The Brighton Tattoo Convention: A Review
Today, I am leaving this blog in the capable hands of Lisa, who is better known as The Dame (www.the-dame.com). I sent her down to the Brighton Tattoo Convention over the weekend, where she had loads of fun, got a great tattoo by my mate Ian (which is today’s cover photo for this post!), and then wrote about the weekend she had. Photographer Emma Shamaya will also be taking part in posting this week, with a gallery for the convention, which I’ll link to on this page when it’s up. Awesome! Over to Lisa…
Last weekend, the Brighton Tattoo Convention was in full swing, and it was absolutely fantastic. Brighton felt like a boutique convention- it was smaller and easier to get around without too many crowds and was well planned out and staffed. I knew exactly where I needed to go the moment I walked in because I was handed a program which clearly marked who was where, there was also a large poster on the walls to guide me. I loved that there was a mezzanine level so I could look for the booth numbers on the bottom floor easier.
Walking around the convention was exciting. The sound of buzzing everywhere and the smell of disinfectant combined to remind me of the love I have for tattooing. There was also some tattoo artist spotting to be done thanks to the appearance of Dan Smith and Oliver Peck who I saw in the bar.
I really loved that the vendor section wasn’t too large; I could spend more time admiring some of the wares on display like hand made jewellery made by casting pigeon feet in bronze and a curiosities vendor selling pickled animal babies in jars and all manner of other weird and wonderful things. I picked up a tin of organic tattoo care ointment from a vendor who I also saw perform on stage with her guitar.
The venue was pretty hot on the Saturday and it was hard to cool down, so the large cool bar area with it’s red light district feel was a welcome retreat as the only cool place in the venue and also because it was serving things to drink with ice. There was a Sailor Jerry bar where I sampled this unique sweet rum made artistically by a cool looking dude with dreads who I felt compelled to tip. I sneaked my black Sailor Jerry banded cup home as a souvenir.
The highlight of the event was the sheer amount of beautiful people in attendance. I think I still have neck strain from all the rubber necking I did. Everywhere you looked there were stunning people left and right. People also came with their kids, including an adorable baby called Nora who had some serious sassy attitude.
Things & Ink magazine were perfectly placed to attract attention with their striking second issue cover, which I believe was a resounding success for them. I got to meet in person Alice who is the brains behind the magazine and she was just a ball of positive energy. In fact the majority of artists and vendors were smiling and welcoming which is always refreshing when one can feel quiet intimidated by so many painfully cool people.
Upstairs was an art gallery showcasing some pieces from artists in attendance, and there was a huge blank mural on one wall with a table covered in coloured markers for people to use to fill in the lines on the mural. I loved how it invited people to put their own mark on the event and feel included.
Alongside the mural was George the caricature artist who did my portrait in about six minutes for a tenner, and I am over the moon with it as he caught my “crazy eyes” perfectly! What a genius talent to capture people’s likenesses so quickly and effortlessly!
Brighton was a well-rounded event, with so much to look at and see without being overwhelming. I highly recommend paying a visit next year; I know I will be there!