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Are Tattoo Conventions Sanitary? Helpful Guidelines–

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Tattoo conventions certainly have a lot to offer tattoo enthusiasts and the local communities, starting with access to some of the best artists from around the world, without the expense of flights and accommodations. The question of sanitation at conventions has long been a topic of concern debated by artists and collectors in the community…how can you protect yourself? As far as artists and sterility goes, you’re fine- the same professional level of cleanliness is mandated by the local governing bodies and health departments. In many places the artists are required to show proof of their own health licenses, if not acquire temporary ones from the city hosting the tattoo convention. So, that’s not the real problem. All the same sterilization techniques are used, their machines and equipment is covered, cleaned and/or disposed of between each tattoo. And all tattoos done at the convention site should still be properly cleaned and wrapped prior to anyone leaving the booth. No problem, right? So what’s the concern, then? Not much at all, until you visit the bathrooms and find dozens of those fresh, bloody, tattoo bandages discarded in the waste receptacles, lying around on the floors or even sitting on the sink countertops! Cross-contamination concerns abound! Once that bandage is removed, the safety barrier protecting their bloody wound from the outside environment (and vice versa) is gone. Without proper knowledge on sanitary procedures, everything those people touch after that bandage becomes a possible reservoir for disease- doors, sinks, stalls, mirrors, walls, furniture, bars, stools, ... Read More »

Inked in Montreal

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For more information about the Art Tattoo Quebec show May 29-31 in Quebec City, visit: http://news.arttattooquebec.com For more information about the Art Tattoo Montreal show September 11-13 in Montreal, visit: http://http://news.arttattoomontreal.com Read More »

Crash: My first tattoo convention, San Diego,1993

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This post is the story about my very first tattoo convention. It was (gasp) 1993 (I think; it could have been 1992); I was a fairly inexperienced, young tattooer and my new boss, “Painless” Paul Nelson (of Atlanta’s famous Ace Tattoo Studio), decided to attend the San Diego “Tattoo Tour”, (an early convention circuit put on by JD Crowe and his partner…both tattoo artists). Paul was scheduled to get his chest worked on by Gil Monte, a leading black and grey artist of the day who specialized in these awesome fineline, black and grey skulls with eyeballs…and, most importantly, Paul insisted I come with him and try to get tattooed while we were there. So COOL! Here I was– new job, new boss, first trip, and I was hungry to learn everything I could about tattooing. It was a big deal, my first convention…and most exciting was when I learned that all the superstars of 1990’s tattooing were going to be there. Now I wanted a tattoo. Not only that, but I wanted a GOOD TATTOO, from one of the artists who was inspiring me. It was great realizing that I could actually be getting a piece from one of my personal tattoo heroes! I saved money for a few months and began trying to figure out how to get an appointment, and who with, once I realized there were a lot of choices– Jack Rudy, Eddie Deutsche, Guy Aitchison, Aaron Cain, Marcus Pacheco, Paul Booth, Kari Barba, Gil Monte, and so many more…(I ... Read More »

Tattoo Events, the Artists and You

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Tattoo events are almost everywhere and new tattoo enthusiasts join the pack almost every minute all over the world. What started as an innocent, small body ink can turn into a burning passion that you couldn’t live without. Many celebrities, who had small tattoo, at first, became tattoo enthusiasts and maintained regular appointments with their favorite tattoo artist. If you are curious about what goes on in the world of tattoo, then it is best to attend any of the tattoo events when your schedule permits. You will learn a great deal about the art and the reasons behind its rising popularity. Before, only tribesmen, service men, circus people, and criminals got to wear tattoos. Today, almost anyone who has a flair for tattoo art can wear one. If you need a quick introduction and learn about tattoos, then going to a tattoo convention is the best place to start.   What to Expect Most artists attend all tattoo conventions whenever their schedule permits. It is a great avenue for them to share their expertise and gather new clients. They also get to meet with fellow artists and old friends. There are artists who hold exhibits and showcase some of their work. If you are on the lookout for a tattoo designer to hire, then the event can give you lots of suggestions. You might even see them in action. Some tattoo events also hold contests and seminars where artists get to participate. The usual categories for the contest are ... Read More »

Meet and Greet Tattoo Stars

My first tattoo convention

As you start to get more and more tattoos on your skin, you would also want to know more about the tattoo world and how it all works, right? Luckily, there is always a venue for an up-close and personal encounter with all the amazing people who run the tattoo industry. Among these are tattoo events. These are conventions held all around the world and the basic idea behind it is to showcase the artists and their artworks. Aside from seeing great practitioners in person, they also have the opportunity to show off existing works that they are proud of. Most interestingly, tattoo events are also a venue to see them at work. This is great for aspiring tattoo artists who want to pick up techniques from the very best, as well as tattoo enthusiasts who want to see their favorite artist in person.   Tattoo events or conventions are mainly organized by professionals involved the industry. Examples of these are suppliers, tattoo studios/companies, and artists. Conventions can last anywhere from a day to three days, and the entrance tickets can range from about $10 to more than $30 per day. Not only do conventions showcase artists at work, but these can also provide other entertainment for its participants. Music shows, seminars, supplier booths, and contests are just some of the things you may expect when walking through the biggest tattoo events. This is also a perfect opportunity to book your favorite artists for an appointment. Some of the more ... Read More »

The Pros and Cons of Tattoo Conventions

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Thinking about attending your first tattoo convention? Here are some suggestions for getting the most out of your convention experience, and a few warnings to consider before you go. The very best tattoo conventions in my experience, (for fans and pros alike), are those hosted by actual tattooers. I’ve been involved in tattooing for 25 years now, and I remember back in my early days the sheer excitement of attending one of the perhaps three or four tattoo conventions being held per year. My first convention experience was magical. (*Read about here-)  Good tattoo conventions are special; they encourage community, advance the craft, and they are focused on the fans, the art AND the artists, not the money. In the beginning, conventions were exclusively put on by art-ists, not corporations and not event professionals. Today, more numerous than ever, conventions seem designed for the green more than for the ink, and definitely more than the actual art or craft of tattooing. So many of them are getting known for gouging the artists working the show as well as the thousands of attendees, at every opportunity, charging outrageous amounts for tickets, food, beverages and the like, while they rake it in, hand-over fist, capitalizing on tattooing’s meteoric rise in popularity. Tattooing doesn’t matter to these people, it’s just an opportunity to make money. And it’s no wonder, tattoo conventions have become a multi-million dollar industry over the last several years, with more than 400 tattoo conventions being held annually, worldwide!   That’s an average of more ... Read More »

Inksmith & Rogers 30th Anniversary

Eric Inksmith and Rogers 30th yeah anniversary

By Deb Yarian Early in my tattoo career, I was blessed by the friendship and mentorship of Eric Inksmith and the late legendary Paul Rogers. At a time when secrets of the trade were highly guarded, their willingness to share their knowledge with others was a rare commodity. It was that, their shared love of tattooing, and their hospitable natures that drew travelers from all over the globe to the first Inksmith and Rogers shop that Eric and Paul opened in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1984. Three decades later, those same qualities are what drew me and hundreds of fellow tattooers, friends and their families back to Jacksonville for a two day celebration of their 30th anniversary. Paul passed away in 1990 but hosts, Eric Inksmith, Mike Wilson, and Angelo Miller succeeded in carrying on in that same spirit of generosity during the two day event. Inksmith and Rogers consists of five shops now, spread across the city, home to more than 25 devoted tattooers known throughout the tattoo world for their bold, colorful, beautifully executed tattoos. Throughout both days of the celebration resident and guest artists tattooed at all of the I & R locations. People lined up for hours waiting to get tattooed by Eric, many hoping to get The signature Inksmith and Roger’s smile and a “30” year mark. Their flagship shop’s large outdoor area resembled a carnival midway festooned with tents and flower covered tables. Guests, Philadelphia Eddie and Bowery Stan Moskowitz manned a table, selling their ... Read More »

Italian Adventures and Lessons Learned

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By Nicki Kasper I’ve met a lot of people over the last five years in this industry… I’ve made a lot of surface level friends and I’ve been blessed with quite a few real genuine friendships with people who truly care for me, and want to know who I am and what I’m about. I’m always humbled by this, and it means a lot to me when it’s clear that I’m not being used for what I might be able to do for someone. I always notice. I was personally invited to attend the World Wide Tattoo Conference by my friend, Alex de Pase last week in Venice, and it was great. It’s two and a half days of seminars, speeches, and discussion panels in front of a room full of people eager to learn and be inspired. I’m not a tattooer, I’m a business owner, but even I can stand to learn something from artists who are teaching and talking about what inspires them, what they have trouble with, and how they get through it. It’s all relative. There are many different styles when it comes to tattooing, as well as different schools of thought in this small industry, but… I do believe that we all stand to learn something from all of them. I think having an open mind and a willingness to shut the fuck up, realize that you might not know everything, and listen to someone teach or speak about what it is that helps them ... Read More »

Forrest Cavacco Video Interview

Forrest Cavaco Video interview

By Luke Holley Read More »

Bay Area Tattoo Convention 2014

Bay area tattoo convention 2014

Video by Luke Holley Read More »

Alliance of Professional Tattooists

Professional tattoo alliance

By Jason Sweet This article is part two, in a two part series, about the professional organizations in tattooing. I attended the APT Trade Show as part of my research and found myself not only rejoining them after a 10 year hiatus; I found myself being recruited for service to the APT in the future.   As much as I tried to resist, the call of service to my profession was too loud to ignore. Over the weekend, I was struck as to the commitment some had made to attend the APT trade show. I met a woman tattooist from Austria and a man from Australia. One couple I met drove to the trade show from Indiana, because flying from their home was prohibitively expensive. I personally found this type of dedication to tattooing and the APT, inspiring and motivating. I only took 5 days out of my year to attend the trade show; they took two weeks. I was originally introduced to the Alliance of Professional Tattooists, when I was tattooing about 2 years. I was hired at a tattoo studio that required I become a member of the APT as part of working for them. Joining the APT required filling out an application and providing professional references and a sponsor, as I had been tattooing less than three years. Additionally, I was required to take the Preventing Disease Transmission in Tattooing (PDTT) as part of my membership. The PDTT course was 6 hours long. It covered Blood Born Pathogens ... Read More »

Alex de Pase on the World Wide Tattoo Conference

By Nicki Kasper What was the inspiration for the World Wide Tattoo Conference, and who’s idea was it in the beginning?  The project WWTC (WorldWideTattooConference) was conceived in 2011. The original idea was to get together different talented Tattoists in an itinerant multicultural context who would travel around the world, stopping over in significant European and American spots to share and offer their expertise and personal views of their work to the global tattoo community. The initial idea was mine. This year’s conference is in Venice, Italy… Where have previous conferences been held?  Did you find that each event had a different vibe? 2014 is the year to get back to the origins… After the first edition of Rome 2011, the WWTC is going back to its home country, Italy. So far the WWTC has been held 5 times, once in Europe and once in the States alternatively: 2011 was in Rome, April 2012 was the turn of Chigago, then September of the same year in London… 2013 was in Boston and 2014 will be Venice (actually it is in Mogliano Veneto, 10 minutes from Venice). Each edition had definitely a different vibe, specially if we distinguish between Europe and the US, but I guess the most distinctive one was the atmosphere perceived in London, as this conference was much rougher and wilder than the other ones, being it held in the same premises of the 8th London Tattoo Convention and just before the very same convention.   How has the conference progressed ... Read More »

Seattle Tattoo Expo This Weekend!!

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I will be attending the Seattle Tattoo Expo this weekend.  This is one of my favorite shows in the US… So many talented artists… the show is busy, and the city is fun.  If you’re around, please stop by and check it out.  They always have good entertainment, good food, a good bar, cigar lounge, and most importantly… GOOD TATTOOS!  Hope to see you there! For more information about the show like featured artists and event schedules, visit: www.seattletattooexpo.com Nicki TAM         Read More »

How Rinsecup Cleanup Came About

How Rinsecup Cleanup Came About

By Dan Mcnab I’m a tattoo artist in the city of Huntington Beach, Ca. I own and work at The Tattoo Gallery with four of my very close friends. After years and years of leaking trash bags, I decided one day to put an end to it once and for all and created RinseCup CleanUp. When I designed this product I made sure it is the best that exists and can not get any better. Also, it’s non-toxic because our trash gets put into landfills and that would only hurt the environment. I believe as a whole, us humans do enough of that! Disposing of our rinse cups and ink caps this way is the safest method and eliminates cross-contamination in our trade due to the contaminated liquids we produce. Once in the landfill, RinseCup CleanUp slowly releases the water and improves soil conditions through aeration. It’s less expensive than using paper towels and safer than dumping it down a sink. When that method is used more toxic chemicals are needed to clean the area it was dumped in, which leads to poisoning our environment even more. Now we are in many countries and the response is amazing. So much support from this trade! The only advertising I have done is thru IG. It’s spreading like wildfire and I’m excited to see where it goes from here. It’s only been about 6 months since I released it for sale! For more information about Rinsecup Cleanup, email: Rinsecup@yahoo.com Read More »

ARTIST PROFILE: KIRIAKOS, SAKE TATTOO CREW

By Marisa Kakoulas www.needlesandsins.com In Athens, Greece, the Sake Tattoo Crew is an incubator for top tattoo talent — not just respected in the country, but worldwide. One artist from this collective is Kiriakos Balaskas. Tattooing for 8 years after a tough apprenticeship with Sake, Kiriakos developed a style combining abstract expressionism watercolors and graphic art. But I wanted to learn from him how he views his work, and tattoo culture as a whole, so I took him away from organizing the Athens Tattoo Convention, which is May 23-25, for a quick Q&A.  If forced to define your style, how would you describe it? What are the strongest influences on your work?My tattoo style in general has always been a combination of heavy themes/ lines/ shapes, and naive — almost childish — color details. I’ve always found this invasion of joy into strictness (two sides that equally attract me) very interesting and exciting. As soon as I started experimenting with the watercolor technique, I felt I had finally found the absolute way of expressing this ultimate combination. My pieces mainly include these distinctive elements: a black graphic stencil or sketch, and either a brush or wide, “clean,” kid-style watercolors — usually two colors only. It is hard for me to define it in a sole, strict term as there is no one else in Greece who practises this style, but if forced to define it, I’d use the term my costumers use when they ask for it, “Kiddo.”Some old school artists believe that “only bold ... Read More »

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