After a week-long stay in Austin, Texas (ATX) following the Star of Texas Convention, I jumped in a cargo van and drove out to the West Texas Tattoo Convention in San Angelo.
It turned out that a few people from the ATX show also made the scary journey through the west Texas dessert, including Richard Stell, Rock of Ages, Austin Tattoo Co., Electric 13 Tattoo and Triple Crown Tattoo. I’m sure there were others and I apologize for not mentioning you here.
Although this convention was much smaller than Austin show, the caliber of tattooers in attendance was just as impressive. A few of the new faces that were not in ATX included Dean Williams, Oliver Peck (er) and the boys from Elm St. Tattoo in Dallas, Aaron Coleman and Mando from Immaculate Tattoo in Mesa, Arizona and Danny Reed from Hot Stuff Tattoo in Asheville, North Carolina just to name a few.
Alex and Aubrey Trufant, of Bullet Proof Tattoo in San Angelo, hosted the convention and they really did a great job of accommodating their guests. Each day at least one free meal was catered for the artists and vendors, which is awesome because sometimes I’ve gone entire day at a convention without eating because most of that “tat con” concession food is questionable at best…
My booth was right next to Richard Stell’s and it was amazing to watch him work and talk to his customers all weekend long… And special thanks goes to Jennifer Stell for taking a couple pictures for TAM of Richard working and tattooing. (Look for Jennifer to do some blogging for TAM in the near future too!)
This convention had a lot first time experiences for me: first time in west Texas, first time I had more facial hair than Tony Hundahl and the first time I’ve ever seen a mariachi band walk through a tattoo convention. It was really cool, and also very strange at the same time.
The dice game seemed to follow me four hours into the west Texas wilderness from Austin. Although I think dice games tend to follow Oliver, in fact I’m pretty sure he has dice on him at all times… pretty sure.
This time around I was not so lucky. So I got C-Lo (4-5-6) tattooed on me (for some reason) at the impromptu after party on Saturday night in Bullet Proof Tattoo around 3 in the morning… “Party-tat” mission accomplished.
Audios Tejas! Thanks for the memories, especially the ones I don’t remember. And I will always remember the Alamo, even the “Tiny Alamo” which I didn’t know existed until now.
[Dice game footage provided by Phil LaRocca of Austin Tattoo Co.]