Skin Deep 147

A happy New Year to all of you. Well the cold turkey sandwiches should be a distant memory and the festive frivolities will be a dull headache by now. So if you are like me it’s time to look forward to this years tattooing calendar.

2007 looks like it’s going to be another bumper year for tattoo conventions. In this country the convention scene has really picked up over the last few years with a show in virtually every major town. This may sound like a good thing but I have heard from quite a few people, artists and punters alike that maybe, just maybe, there are too many conventions happening in Britain?  Some say the amount of conventions is having an effect on the impact that going to a convention brings. 

Having covered many of last years’ shows I have seen the direct effect of the extras conventions. Most have had reasonable but not outstanding attendance, purely because of the number of shows that are now available to the public, that they can now pick and choose which events to go to and as most of us know, going to a convention isn’t cheap, so not everyone can afford to visit them all. The quality of the tattooists remains the same high standard obviously but it must get harder and harder each year for the organisers to come up with other attractions to keep everyone amused. Can there be too much of a good thing when it comes to a tattoo convention? Can we have access to too many top international artists? Does the current proliferation of shows take the shine off the anticipation prior to the event?

Personally, I’m not sure. Recently I was chatting to a British artist who has worked many of the British conventions last year and will only be working at some of the foreign shows this year as he feels that the UK scene has been watered down somewhat.

Putting on a tattoo convention must be a nightmare with so much to organise and put in place and I take my hat off to all that do and I wouldn’t want your job for all the tea in China.

On the plus side, these shows are bringing tattooing out of the back streets and even further into the public eye and celebrating this wonderful art form that is tattooing. I personally met lots of non-tattooed folk at many of the conventions last year, most of who were pleasantly surprised at how professional and polite everyone was. The growing scene gives folk access to some outstanding artists from foreign climes that may not have been possible before. Also from an artists point of view the more conventions that they can work at can only help to showcase their talent to a wider audience and are seen by many as a time not only to work but also to kick back and meet other like-minded artists to swap tips, stories, to make new acquaintances and contacts. The more the general public understand our lifestyle the better and they might possibly start to understand why we choose to wear our art on our skin.

Anyone who decides to put on a tattoo convention in the UK deserves a medal in my books. 2007 should be another bumper year for tattoos and tattooing in Great Britain and I’m personally looking forward each and every show.

Skin Deep will do their best to be at EVERY tattoo convention this year so if you fancy getting your tatts in print, come and say hi. We look forward to meeting you.


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