“I like to think that it’s traditional art — it’s just the Black representation of that”
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“My Economy” tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.
Debbi Snax, a tattoo and mural artist based in Atlanta, Georgia, has been giving tattoos for nearly eight years. She’s observed that “tattooing in Atlanta is cliquish [and] it’s segregated.”
While she says that the pandemic and the protests over the summer have been opening people’s eyes a bit and allowing them to see the lack of representation in tattoo spaces, Snax says there’s often an expectation for Black tattoo artists to specialize in Afrocentric art.
But Snax says, “That’s just not my style.” When describing her own work, she says, “I like to think that it’s traditional art — it’s just the Black representation of that.”
During the pandemic, Snax has found her books pretty full. And at one point, she realized she needed a break. Snax recalls one client who told her that she didn’t quarantine at all and that she had been at the club, not wearing a mask. After that experience, Snax says, she decided to step away from Atlanta.
Snax spent about a month in New York, where she gave tattoos to people she already knew, and worked on her artistic practice. She also used the time to mentally prepare for a job at a new tattoo shop when she returned to Atlanta. Snax is used to having co-workers of color, and the new job is her first time working at a shop with an all-white staff.
Fortunately, she says, the new job has been going well. She appreciates how the shop has been really “on top of it” when it comes to COVID-19-related safety, and doing things like taking people’s temperatures.
Still, she’s thankful she took the time to prepare for it, because it helped her feel “ready to move forward.” The new job, she says, isn’t just “a new environment as far as the color of people, or what their race is, but it’s a push for my art.”
Let us know how your economy is doing using the form below, and your story may be featured on a future edition of “My Economy.”
COVID-19 Economy FAQs
How many people are flying? Has traveled picked up?
Flying is starting to recover to levels the airline industry hasn’t seen in months. The Transportation Security Administration announced on Oct. 19 that it’s screened more than 1 million passengers on a single day — its highest number since March 17. The TSA also screened more than 6 million passengers last week, its highest weekly volume since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While travel is improving, the TSA announcement comes amid warnings that the U.S. is in the third wave of the coronavirus. There are now more than 8 million cases in the country, with more than 219,000 deaths.
How are Americans feeling about their finances?
Nearly half of all Americans would have trouble paying for an unexpected $250 bill and a third of Americans have less income than before the pandemic, according to the latest results of our Marketplace-Edison Poll. Also, 6 in 10 Americans think that race has at least some impact on an individual’s long-term financial situation, but Black respondents are much more likely to think that race has a big impact on a person’s long-term financial situation than white or Hispanic/Latinx respondents.
Find the rest of the poll results here, which cover how Americans have been faring financially about six months into the pandemic, race and equity within the workplace and some of the key issues Trump and Biden supporters are concerned about.
What’s going to happen to retailers, especially with the holiday shopping season approaching?
A report out recently from the accounting consultancy BDO USA said 29 big retailers filed for bankruptcy protection through August. And if bankruptcies continue at that pace, the number could rival the bankruptcies of 2010, after the Great Recession. For retailers, the last three months of this year will be even more critical than usual for their survival as they look for some hope around the holidays.
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