In the footsteps of the phoenix

Two months ago, I sent you my greetings with an editorial that described the personal Decalogue I follow each year for the London Tattoo Convention, which you’re all familiar with. And after being tossed about by a tsunami that’s hit all of humanity, here we are, getting back up onto our feet. A lot has certainly changed in the past two months, and that Decalogue for London now seems to be something dream-like, suspended in the air.

As you know, the 2020 edition of London has been cancelled, so we’ll see one another in 2021. We waited until the last minute to announce this, because we were hoping that everything would go back to normal within a shorter timeframe. But we realized that going ahead with the convention would be unthinkable, and go against everyone’s well-being. We’ve always believed that the beauty of a convention lies in the unique relationships that are formed by taking in the expressions, scents and images around us, in being part of constructive encounters in a context where everyone involved can share something that is not only an art form, but also a very strong, personal passion. So everything is cancelled: London will welcome us next year, and I’m sure that it will be an edition just like any other, full of hugs – we hope – and the direct contact between the tattooist and the tattooed that we’ve grown so fond of.

In the meantime, I’ve taken advantage of this time during the #lockdown, when we’ve all been on hold, to “move the mind – stop your body”: so many of you have shared #moveyourmind on social networks, and this made me understand that a moment like this couldn’t pass by quickly, that it had to be fixed in time and made real through images. This is how the art project PANDéMIA emerged, as a way to express how the tattoo world has reflected on COVID-19, while I’ll tell you about in this issue; thus Art 4 Free was born, to spread tattoo art even more by giving everyone the chance to download an image from one of the Great Books on The Art of Tattooing.

What will happen when all of this is over? Crises, renewal, sweeping changes? I am certain that the tattoo world will be able to rise up from its own ashes, perhaps a bit more polished and aware of itself, and more grateful for the good fortune it’s had over the past decades. And the latter is something that’s often forgotten in the crazy whirlwind of opportunities which life’s temptresses – and often tattooing – offer to each one of us.

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