Stef Bastian’s FRONT LINE charity project supporting front line hospital workers

As the world turns slowly… an update on COVID-19

By now, everybody has seen the news about COVID-19. The unprecedented spread of the coronavirus has shaken the world, with many countries on total lock-down and thousands finding their day to day routines turned upside down.

The tattoo community, most of whom are self-employed and whose studios are now closed, have been forced to stop tattooing entirely. But the tattoo world has shown that now more than ever we can band together and support one another through the hardest times.

Instagram has long been a crucial tool for tattooers to network and promote their portfolios. It is now a hive of activity, with thousands of artists tagging and sharing each other’s pages, encouraging viewers to follow and support fellow artists.

Many artists are also channeling their creative energy into new projects. One exciting collaborative project is FRONT LINE, curated by tattooer Stef Bastian. Having completed two incredibly successful charity art auctions at The London Tattoo Festival in the past, raising over $36,000, Stef is hoping to raise more essential funds for front line workers at five of the worst-hit hospitals worldwide. Over 200 of the world’s best artists have stepped up to participate and their works will be auctioned via the @stef_bastian_presents Instagram page on Saturday 11th April. Keep an eye on Stef’s page for further updates and get bidding for a great cause.

Tattoo Life Magazine have presented a unique opportunity under the hashtag #carteblanche, encouraging tattooers to contribute a set of designs to their team, with the best being selected by director Miki Vialetto to join their online e-book library. The team, based in Italy and having been under lock-down for some time now, have also been encouraging the community to #stopyourbodymoveyourmind – to research, study and get creative during the down-time.

Harco, a nurse and tattoo enthusiast from the Netherlands, has set up an instagram page @roseofnomanslandproject to show support for healthcare workers and provide a platform for artists to showcase their work. Any tattoo artist is free to join in with their own rendition of the classic ‘rose of no man’s land’ flash, and there are a great number of submissions from artists worldwide being shared to the page so far.

Here at The London Tattoo HQ, we’ve a number of ideas up our sleeve to keep our artists and followers busy during lock-down. Firstly, a series of ‘how-to’ tutorials by our attending artists, exhibitors and entertainers are being posted to IGTV and we are encouraging all to have a go, using the hashtag #ltcreativechallenge to share your results. Bill Canales, Jack Peppiette, Robert Borbas and more will be sharing their tips and tricks with more to follow very soon. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned tattooer or have never picked up a pencil – just give it a go!

And if you’re feeling restless, the highly skilled Fuel Girls will be giving demos on routines, poi and more (no fire required!) which promises to be great fun and a very unique way to get moving at home. 

Recently, we asked you what content you’d like to see more of and we’re working hard to deliver fresh new interviews, articles and more to keep you entertained at home. You can keep the suggestions coming by emailing us at and telling us what you’d love to see on our new platform. 

We’re here to champion the tattoo community and all those who make it so special – from the artists themselves to the dedicated collectors and fans who make it all possible.

We love tattooing and know that together we can learn something new, get creative and feel inspired – even as the world turns a little more slowly than usual.


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