Tattooing legend Paul Booth sat down with us after filming his recent sessions with AEW wrestlers Malakai Black and Brody King. During our chat, Booth opened up about his recent neck surgery, losing his New York City studio at the beginning of the COVID pandemic and more.

Admirers of Booth’s work need not worry — Paul is still in business. Unfortunately, he no longer has his studio and art gallery in the heart of NYC, and is currently working from a private space in New Jersey.

“When COVID hit New York and they did the lockdown I had to close my doors,” Booth recalls. “And after three months of that, I decided, ‘You know what? I’m gonna stop spending my savings on paying the rent.’ At that point, it was clear to me that New York was gonna be down for a while, not just in lockdown, but in recovery afterwards. I made what felt like the smartest move and got out of town.”

Along with that bit of hardship, Booth also underwent surgery for spinal stenosis. The condition was causing numbness in Paul’s hands, which obviously isn’t ideal for a tattoo artist.

“My entire spinal cord was getting clamped down on. My whole body was going numb from my fingertips to my feet. When I finally got the surgery on my neck, I was at the point where I could barely tattoo anymore. I couldn’t hold the machine because my hands were so numb. I had no dexterity,” Paul says.

“The minute I woke up [from surgery] I was like, ‘I can feel my hands!’ I remember wiggling my fingers so happy.”

Check out the full interview with Paul Booth below. If you’re interested in booking an appointment with Paul or checking out his art, click here.

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