogen light bulbs; these are the closest to natural daylight, or “white light” that you can find.

Bernard Buffett's studio #BernardBuffett

Clear the Chaos, or Maybe Not…: Although this is touted as the end all, be all, this advice actually may not apply to you. Some artists feel more creative when their home studio is bursting with color, projects, books, and materials scattered around them and there’s a reason for that! A study by the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management actually found that clutter can “inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights…Being creative is aided by breaking away from tradition, order, and convention. A disorderly environment seems to help people do just that.”

Tattoo artist Jeff Sypherd in his studio with one of his paintings #JeffSypherd

Decorate: A sense of spacial renewal can bring a new perspective on your place, especially if you’re not used to spending ample amounts of time there. Surround yourself with images, colors, sounds, and objects that immediately spark the flames of creativity. This is an awesome time to go through old artwork, change up the posters hanging on your walls, or check out all the old fliers from punk shows you’ve saved over the years. Reorganize your art supplies, your portfolio, and you may actually find some cool old stuff you’d totally forgotten about that you may want to sell or hang on the wall.

Once you’ve reinvigorated your home base, you can throw on some music or your favorite movie and start creating killer artworks.

Exercises to Feel Inspired and Motivated:

Set Up a Web Store

This is especially important for artists who are unable to tattoo right now. Good news: there are tons of different sites out there that can help you create the web shop of your dreams and many of them are actually giving artists a break with pricing due to the COVID-19 issues. Threadless has an awesome deal right now with free shop set-up. The great thing about them is that they have tons of different types of merchandise like coffee cups, shirts, pillowcases, shower curtains, even skateboards….but they also handle fulfillment which means you don’t have to make a million visits to your local post office.

Work on Your Client List

Although many tattoo artists have had to close their storefronts for the time being, working on your client list right now will actually help you in the future. Tattoodo has a great tool for artists that makes it super simple to connect with people who would like to get pieces in the coming months. You can also use our Instagram extension to turn your IG followers into clients by having them sign up for your email lists, and letting them request you to their city when travel is up and running again.

Painting by Kristen Liu Wong #KristenLiuWong

Browse Virtual Reality Galleries and Museums

What’s really incredible to see are the many art spaces and festivals that have had to shut their doors are still putting on shows via the internet. Virtual reality galleries are an awesome way to get inspired from the comfort and safety of your home. New Museum, Art Basel, Rikjsmuseum, and VR-All-Art are just some of the many platforms that have turned to the web as another venue to show art and support artists. This is especially great for people who love to travel and experience new spaces but aren’t able to right now. Check out Freight and Volume Gallery in New York, then hop on over to the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art to see some of the best artwork hosted in Seoul, Korea. You can even turn gallery hopping and art collecting into a game with Occupy White Walls. No plane tickets required.

Try Something New

This will especially come in handy if you run out of the art supplies you usually have or are in a bit of a creative rut. Download apps like Stop Motion Studio and make an animated video. Check out sites like Udemy to learn a new skill. Finally sit down and watch all those Master Class videos you paid for, but still haven’t watched. Try printmaking with found objects in your home. Build your own Instagram face filter. Create your own fabric with Spoonflower. Make a paper-maché mask. Breaking up an at-home routine and experimenting with new tools or techniques can sometimes be a catalyst for great ideas.

Tattoo Oranges

If you’re really missing the feeling of a tattoo machine in your hand, it may be time to turn back into time and revisit some of the things you may have done as an apprentice. Tattooing oranges is, obviously, far from the feel of real skin, but you can try out some new techniques or just mess around. It can be cathartic to literally do something just for the fun of it. For those who are fortunate enough to have Amazon Prime, you can also get fake skin delivered or tattoo yourself.


This has some people feeling a bit out of their element, or even intimidated, but meditation is a really powerful way to become centered and more in touch with your creative forces. Especially as the cabin fever sets in, or the mass pandemic paranoia is getting to you, meditating can bring you back to a peaceful point. Keep in mind that the stress of this particular time can affect your body, so releasing anxiety in a healthy manner is very helpful and healthy. There are tons of apps out there like Headspace, Calm, and Buddhify, that can help you dip your toes into mindfulness.

Painting by Joel Melrose #JoelMelrose

Take a Shower. Seriously.

For some people, being stuck at home turns into a pajama party routine very quickly but that can slowly start turning you into a moldy couch potato person who forgets that even though no one else is around, you should still be lookin’ n feelin’ good! Primp up for all those virtual hang out with friends or family! It’ll help you feel refreshed and steer you in the direction of motivated creation, rather than eternal nap time.

Painting by lillipore #lillipore

The Best Apps to Stay Connected

Right now, more than ever, it’s imperative to keep in touch with others. Being under lockdown can have many people feeling like their floating on a life raft far, far away from land. This lack of connectivity can have people feeling alone, depressed, anxious, and disconnected from support systems…so even if you’re having the time of your life during this introvert’s paradise, your friends, co-workers, and family may not be feeling the same way so make sure to check in and put aside some time for them. Remember that love is cyclical: when you give it freely, it automatically comes back to enrich your life. It’s healthy happiness for all.

Below are some of our favorite apps for keeping in touch and we promise that you’ll find at least one that fits with your lifestyle.

Painting by Zac Scheinbaum #ZacScheinbaum


This app was technically set up for businesses, but it’s absolutely free for unlimited amounts of meetings with the ability to invite up to 100 people. What’s super awesome about this particular platform is the layout. It’s set up in a mosaic so everyone can see everyone and they even have virtual backgrounds so you can turn your living room into a beach in the Bahamas!

Marco Polo

Unlike Zoom or FaceTime, Marco Polo works similar to a walkie-talkie but with video as well as audio. This is a perfect option for people who have friends in a different time zone because it means you can make a video, as long or short as you want, and then your friend can watch it and reply whenever suits their schedule. The videos are saved for as long as you want them, and theres a bunch of cute add ons like reaction emoji’s, as well as voice filters that can make you sound like a robot.

Painting by Rodrigo Canteras #RodrigoCanteras


Like Zoom, this is a social meeting app where you can connect with all your friends or family. What’s particularly fun about this one, however, and why millions of people have downloaded it since coronavirus hit, is that you can actually play fun interactive games with people in your group!

Netflix Party

Okay, so…obviously everyone around the world right now is hardcore binging on Netflix. But what’s really great, is that with Netflix Party, a Google Chrome extension, you can actually watch films or shows with other people and chat with them while you’re watching. The video synchronization tool allows you both to watch everything at the exact same time making it super easy to share a special movie night with far off friends.

Justine Morrow
Written byJustine Morrow

Social Producer, Journalist, Editor, and Curator for Tattoodo I am here to support you 🌻 IG: @lathe.of.heaven

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