Saskatchewan artists want to make the tattoo industry more inclusive

According to tattoo artists, this industry has always been exclusive and patriarchal, dominated by men. Therefore, harassment and inappropriate behavior are widespread.

The place where I started this trade was definitely the dirtiest and darkest place and it was more intimidating. I have noticed that many people do not feel comfortable in this placePenny remembers (Bread) Desboro, a tattoo artist who opened his shop, Painful Beautiful Tattoosin Saskatoon in 2021.

Penny (Pain) Desborough works on her mother’s tattoo. It is a black and gray owl with protective grasses and a zodiac wheel.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Kendall Latimer

Tattooing is such a delicate business that you invest in yourself, so it’s very important to us that people feel comfortable.describes a tattoo artist collaborating with a diverse group of artists and owners to create their own environments while providing inclusive spaces for an equally diverse clientele.

According to him, there have been reports of inappropriate behavior from both artists and customers within the industry.

Such an easy terrain for a predator. »

quote from Penny (Pain) Desborough, tattoo artist

However, according to colleague Nicole (Sly Nick) Boczula, another tattoo artist Painful Beautiful TattoosThe perspective of the tattoo industry has seen a shift with the arrival of female artists, non-binary artists and queer artists into this universe.

Photo by tattoo artist Nicole (Devious Nick) Boczula of Painfully Pretty Tattoos.

According to Nicole (Devious Nick) Boczula, the perspective of the tattoo industry has changed with the arrival of female artists, non-binary artists and queer artists.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Kendall Latimer

For him, Painful Beautiful Tattoos it is an advanced version of an industry built mainly by men.

It started with criminals, sailors, bikers, I mean more macho areas of society.Nicole (Devious Nick) says Boczula.

This is not the industry for you

In turn, Dominica (Domi Compounds) Janowczyk is a co-owner Boo Radley Tattoos Regina and new Mockingbird Tattoo In Calgary.

Back then, when I was looking for a place to learn the art, I met a few tattoo artists, mostly old-school white cisgender men, who told me it wasn’t the industry for me.reminiscent of Dominican (Domi Compounds) Janowczyk pointed out that her two stores prefer to hire women and gays who are anti-racist and body-positive.

Photo by Dominika (Domi Inks) Janowczyk, co-owner of Boo Radley Tattoos in Regina and the new Mockingbird Tattoos in Calgary.

Dominika (Domi Inks) Janowczyk is the co-owner of Boo Radley Tattoos in Regina and the new Mockingbird Tattoos in Calgary.

Photo: Scott Goodwill

For him, communication between the tattoo artist and the clients should be a priority, as he believes that there are still many tattoo artists who abuse the limits of their clients.

Inclusivity is our responsibility

It’s also owner Haley Gardiner’s mission Honey Bee Tattoo Collective In Saskatoon, it strives to champion inclusion and accessibility by choosing a location with a welcoming atmosphere and elevator access.

Photo of Hayley Gardiner in a tattoo shop.

Haley Gardiner opened Honey Bee Tattoo Collective in Saskatoon in 2020.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Kendall Latimer

I got to a point where I thought about leaving the industry because I didn’t feel like there was a place for me.says Haley Gardiner, who went on to open her own tattoo shop in 2020.

It is our responsibility to make this industry enjoyable for everyone. »

quote from Haley Gardiner, owner of Honey Bee Tattoo Collective

Movements have taken place across Canada to speak out against violence and harassment in the tattoo industry.

In 2020, Regina’s tattoo scene is under intense scrutiny. An Instagram account dedicated to sharing anonymous stories of sexual abuse has posted serious allegations of harassment and abuse. Customers demanded accountability, and artists supported those who said they were inked.

With files from Kendall Latimer

Posted in Art

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