Latino tattoo artists and studio owners are contributing to the industry’s rapid growth as the pandemic spreads.
Why is this important: Tattooing is a booming industry making over $ 1 billion a year in the United States alone. Its popularity continues to grow – its market size is estimated to increase by 23% this year – and ink artists are influencers on Instagram and other platforms.
Details: Latinos now make up 21% of all tattoo artists in the United States, the second largest group after non-Hispanic whites, according to data compiled by career site Zippia.
- Several of these tattoo artists are in high demand and have thousands of followers on social media.
- One of the most well-known Latino artists is Freddy Negrete, a tattoo pioneer known for creating black and gray tattoos with shadows, in what is known as the Chicano style.
- Latino tattoo art now also extends in styles and colors, from fine line to floral, with several artists incorporating their indigenous roots into designs that mimic Otomí, Mapuche or Huichol art.
The context: A 2019 Ipsos poll found that 30% of Americans have at least one tattoo and 36% of non-white respondents said they were inked (the poll did not include an ethnic breakdown).
- Almost all said they did not regret getting a tattoo.
What is happening: Tattoos have been controversial for many years, seen as signs of gang affiliation and past crimes, especially among Latinos and Blacks.
- But they’re gaining acceptance, in part because of their popularity among celebrities and professional athletes, tattoo artist Nikko Hurtado told Radar Telemundo.
- Disney, where 27% of workers are Hispanic, recently changed its dress code to allow visible tattoos.
Yes, but: Latino immigrants and asylum seekers are still sometimes discriminated against and accused of belonging to gangs just because they have tattoos, regardless of their imagery.
- Tattoo removal remains popular, especially for former Latino gang members, who typically have tattoos on their faces or hands that refer to the group they belonged to, or for Latinas who are victims of sex trafficking and abuse. Brand.
- Gang intervention organizations and job training programs for people who have left gangs also offer tattoo removal services. There are also groups that offer free camouflages.