The Pros & Cons of Tattoo Conventions

2 of 3

-Next, at quality conventions, you have the opportunity to get tattooed by exceptional artists from all around the globe…artists it could otherwise cost you thousands of dollars in traveling expenses alone should you wish to get work done by them, and you may not even have to get on their waiting list to do so. Conventions are an excellent opportunity to get a tattoo by in-demand artists. Even if you don’t get tattooed by one of them, let yourself be exposed to the people and styles of tattooing beyond your local scene. *HINT- if you actually do want to be tattooed by someone relatively famous &/or respected in the tattoo community, don’t wait- get in touch with the artist in advance and find out if they have any openings. Some artists prefer to book appointments before the show, while others love to leave their appointment books behind, for a change, preferring the live interaction, creativity and spontaneity possible only at a show.

-For local tattoo artists, conventions provide an opportunity for networking and growth by seminars and workshops hosted by tattooers they respect. It also allows you to meet artists you respect and even have your own work critiqued by people you respect. For an artist, this is one of the most valuable tools you have to learn and grow as an artist. Not every tattooer has or will take the time to look at your book and make suggestions to you, but you should take advantage of every opportunity you have to make it happen. *HINT- artists, get tattooed by the artists you respect. Demonstrate your appreciation for them by actually putting food on their table, even if you don’t get a tattoo, buy a shirt, a painting, a book; give to them and they will be more likely to give you something in return, beyond your tattoo.

-Be safe, but don’t forget the party! At every show there will certainly be spectacle, entertainment, vendors, musical acts, food, art, and plenty of spirits. Tattooers work from open to close at conventions, sometimes well into the night, but once those gloves come off, it’s party time! Enjoy yourself. But also, be safe! Unfortunately, tattoo conventions also draw some of the lowest scumbags out of the dark and into the mix. Nary a convention passes these days that we don’t hear reports of thievery, violence, and even people being drugged and/or sexually violated. *Personal story: just a few years ago, at one of my all-time favorite tattoo shows, three people from my crew and I were dosed with something at dinner which completely immobilized us in under an hour. Luckily, we all left and got to our rooms before becoming incapacitated, but we are fairly certain our female traveling companion was the target. The next day, still under the hallucinogenic after-effects, we discovered that there had been 5 women report being sexually violated over the weekend, after being drugged. Eek!

Convention_Booth_Set_Up_Part_2_Portfolio_by_Larry_Brogan (1)

2 of 3

Tattoo Artist since 1990 and creator/publisher of Tattoo Artist Magazine since 2003

Similar Articles

One thought on “The Pros & Cons of Tattoo Conventions

  1. Thank you for sharing that article, I’ll be attending my first Tattoo convention in Tulsa, Ok in April 24-26 downtown at the Hyatt Regency hotel, I think it’s gonna rock, and I’m going to see if i can get a piece done there. Cheers.

Leave a Reply