CULTURE

Creators in Quarantine: Martín Bustos

In almost every aspect of our lives, the past weeks have been amongst the most taxing in modern history. COVID-19 has infiltrated nearly all aspects of our daily routines, from our work and family schedules to friend dates and hobbies. Partial to full lockdowns have caused the closure of restaurants, retail stores, and public entertainment venues that host galleries, concerts, sporting events, plays, conventions, films, and more.

Arts organizations continue to struggle with the disastrous cost and ramification of closing their buildings, and freelance artists of all trades are adapting to their careers and incomes being on hold. Despite these challenges, Chilean artists have devised innovative and resourceful expressions of creativity and resilience as performers of all disciplines transition to e-commerce, host online classes and performances, and offer virtual tours of art exhibitions.

In this series, we will meet Chilean artists who are adapting their lives and careers amid a global pandemic. Learn about what has inspired their artistic journey, the challenges they’re learning to overcome, and how they find support in their communities.

Meet Martín Bustos

Tattoo Artist 

1. Can you tell me about your work, and how you began your professional journey?

I come from an artistic family. I’ve always drawn a lot, and my work typically relates to creativity in some way. I studied Industrial Design, but the Chilean industry doesn’t offer many development opportunities in this particular career. 

After completing my studies, I moved to Los Angeles, California. I was born in The States and moved to Chile when I was three years old. I applied for jobs in the design industry but quickly realized that, even as a citizen, it was challenging to secure a job in that sector. After working in restaurants, landscaping, and some freelance design jobs, I purchased my first tattoo machine and began my career as an artist.

2. How has the quarantine affected your business? Have you needed to postpone or cancel appointments?

My career has taken an immense hit. I had to postpone all tattoo appointments, as the studio is under mandatory closure. We are considering the permanent closure of the studio as our livelihoods depend upon clients, and we are not receiving financial aid for rent. 

3. How can the community support you from home? Are you working on products available for purchase online? Do you have gift cards available that can be used at a later date?

Some clients are paying for their tattoos upfront or design deposits, to be redeemed when business resumes. We are offering gift cards, commissioned paintings, and are selling prints of drawings and designs. 

4. What is the best way to connect with you online?

Instagram: www.instagram.com/m_pescador

Tattoodo App: Martín Pescador

Facebook: @martinpescadortattoo

Studio Instagram: www.instagram.com/anima__estudio

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