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I always find it interesting to see actual stats on any type of increase that has to do with tattoo. We all know that tattoo is more popular than it has ever been, but seeing real numbers helps put things into a better perspective. However, these higher numbers aren’t necessarily a good thing – often they are indicative of other problems that are occurring right now, like the increase in DIY tattoos, scratchers and just poor quality businesses popping up seemingly over night.

A news article out of Malta is claiming that the number of tattoo studios there has doubled from 15 in 2009 to 33 in 2011. This is impressive, given that the recession is wreaking havoc with economies everywhere, yet at the same time, tattooists in Malta are not reporting any actual increase in their business.

‘Isaac Wood, son of renowned tattoo artist Bobby who died in 2010 after a 50-year career in making tattoos, attributes the increase in the number of tattoo parlours in Malta to the popularity of TV programmes like Miami Ink and LA Ink.

Wood himself has not noticed any increase in the number of people having tattoos done. But according to Wood it could be well the case that the business is being split among a larger number of outlets.’

Call me cynical but I tend to take a large increase in tattoo studios like the one in Malta with a grain of salt.  By that I mean that the more tattoo studios that open in a short span of time, the greater the likelihood of the actual quality of a majority of those shops being sub-par.  It just stands to reason that in such a short amount of time, the number of tattooists who have actually gone through an extensive apprenticeship and are ready to open their own studio is unlikely to double the existing number of studios.  Good tattooists take time and although it’s entirely possible that all of these new studios opening in Malta are being opened by good or even great tattooists, the reality is that the odds just don’t favour such a thing.  What the odds do favour however, is that time will tell who’s good and who isn’t by sheer economics.  My guess is that in the next two years, we’re going to see a lot of tattoo studios closing down in Malta.

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