TAM News: An Open Letter From Miki Vialetto
TAM headquarters received the email below regarding a new crop of European shows. This email was sent from Miki Vialetto, a long time friend of TAM’s, publisher of Tattoo Life and Tattoo Energy, and mastermind behind the ORIGINAL London Tattoo Convention and the Milano Tattoo Convention.
We are publishing this email not to color the tattoo community’s perception of any given company, but to bring to light what is happening in our industry, so that each of you can make informed decisions on the shows, companies and people you support.
HI Kent and Crash,
I feel it is my duty to clarify my position regarding certain recent events which seem to have caused confusion. Those of you who know me are aware that I have worked in this sector for more than 18 years and I have always shown impartiality with regards to what was happening around me in the tattoo industry. I refer to editorial projects, TV shows and all those new ventures which involve the industry that I love, of which I am very much a part and which has become my life and my work.
Recently it was announced a new convention is to take place at the end of April in London which will be called The Great British Tattoo Show. Several readers, professionals and insiders in the industry have asked us if this is in any way connected to our long-established The International London Tattoo Convention. Obviously it goes without saying that the two have nothing to do with each other. The Great British Tattoo Show is organised by Stuart Mears, editor of Skin Deep and other magazines, and organiser of other events in Britain such as Tattoo Jam and Tattoo Freeze.
Many of you, however, are not aware of who is involved with what, so I have decided it’s time to make things clear. Nine years ago, I decided to organise a convention in London, since nothing like this had ever been done in this city before (with the exception of a party organised by Lal Hardy nearly 20 years ago). I wanted London to become the virtual centre of the tattoo world. I fully believed in the project and from that moment on, London became the most anticipated venue in the world of tattooing, featuring the world’s best tattooists who were proud to be participating in such an event, and which created a waiting list of at least 700 tattooists every year. The following year, after the first successful edition of The International London Tattoo Convention, Mr Mears decided to organise a convention the Tattoo Jam, which was to take place one month beforehand. So far, no problem here. He subsequently went on to set up Tattoo Freeze, which was scheduled one week before the Brighton Tattoo Convention. The first Tattoo Freeze website announced the presence of 200 tattoo artists from all around the world, unbeknown to the artists themselves . Mr Mears justified this by saying that they had only been invited and not confirmed. Needless to say none of them showed up. Right now, besides moving the Tattoo Jam 2012 date to two weeks after London, he has launched The Great British Tattoo Show. He tried, it would seem unsuccessfully, to have it held at the Old Truman Brewery (the venue for the first 4 years of the International London Tattoo Convention) and finally confirmed London Olympia.
I shall say no more, not least because details of Mr Mears’ astonishing career and other interesting information can be found on this website: www.stuartmears.com. I recommend you check it out.
We are going about our own business in our usual and ethical way.
I have always been supported by and I myself have always supported tattoo artists who believe in this industry for the tattooing itself, and who are not just in it for the money. I decided to write this open letter because I want as many people as possible to be informed about what is going on. I would be grateful if you would share your opinions on Facebook, blogs or with as many people as possible, where you feel appropriate. The important thing is to understand the true facts, and what the reality is out there. Having said this, everyone is free to support whoever they feel best relates to their own way of interpreting our tattoo art.