Well, very rare thing happening today…free wi-fi! Believe or not, they still charge extra for this service over here.
Usually I do not publish anything “on time”, but it’s a good opportunity to break the oath!
Few weeks passed since Tattoo Bash Köln (held last month’s 25th to 27th) and I got myself back to write some for you.
I had a very fruitful experience in April attending 3 conventions in a roll (Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Köln) and many tattooer fellas might agree that there’s too many conventions nowadays.
They can’t be wrong. Definitely we can find all types and sizes of tattoo conventions on the most remote parts of the planet.
In other words, we (tattooers and customers) have the chance to hand pick which conventions, cities/ countries we might visit in the future.
In other hand we face odd situations like tattooing in noisy, dark, hot, cold locations and other “natural obstacles” we find being far from our common habitat.
As far for me, the experience of going through all this makes me grow positively stronger. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.
Specially right now that I’m driving by my own to these places to discover, meet and interact with different people and different cultures. All under one roof.
I’m proud to announce that I will be participating on my first “overseas” tattoo convention in Sweden!
Dates confirmed: 3 to 5 October, 2014.
Location: Huskvarna Folkets Park
Link to event’s home page: rocknart.se
It will be a 3 days of tattoo and music. Please check the website for further details, timetables and so on.
My fellow Scandinavian friends, please contact me directly if you wish to have a tattoo by me. Please go here and fill in the contact box in the bottom of the page. Just for the record: I can’t give you a estimate through email, but if you have a budget I’m open to discuss the possibilities when we meet face to face at the venue. Feel free to enclose your ideas and please browse through my portfolio (here) to see if my style matches what you are looking for. Tack så mycket!
Please note: I will be out of my booth while Vulcano (Brazilian godz of extreme metal, pioneers of Black/ death/ thrash in South America) is playing. Otherwise I will be tattooing as usual. If you never heard them, you’re a poser…
Another great experience last weekend (4 to 6, April) on my 3rd participation at this convention (link)
The great thing about going to the same tattoo convention every year is, meeting old friends and family spread around and gathering for the same game once again.
Stuttgart is a city that I only know very briefly, but I had a good feeling since I came here for the first time.
And “vibe” is very important for me. Some places (not just conventions) that I visited in the past never gave me this instant rapport thing.
One of the reasons I’m living here now, is definitely this “instant rapport thing” I felt when I set foot here in 2000 and tens.
Back to the convention story…
Since I’m mad dogging myself in participate in all tattoo conventions I can and the ones that catch my interest (obviously) , I’m starting to re-think about the whole thing.
I mean, if is only to “participate”… everyone can do it.
So, I set up some personal “goals” since this year’s for every convention I will be taking part.
Some personal, some artistic (like bringing a new drawing for each convention) and some are monetary.
I know it kinda turns down people when we talk about money, but hey; I’m a pro. I get payed for what I do.
And convention goers must not forget: Some traveled from abroad. Some had to drive long hours. Everyone have to find a place to stay and pay for the booth rent.
None of these efforts could be done, if there’s no reason to spread our word and work for people to see it and ultimately, get it on skin.
For the one’s that got the message and choose one of us to transcribe their thoughts on skin, I thank you all again! Keep tattooing alive!
Oh yeah, February is coming to an end. Time to pack the gear, load the guns and hit the road!
From March there’s a couple of tattoo conventions scheduled through out the country. See the schedules here
I love being out there, visiting new cities, remembering old ones and best of all: leaving up my “mark” on every soil we’re stepping in.
A bit of pirates life, with the only small difference of smart phones, GPS and all the technology backing us up and not counting greasy food and cheap beer to entertain us all.
Well, guess no much has changed since our brothers sailed across the world some hundred years ago…
And this weekend we start at Tattoo Expo Leipzig (link here)
Made a new photo book, just as I did before (here). Happy that this one contains script/ lettering tattoos all done here. Come and check at the show, I hope you will enjoy!
Back from the last weekend’s Tattoo convention Offenbach. Another adventure of driving to a new city, but this time on snow…
Well, we do have snow in Tokyo. But, let me tell ya: Looking from the different perspective (from the driver’s seat) is a totally different ball.
Just like tattooing, roads are slippery full of ups and downs. Learning to control the gear, speed and brake is the key to success. And don’t forget kids: Success is the journey 😉
2nd day, Sunday. Waiting time. Thinking time
Both days were quite good for me. Tattooed some good number of people, including the one’s that had made appointments in advance and others jumping in.
Gill the boss was promptly booked for the 2 days, and basically the first day I got to tattoo some people that were looking for his services. He’s been attending this convention for many years, so he’s known by the locals.
In the second day, I decided that this wasn’t going to be good for me in terms of learning how to deal with customers here. So, while I tattooed my first customers (booked in advance); I would talk to people around the booth during breaks and trying to find some potential one’s.
Again, the language barrier still huge, but if you don’t try you don’t learn.
So, with this in mind I did my best to be understood. And understood I got by a young couple that choose some from my “Wanna do” flashes. What a score man! Not money wise, but for the fruitful results of my efforts.
The guy choose the samurai, and the girls choose the bamboo pattern.
I couldn’t believe my eyes! Met my friend U. and his wife! Man, what a surprise…I had tattooed him around 2007/2008, I guess. We kept in contact sporadically and I had told that I moved here a while ago. He lives in a totally different state, so I was not even expecting to be able to see him this year.
Who could imagine that our worlds would collide once again after these years? Small world…and again, I felt blessed for being chosen by this job.
I wouldn’t be able to visit (or even live, like now) distant countries and meet different people and cultures, if wasn’t for tattooing.
On top of that, my friend had added a wonderful collection on his body by a renowned artist. He proudly sports an incredible beautiful body suit now!
I confess that I’m so happy for him, he really got hooked on tattoos since them.
Again, how wonderful is this our world of tattoos!
Here’s as I promised the review of our last attending convention in Wuppertal.
Learning from my mistakes and wrong thinking from the last convention (here), I went with a clear mind sure that a good result would be waiting at the end.
And I wasn’t wrong!
Funny that it started with some slight minor trouble (OK, maybe not funny, but…)
Well, after we finished our tasks last Friday as normal business day in the shop; we started to load the Van with our equipment and stuff.
Driving was in my hands, and I have to confess that I’m not 100% comfortable (yet) with the idea. Thing is, I didn’t drove that much back in Tokyo. And if you live in Tokyo, you don’t need to own a car at all.
Places change, and you have to adapt. Attending conventions don’t mean just “being there”. It means preparation, dedication, and obviously taking part of all tasks as a member of the team.
Just business as usual, as we do everyday in the shop.
So, my hand on the wheels and my heart pulling out from my mouth.
This time, driving time was way shorter (1h30min) and all we needed, was just pull off from the Autobahn and drive less than 10 minutes to the convention hall.
So, then comes the storm. The battery died as soon as we drove off of the highway and all the lights went out and the wheel locked up. With all mighty forces I could pull over the car, and the rest is just story.
Waiting in the rain, hungry and cold for help. After a good one hour, here comes the angels.
Battery charged, and we could drive to the joint. Only to discover that was too late for food. Again, the drama of conventions. Find a place to eat. So, we did. Ended up in a junk food thrift, as we would expect…
Arriving late on the hotel, we were welcomed by other tattooist fellas that are going to attend the convention as well. Drinking some, chatting and relieved from the driving duties, I went to check some local free paper magazine to find some stuff about the convention on their pages. What a great welcome!
Those are things that were unimaginable back in Japan. One the events we did organized back them had once or twice being featured on such non-tattoo related media. Even so, with much sweat and talks back and forth to make it happen.
Welcomed by a great sunny day on Saturday. Can’t believed we were just in a such bad weather and nightmare few hours ago.
Arriving at the hall, we started to set up our stuff. This time a good investment was made on some big light devices. Learning from past conventions that sometimes places are so dark, that customers can’t even browse through portfolios and stuff.
And those lights (made for photo shooting) are perfectly light, easy to carry and they are bright MF’s!
I’m currently using at the shop as well.
Today and Sunday I will be on this convention! Meet me at Gill’s Bodyart booth!
And, one more “Wanna do” for the weekend. I hope you enjoy it!