First Blood 211 - The Big Show

Published: 27 April, 2012 - Featured in Skin Deep 211, May, 2012

Continuing our series of short articles for those new to the tattoo scene.

You might think that getting tattooed at a convention is one of the most natural things in the world, but it’s worth putting some thought into it before you decide that’s what you want to do. Here’s a quick rundown of reasons loaded with some food for thought alongside to make sure what you’re doing is right for you.

The best reason is access to artists that would otherwise cost you a small fortune to visit. Given the choice of conventions these days, it’s likely that you’ll be able to figure out your dream scenario by checking out both local and international shows – we’re big fans of this obviously, but likewise, if you can afford it, nothing can replace the adventure of travelling to a far away place and getting ink in the studio of your chosen one.

Do you mind dozens of people stopping by to see what’s going on? Most don’t. Some do. That’s an individual thing but if it’s your first tattoo, you might fare better in a private studio. Looking at the bigger picture, a convention is the very place to check people out and discuss that very arrangement with your favoured artist.

Take a moment to think about privacy. Are you one of those people who will be getting a custom piece done and would like to keep it private? Believe it or not, we do exist in the world. If so, then a private sitting is definitely what you should be thinking about. On the other hand, if it’s so unbelievably brilliant you want to show everybody in the whole world and have it talked about until the end of time, a convention is just perfect. Be aware that people will take pictures of you pulling strange faces while your body is pulled in directions you perhaps didn’t know existed.

The best way to go decide on a tattoo at a show is to at least discuss it a little bit with your artist beforehand – that way, you won’t be disappointed in having to wait and your artist will have some prior knowledge of what is expected. Having said that, some artists are totally up for the challenge and excel at working on the spur of the moment. What we’re saying here is simply that you should think about what you want before you show up.

Don’t think that if you’re underage you will get away with it at a show any moreso than you would in a studio. If anything, it will be policed even more and every tattoo artist working a convention will be well aware of this.

Finally – if you have booked a slot – you need to have the decency and courtesy to turn up, or at least let your artist know if plans have changed. Contrary to popular opinion, nobody is caning in so much money that they can afford to sit around and wait for you all day. Conventions are not free to work and there is always somebody willing to jump in your slot. If you really can’t make it, just say so and then everybody knows where they stand.