Body is a can­vas

“This year I did a girl jump­ing off a cliff with a mir­ror of her evil face fall­ing into a shark’s mouth”

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PROVINCE - BY CODY MACKAY news­room@the­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/Cody_MacKay

Hu­man body can be used to dis­play art.

From sim­ple and ex­trav­a­gant to dy­namic and dreary, P.E.I. tat­too artists have seen it all this year.

Pa­trons young and old flocked into tat­too par­lours across P.E.I. this year, making it an ex­tremely busy year for tat­too artists, who, like Aron Scott and Grif­fen Dun­smore, are now be­ing booked months in ad­vance.

Even Christ­mas gift cards for tat­too ap­point­ments, Scott says, have dou­bled from last year.

Scott and Dun­smore are tat­tooists at Artist’s, Ink in Summerside and saw many fas­ci­nat­ing and un­usual ideas come through the doors this year.

“This year I did a girl jump­ing off a cliff with a mir­ror of her evil face fall­ing into a shark’s mouth,” said Dun­smore.

A pe­cu­liar piece, she says, but one of the many she has done that she’s proud of.

She hasn’t done many odd tat­toos, but says: “If you want ba­con and eggs some­where on your body, we’ll do it.”

Scott hasn’t seen many bizarre ideas roll through the doors this year ei­ther, though he wouldn’t shy away from do­ing some­thing wild.

“Peo­ple don’t typ­i­cally get out­landish things,” Scott says, “but it’s fun to do those weird ones be­cause it’s some­thing com­pletely new.”

“I fin­ished a nau­ti­cal half sleeve that ended up be­ing pub­lished in a boat­ing mag­a­zine in the United States,” Scott says, “And there were three con­sec­u­tive days where I did cow tat­toos.”

Re­bechka Es­sim­bre of Eter­nal Dragon Tat­too in Char­lot­te­town hasn’t worked here for long, but no­tices trends among her clien­tele.

“At­lantic Cana­di­ans get a lot of nau­ti­cal stuff, but infinity sym­bols were huge this year. Ev­ery­one and their dog got one,” Es­sim­bre said.

She spent many hours this year work­ing on touch­ing up old tat­toos, work­ing on smaller pieces and cover-ups.

As al­ways, Es­sim­bre says, skulls were ever pop­u­lar this year, maybe more so than be­fore.

Es­sim­bre is no stranger to the pain of a nee­dle her­self and ad­mits she likely gets the more strange and wild tat­tooed than any of her clients.

“I’ve been get­ting tat­tooed ev­ery week this year,” she says, as she pulls up her pant legs and re­veal­ing a va­ri­ety of demons, gods and mon­strous fig­ures that reach from her an­kles to her neck.

“Peo­ple ask me how many hours and dol­lars go into it and I hon­estly have no idea.”

CODY MACKAY/THE GUARDIAN

Tat­toos can come in beau­ti­ful colours or maybe just all black, but to some peo­ple they are all beau­ti­ful works of art and the body is a liv­ing can­vas to dis­play that art. What goes onto the body is lim­ited only to the artis­tic imag­i­na­tion. Tat­toos are not lim­ited to one group of peo­ple and some are vis­i­ble and other tat­toos are dis­creetly hid­den.

CODY MACKAY/THE GUARDIAN

Grif­fen Dun­smore of Artist’s Ink in Summerside, works away tat­too­ing a but­ter­fly on one of her client’s lower back re­cently.

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