I was 17 when I got my first tattoo. It was the same day as my written driving test and my friend Barbara and I sat quizzing each other in the waiting room while getting ridiculously excited about our first tattoos (obvs trying to make out that we were 18 too). That day will stay with me forever. It was such a special time in my life and although the resulting tattoo is less than brilliant (it’s a four leaf clover which when I am one day pregnant / obese will look like a tree. I’m quite looking forward to that day tbh), every time I look at it I remember how carefree, young and silly I was and it makes me smile.
I’ve had two more since then and I’m planning a good few more (I get much less sensible about these things as I get older). So when Simon and our friend Roger suggested spending the day at The London Tattoo Convention
- I. Was. In.
My experience of tattoo artists have always been really positive and I’ve found tattoo parlours to be incredibly open, friendly and creative places. The convention was pretty much a giant version of this. Artists from around the world had stands where they were taking appointments and working their fingers off the whole weekend. It was really great to get such access to a massively diverse collection of styles and techniques, including a room filled with traditional bamboo tattoo action:
Having said that though, I would have liked more presentations and little talks from artists themselves and little stands with information on the history of tattooing. There was none of that. It was pretty much live tattooing and a section for suppliers.
There was music and merchandise which was great but it was more of an exhibition than a convention in the traditional sense.
There was a lot of “living the stereotype” going on which I LOVED. There was a fair bit of biker, pinup and even a bit of steam punk action! Just brilliant.
So while the tattoo nerd in me was disappointed in the lack of history, there was cake. Nuff said.