Old 18-06-2013, 11:31 AM   #1
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Question New to Conventions...helpful advice?

I've been tattooing professionaly for about 13 years, and working on it for almost twice that time.
Just recently able to start attending conventions now that my children are grown and raising their own families, and twice divorced...
I started at a local convention as my first earlier this year, and I'm scheduled for 2 others within the next 6 weeks.
I've been growing rather stagnant over the last several years, and due to local circumstances and economy, I've never had much time to get past the thousands of people that, for the most part in my area, prefer flash and seem to prefer price over quality. Be this as it may, I do my best to do the best work I can produce using the designs people bring me, or insist on choosing from flash. Not that I never get to talk someone into letting me create something inspired by reference rather than a duplication of flash, but definitely haven't had a lot of luck and chances to create myself as an artist.
It's a very long story of hospital stays from numerous injuries while trying to keep a family secure, and raise my children, while also keeping a shop running and not starve in the process that has hindered me from being financially able to sit back and offer up my own art at a price that will allow people to open their mind to something they can't find on the wall, so I won't go into all of that.

My question is simply: What advice from experienced convention artists can I get on staying within protocol and respect?
And any other advice on how to make my future of touring some of the countries many tattoo conventions an enjoyable success would be appreciated.

I'm not completely lacking in artistic skill, and I do enjoy recreating certain styles found in various sketchbooks and such without trying to pass it off as original work but rather giving even inspirational credit to whatever artist the idea does come from. Technically speaking, I consider myself a good tattooist and have kept a shop going for a decade in a moderately large city and have many more old clients that trust the work I do than I have first timers to my place. I've just not gotten to the point where I can truly create "MY" work consistently, which is where I'm trying to improve myself a great deal.
Thanks,
C
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