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 in the last three years?
The WWTC has progressed extensively in the last 3 years. The most impressive changes relate to the line-up of speakers and the format of the seminars. We started with 5 and 6 speakers holding their seminars on 2 days and now we have come to 9/10 amazing speakers, giving out their knowledge and expertise on a 2.5 day intensive workshop which include also a business seminar with tips and tricks to run and promote a tattoo shop and a fine arts seminar, which serves as an excellent basis to improve drawing and painting techniques.
What kind of challenges have you found in putting on an event like this? Has the experience been what you expected? Was it hard to get it off the ground?
The challenges to put on an event like this are many… from getting the availabilities of speakers, to finding suitable locations (from hotels, to conference rooms, to physical places that are well served with airports, train stations, etc.), to coordinating the logistics, food and beverage for the large number of the WWTC attendees, to promoting the event and coordinating the registrations and sometimes also to avoid stepping on others’ toes. To tell you the truth, the experience has proved to be a great one and quite likely it has become more impressive and rewarding than expected. However, already from the scratch, I knew it was the right moment for something like this. It was not so difficult to get it off the ground as it was just the right moment to start sharing experience and knowledge in the tattoo community.
What kind of vision or goals do you have moving forward with the WWTC?
My final goal is not too different from what I reckoned as a milestone at the beginning and what am trying to pursue right now: a complete and deep sharing of what the world of tattooing is now and a mutual exchange of expertise and know-how among each member of the global tattoo community. I strongly believe that giving something personal, private, or even intimate to the tattoo community will pay me back on the short, medium and long term. I hope the WWTC will become a bigger and bigger point of reference conference, professionally focused and oriented to implementation and development of what I still consider my main passion after more than 20 years of tattooing.
What can artists expect to get out of attending the WWTC?
Besides a perceptible technical improvement, definitely a sense of belonging to, and appreciation of a more professional way of approaching the art of tattooing. The WWTC is now the point of reference for any professional tattooist who conceives tattoo as a form of art and wants to master their abilities and talent. My greatest expectation would be to sense awareness and gratitude to each other, no matter if it is a master or an apprentice. What I really love at the end of every WWTC is the powerful feeling and eager desire to go back home and get down to tattooing again as soon as possible! Don’t miss it, BE PART OF THE EVOLUTION!
Tickets to the event in Venice are available on the WWTC website: http://worldwidetattooconference.com.
If you can’t make it to Venice, but would like to participate, TattooNOW will be there filming, and there are live stream tickets available on http://www.tattoonow.com or http://www.getTAM.com. Watch from anywhere in the world…