How have you spent your time social distancing? Have you tried to learn a new language, read a mountain of books, learned to cook? So many of us have taken new hobbies to get us through these last several months. But one tattoo artist decided to stick with what he knows best. Tattoos!
Chris Woodhead, who lives in Walthamstow, a suburb of London, decided to give himself a tattoo for each day of his self-isolation during the lockdown. Now, he’s got over 1,000 tattoos covering his skin. He’s documented his tattoo journey and thousands of fans visit his Instagram page to see what tattoo he has added on that day.
Chris Woodhead Has a Thousand Tattoos After Adding One Each Day of Lockdown.
Here’s a photo of Woodhead covered in his artwork, tattoos. He owns a tattoo studio, Maria Paradise, in Hackney Wick.
His Tattoos Project Started in March
Like most of us who live in cities, Woodhead began self-isolating in March after health officials warned of the dangers of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Also like most of us, the tattoo artist found himself feeling rather bleak.
A Way to Spread Joy
“During a time that we all need to stay at home it’s a bit of daily light for people to look at and keep spirits up,” Woodhead told MyLondonNews. Who knew black ink could offer so much light?
Not Picky About Content
“I’m not picky and will tattoo anything on myself,” Woodhead revealed about what is good to go and what’s off limits in terms of subject matter for the tattoos.
A Place to Start
To mark the occasion, the artist gave himself a tattoo of a nautical star, followed by his interpretation of the COVID-19 genome. Would you want a tattoo or would you never like to think about this time again?
Not Taking It Too Seriously
Shortly after the genome tattoo for tattoo number 6, the artist tattooed the cover art on his leg from Apocalypse Now. A really funny pick that seemed to capture what a lot of us were feeling.
“Apocalypse today!” one of his fans on Instagram responded to the image.
A Lot of Tattoos to Go
Woodhead told MyLondon that he got his first and most meaningful tattoo at the age of 18. The design was meant to honor a friend who died.
That first trip to the tattoo parlor probably feels like a date with destiny as so many years later, this artist’s love for ink is still going strong.
After that first tattoo, Woodhead admits that his tastes have changed from meaningful to more of just designs that appeal to his aesthetic. With all of these tattoos, there has to be one he regrets, right?
According to the artist, there’s not a single tattoo he regrets! Which is a feat considering that he has given himself a thousand at this point.
Stick and Poke
“Hand poking” or “stick and poke” or sometimes called, “prison-style” (not our favorite), all refer to the practice of giving a tattoo without the use of a tattoo gun.
Woodhead, like many of the best tattoo artists, is skilled in this method of tattoo application. In fact, most of his tattoos were done by hand.
Tattooing yourself can be extremely difficult and it takes a high pain tolerance, a lot of patience, and an artist’s precision to get it just right. However, the tattoo aficionado makes it sound like a walk in the park.
“Self tattooing is tricky in some places but I find it very therapeutic,” Woodhead explained. What are the “tricky” spots on the body to tattoo yourself?
“The most extreme and painful tattoos I’ve done so far are the palms of my hands and the sole of my foot.” That makes a ton of sense considering there are so many nerve endings in these areas and the skin is often rougher there than other areas.
‘When Will It End?’
In case you were wondering what he painfully endured tattooing his sole for, he did a tattoo that asks, “When will it end?”
Give This Man a Record
“I’d say I’m up there with most tattooed person,” he told MyLondon. “I’ve completely covered my legs since lockdown.”
Difficulties of 2020
Lockdown has been terribly hard on small businesses and ones like restaurants, salons, and tattoo parlors have been some of the hardest hit. Chris admitted just how bad it’s been.
For Art’s Sake
He said that he had to ultimately close his shop until further notice. He explained that he’s been making ends meet by tapping into his savings and selling the art he sells on his online store.
Ready to Go
“I absolutely can’t wait to open again. This last lockdown has been impossible on people,” he shared.
Thankfully, the UK was one of the first countries to start a mass immunization campaign to protect against SARS-CoV-2 using vaccines developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The rollout began on December 8 there, and to date, it’s one of the most successful in the world. Around 30 million people in the UK have already received their first dose of the vaccines.
Life Springs Eternal
We hope this means, that Woodhead can open his shop back soon and start doing what he loves best, hand poking tattoos for his fans and friends.
However, he will never be able to forget the time that has passed that’s now evident by the ink poked into nearly every inch of his skin. Ouch! Oh, there’s one more thing we need to tell you about.
The thing we know Mr. Woodhead will cherish from this time is his child who was born on July 20, 2020. His name is Lenny. If you scroll back up, you will find the name tattooed on the artist’s hand. We hope he enjoys his journey through fatherhood as well!
Did you get or give special COVID tattoos during lockdown? Would you get one now? We would love to know how you have been expressing your tattoo love over the past year. We are all doing our best with what we have been dealt! And, Woodhead really created a walking piece of art with his time. Here’s to happier times on the way!
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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