Tattoo artists waiting for reopening date from state leadership

Tattoo artists waiting for reopening date from state leadership

VICTORIA, Texas – As beauty and nail salons open their doors to customers, tattoo artists across the state are wondering when they’ll be able to get back to work.

Leonard Popp, also known as Puppet to his clients and friends, is a member of Texas Tattooers United and owner of Primal Instinct Tattoo in Victoria. 

The shop has been in operation since 1995, one of the longest-running parlors in the area. 

Starting March 11, the tattoo parlor began implementing social distancing safety measures in response to COVID-19 before being completely closed down by Governor Greg Abbott’s orders on March 31, along with gyms and massage establishments. 

“Government leaders have no answers for us,” Popp said. “We’re just being told nothing.”

Now months later, it’s May, and Puppet, along with other tattoo artists, is waiting for a re-open date. 

At Primal Instinct Tattoo, artists rent their own spaces and are independent contractors, which means, it’s not likely they’ll see a stimulus check and the parlor has already been denied funding via the Payment Protection Program, a fund which has already gone dry.

“We would really like to be considered for May 18 or the end of the month,” Popp said. “We’re drowning.”

In the meantime, Puppet says all they can do now is wait and hope for a response from state government leadership.