Tattoo parlours rammed as city's love for ink grows

Demand for tattoos in Norwich rose significantly post-lockdown.

Demand for tattoos in Norwich rose significantly post-lockdown. Pictured is Carl Green, owner of Rudeboy Studios. - Credit: Archant

Demand continues to rise for tattoos across the city's parlours.

And according to bosses, customers appear more determined than ever to get inked.

Carl Green, manager at Rudeboy Studios, said: "I think it's because people have that 'just do it' attitude in case there's another lockdown.

"People have more of a drive now and don't want to miss out."

Mr Green has been the owner of Rudeboy Studios since 2001, having run his shop from its premises in Orford Place since 2010. 

Carl Green, owner of Rudeboy Studios, and some of his team.

Carl Green, owner of Rudeboy Studios, and some of his team. - Credit: Archant

He admitted that various lockdowns were challenging for both his staff and customers.

He added: "With what we do, you can't work at a social distance. It's very hands-on.

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"We missed our customers and they missed us too."

He added that since returning to work demand has remained higher than before the pandemic.

"I've had a lot of people use holiday money on a tattoo due to the uncertainty of going abroad," he said.

Ednardo Ziani, owner of The Hermit Tattoo, in Hall Road, echoes Mr Green and said that "demand hasn't slowed" since returning.

Ednardo Ziani, owner of The Hermit Tattoo.

Ednardo Ziani, owner of The Hermit Tattoo. - Credit: Ednardo Ziani

He said: "I'm fully booked for the next six to eight weeks.

"As soon as lockdown finished, everyone wanted to book things. My phone didn't stop ringing."

Mr Ziani, who operates by himself, first started the business in November 2020.

Ednardo Ziani specialises in realism tattoos.

Ednardo Ziani specialises in realism tattoos. - Credit: Ednardo Ziani

He added: "I’ve worked in many shops before but I just like to be on my own as I can give a more personalised approach. 

"My style makes me different. I do lots of realistic portraits and no one does it like me in the city."

Samuel Hill, manager of urbanbull.inkaddiction, in Wensum Street, said that he received a surge of bookings at the end of the year.

Samuel Hill, manager of urbanbull.inkaddiction.

Samuel Hill, manager of urbanbull.inkaddiction. - Credit: Samuel Hill

"We sell vouchers for the studio so they make a great Christmas or birthday present," he said.

"But demand isn't quite as high as when we were initially out of lockdown the first time."

Mr Hill added that one of the biggest trends is the rise of 'ignorance-style' tattoos. These are typically small tattoos with just the lines and without the shading and often they are humorous. 

He said: "It's become very popular with people that wouldn't normally get tattoos.

"We often get matching tattoo requests with newly weds and students seeking to fondly remember their university days."

Where to NEVER get a tattoo? 

According to tattooist Samuel Hill, there are two places on the body that hurt the most. 

“We don’t recommend the palm of the hand or the sole of the foot," he said.  

“With the palm there’s so many nerve-endings that it’s a no-go area. While the foot can easily rub off and hurt too much to be worth it.” 

Experts advise to avoid areas on the body with too many nerve endings, close to bones without much fat or where skin is very thin.  

Rib cages are said to be painful as every time a person breathes, they move their rib cage and the skin above it which can make the feeling of being tattooed much more intense. 

Other areas to avoid are the armpit, neck, spine, ankles and shins.