Take only memories, leave only tattoos.
Written by Things&Ink
November 26th, 2020
Travelling while making tattoos, what could be better? We chat to travelling tattooist and Brit-on-the-road, Rhi Hustwayte, about her wanderlust-fueled experiences and how the pandemic has changed her plans..
“I guess for me, being a travelling tattooist means that I get to be in a new environment. I work with some rad people, see how they work, meet amazing clients from around the world – all the best stuff! Plus I can work when I like and pay for my holidaying/açai bowl addiction as I go. Tattooing is one of those things that can be done anywhere, travelling with it has made me even more grateful to be part of it. I’d say that I wish I’d done it sooner, but I probably wasn’t ready, so maybe it’s good to have a few years of tattooing under your belt before you jet off!”
“I pretty much worked at the same studio since I was 16 (not tattooing at that age obviously), but I was there just soaking everything in. I started guesting and swapped studios for a few months before I went back to my original place. So, traveling now and working in so many different tattoo shops is like the complete opposite of my ‘home bird’ type of work that I was doing! I do miss having a permanent station with all my knick-knacks, though.”
“I started getting burnt out in the UK and I needed something to light my flame for tattooing again. Travelling was a bit of an accident really, I had a few wines one night and got the courage to apply for New Zealand tattoo convention. I got accepted and was like “well, I guess I’m heading to NZ in six months” and that was really the start of this whole thing. I was only going to head over and guest in Melbourne for a month or two, nearly a year in and I’m sitting in Far North Queensland.”
“Australia has some of the best tattooists in the world – in my opinion. The Aussie tattoo scene is like a precious little golden nugget of goodness! In general, there’s an Aussie culture of caring for people so that makes the tattoo scene so supportive and inspiring. I feel that the UK is a bit more reserved – not just the tattoo scene – so I’m planning on taking this mentality back home with me and sprinkling it around.”
“COVID definitely put a spanner in the works, hey? All the studios were closed! The borders were closed between states in Australia and some states opened up studios before others. With restrictions in place with social distancing, it meant that most places couldn’t take another artist on the spare station. One time I had to cancel my third week of guesting to quickly head over the border before it shut. I’ve felt like I’ve been running from this virus. But, Instagram has been and is a wonderful thing and so is the Aussie tattoo community, everybody connects somehow so I can usually reach out online or to a friend to arrange a guest spot!.”
“I’m very lucky because Queensland has very few cases of COVID so the restrictions aren’t heavy, so I’m still travelling around here. Aiming to be back down the coast soon. You’ll find me in Brisbane, Sydney and hopefully Melbourne again by the end of the year.”
“I’d love to get over to Canada and the States eventually. Once the world opens up, I’d love to see more of Europe as well – guesting is fun but I do have to remind myself to actually get out and see the places I visit. But, I’ll be back in the UK for sure, I have a little dog who is staying with my mum right now he’s going to be furious with me!”
You can visit Rhi's Instagram here.
This article is written by Rosalie Hurr, who is the editor of Things&Ink magazine.