The skin is a living canvas for the tattoo artist

Patrons young and old flocked into tattoo parlours across P.E.I.

Published on January 3, 2016

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."

Five things to know about tattooing:

1 - Skin allergies could develop at any time after you get inked.

2- The tattoo can express who are or what you believe in.

3- In the U.S., more women than men are tattooed.

4- For women, the most popular are hearts and angels.

5 -Not all skin is the same and will not take tattoo pigment the same.