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rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 4/9--Conventions

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Archive-name: bodyart/tattoo-faq/part4
Last-modified: May 15, 2005
Posting-frequency: Monthly

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The rec.arts.bodyart Tattoo FAQ is broken up into 9 parts:
 1/9--Introduction
 2/9--Getting a tattoo
 3/9--Sanitation
 4/9--Conventions <---YOU ARE READING THIS FILE
 5/9--Artist list
 6/9--Care of new tattoos
 7/9--General care/removal
 8/9--Misc. info
 9/9--Bibliography



Subject: WHAT THIS FILE CONTAINS This file is structured as a traditional FAQ in the form of questions and answers. Questions answered in this file: Rec.arts.bodyart FAQ Part 4/9: Tattoo conventions - When and where are upcoming conventions? - Tattoo Conventions: What are they all about? - What types of conventions are available? - Why would I want to attend? - What's the atmosphere? - What kind of tattoo contests are there? - Can I actually get a tattoo at a convention? - What else can I find at these conventions? - Tattooing and traveling COPYRIGHT AND DISSEMINATION Under the Berne Convention, this document is Copyright (c) 1997 by Lani Teshima-Miller, all rights reserved. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced electronically on any system connected to the various networks which make up the Internet, Usenet, and FidoNet so long as it is reproduced in its entirety, unedited, and with this copyright notice intact. Web sites are included. Individual copies may also be printed for personal use.
Subject: WHEN AND WHERE ARE UPCOMING CONVENTIONS? The best list of upcoming convention I know of is on the tattoos.com web site: http://tattoos.com/convent.html
Subject: TATTOO CONVENTIONS: WHAT ARE THEY ALL ABOUT? People go to tattoo conventions for various reasons. Enthusiasts may go to visit with or meet out-of-town artists, get new tattoos, look at other people's tattoos or show off their own. Artists may go to purchase flash work from other artists, visit with old friends or to gain more visibility in the field. If you are interested in finding out what's going on in the tattoo world, the convention is the way to go. The one thing that I find marvelous, wonderful and so exciting about tattoo conventions, is that you can meet excellent and well-known artists "in the flesh" and see many of them work! What other kind of convention can you go to, where fans can openly admire the artists? The only one I can think of off-hand is Fan Fair in Nashville, for country music fans (and then it's the STAR versus the FANS--still not quite the same). WHAT TYPES OF CONVENTIONS ARE AVAILABLE? Conventions range in size and length, from very small shop-sponsored conventions that last a day or two, to international organization-sponsored events that span four days. Conventions are usually held over a weekend, and usually include contests (closed to official registrants only) and exhibit floors, where artists may be selling their merchandise or tattooing. The exhibit floor is usually open to the public on a one-day admission fee, for those who don't want to pay the extra fee of registering. Most of the larger conventions are fairly well organized. While not in the same caliber as an academic conference (that might have many workshops, board meetings, poster sessions), convention organizers usually have arrangements with travel agencies and hotels, to provide a good deal for participants. This allows attendees to obtain a lower "convention rate" for both hotel and airfare. Convention rates vary: Registration for a national four-day convention may run around $30-$40, less for a shorter convention. Daily admission passes usually sell for about $10 per person and are only good for the day. Official registrants are usually given a color-coded hospital-style wristband, while those paying for just the day may get their hand stamped. WHY WOULD I WANT TO ATTEND? Have you ever wanted to get a tattoo from a certain artist who lives in another country, or another part of the country? Have you ever wanted to feel a sense of belonging with a group of people who understand your desire for tattoos? People attend conventions for different reasons--the main thing to remember is that these conventions allow you the unique opportunity to be immersed in the tattooing world, where staring at other people's tattoos, or people staring at yours aren't meant as an insult or an offense. You might have read and perused through tattoo magazines and thought "No way! These guys are way too radical for me!" Just remember that everybody was born naked with no tattoos or extra holes in their body. We're all the same, and there is no reason to feel intimidated by others who have bodmods. Also, remember that the magazines will often publish the most outlandish subjects. Otherwise, it's boring and not newsworthy! So sure, you'll see somebody with very bizarro tattoos or with 100 pierces on their body. So what? This is your opportunity to chat with them or otherwise find out what drives them! You think bikers are too rough? Sure, they might be tough-looking; but they are some of the sweetest, friendliest people I've ever met! Word is, a lot of the convention and hotel staff come into these tattoo conventions with some trepidation, then discover, much to their delight, that the attendees are some of the most polite, fun-loving, nicest people around! If you have an appreciation for motorcycles, you'll find some fine examples in the parking lot. However, you'll discover that convention attendees run an entire gamut and that you can't pigeonhole them into any one classification. IS A CONVENTION FOR *EVERYBODY*? A kind word of warning here. If you love tattoos or are very intrigued by them, and you want to meet others of your ilk, the conventions are very good places to go. However, these conventions are not for everybody. For one thing, these conventions are mostly geared toward adults. Unless you are a tattoo artist and your toddler has lived her entire life among the heavily tattooed and pierced, this may be a very upsetting place to go. Those who are sensitive to smoke or asthmatic should know that the convention floor often becomes one big ashtray. Finally, if you are trying to convince your partner to accept tattooing, and your partner gets very upset about the topic in the first place, the convention may be a very shocking and frightening experience that causes the opposite of what you want. WHAT'S THE ATMOSPHERE? Conventions are always pretty congenial and relaxed during the sessions that are open only to registrants. Welcome receptions usually allow time for a lot of socializing, where friends can catch up on old news and share their new tattoos with others. Quite a few people take their cameras along, snapping shots of tattoos and people. This period is also the time to see the real serious tattoo enthusiasts and artists, since these are the ones who usually register for the entire convention. This means that you are likely to see people with very serious pieces of custom work on their bodies. The exhibit floor, when it is still closed to the public (usually on Fridays during a four-day convention) are not too crowded. If you want to get some work done from an artist who has rented a booth, Fridays are a good time to get it done. This would be a good opportunity to visit various booths and actually talk to people. Once the weekend hits and the doors are opened to the public, the atmosphere will change greatly. You will see a lot of "gawkers" and various curiosity-seekers, who may or may not have any tattoos (or if they do, they might be some mediocre flash). The convention floor takes on somewhat of a carnival environment. Attendance seems to depend largely on where the convention is being held. No tattoo convention is so large as to take up a city's major convention center--most conventions occur in hotel ballrooms. Thus if the hotel is in a rural section of town, or the convention is not appropriately advertised, you will not get a very high local turnout. On the other hand, well-advertised events will be so popular that they will have to limit the number of bodies in the room. Note that the National Tattoo Association has a policy (which some regard as archaic) that bans facial and visible body piercings (outside of the ears) because it believes that these promote the side-show-freak atmosphere, which is not condusive to the mainstreaming of tattooing. While I will not condone the purposeful breaking of any policy, I can state that I have seen enough various body piercings at NTA conventions, that it seems if you keep it low key they will not bother you. With the current popularity of body piercing, I would like to counter that some pierces (eyebrows, navel, nipple) have entered into the mainstream, and are now actually used in advertisements. I don't know why NTA still maintains this policy, when many tattooists have their own in-house piercers and the tattooists themselves often sport body pierces themselves. WHAT KIND OF TATTOO CONTESTS ARE THERE? Contests are limited to registrants during the larger conventions, while they may be open to everyone at the smaller ones. Categories seem to differ greatly, however some of the more standard ones you can expect include: best black & gray, most unusual, best tribal, best portrait, best overall. Judging is done either by popular vote, or by a panel of experts (usually composed of veteran artists). Obviously those by popular vote are often judged by the contestant's looks or personality, and not necessarily just by their tattoo. If you plan to attend a contest, I suggest you bring a pair of binoculars. The contestants are usually herded around on stage, and it is often difficult to see the tattoos well. This is especially pertinent if the contest is audience-judged. Some contests are better organized than others; however I have yet to see a contest where everything runs on time. Many contests do not limit the number of entrants in a category, or limit entrants to one category. This can cause long waits and long lines. If you wish to take photos of these contests, plan to bring a telephoto lens. A tripod would not be a bad idea either. CAN I ACTUALLY GET A TATTOO AT A CONVENTION? One of the biggest advantages of attending a convention is that you can book an appointment with a well-known artist who does not live near you. One of the biggest *disadvantages* of booking an appointment for the convention with a well-known artist who does not live near you is that you might not get as good a deal as you would if you were to visit the artist's studio. That is, the exhibit floor is noisy, full of smoke, crowded, and generally hard for anyone to concentrate in. In addition, some artists try to pay for their trips and booth fees by the appointments they do during the convention--so the more tattoos they do, the more money they make. It is possible that you may be overcharged for a tattoo that is not up to the regular standards of the artist. How to avoid this pitfall? Phone the artist WELL in advance. Explain your interests and reserve your time for the convention beforehand--the earlier the better. Give your artist enough time to do some rough sketches as well, that can be drawn up before the convention. If you have been dying to get a tattoo from someone great and famous, why take the risks that the artist fills up that appointment book before you can get to that booth? Reserve in advance and avoid the headache. Should you decide to "wing it" and hope to find someone you like once you're there, you will have a much better chance of securing a time slot if you visit before the public is admitted (which means you have to register for the convention). Chances are, they will want to get a deposit from you immediately (some people make appointments during conventions then fail to show without notifying the artist--very uncool). You have been warned, though. Caveat emptor. WHAT ELSE CAN I FIND AT THESE CONVENTIONS? Even if you don't plan on getting any tattoos, there is still plenty to do on the exhibit floor. Most booths sell merchandise; many booths give away stickers, business cards, etc. Chuck Eldridge from the Tattoo Archive in California usually has a booth at the larger conventions. If you've ever wanted to pick up an out-of-print publication on tattooing, visit his booth! Ever wonder how people get their pictures into the tattoo magazines? In addition to photos submitted by the artists themselves, many of the photos are taken at the conventions! Keep an eye out for signs that identify tattoo magazines. Most of them set up portable studios in nearby rooms. You will be required to sign a standard model release form, and will have to inform them who your artist was (that's actually more important to them than your own name). How to tell if the photos were taken at a convention? Take a look at the wrists of the models in the magazines. Do you see a color-coded hospital wristband? Does the background look like a professional backdrop, versus the inside of a tattoo shop? Unfortunately, the magazine people won't be able to tell you if or when your photo will appear in publication. Most of the time, you just have to look at the issues that appear about three to four months after the convention. The only time they will phone you is when you get a major spread/feature, or if you've made the cover. If this is the case, payment usually comes in the form of extra copies. Ask for as many as you feel comfortable asking for (a couple dozen would not be out of line, although I wouldn't ask for 500 copies unless you had an incredibly large family). Sometimes, the magazines will issue a special issue dedicated to the specific convention you were at. These often include candids and photos of contestants, and may include a photo of you! Many convention organizers also contract a video production group to tape the show. These are usually sold at an on-site booth. In recent years, seminars geared towards artists have been added at larger conventions, with topics such as "Creative Coloring", Care and Tuning your Machine", "Spit-Shading - Watercolor", "Tribal Tattooing", "Preventing Disease Transmission in Tattooing." Unfortunately, these are usually open only to professional artists. I would personally like to one day see sessions geared towards tattoo enthusiasts. Sessions focusing on disease transmission prevention from the customer's point of view, or the history of Polynesian tattooing, are two such examples.
Subject: TATTOOING AND TRAVELING Getting a tattoo at a convention poses a number of potential problems, especially if you are used to getting tattooed near your hometown. Of primary importance is the need to decrease your level of stress during your travel. Thanks go to "convention trooper" Michele DeLio, formerly of _Tattoo_ magazine for some of these pointers. VITAMINS: Begin taking vitamin supplements a few days prior to traveling to the convention. A multi-vitamin supplement is fine, although in particular, you are recommended to take vitamins B and C, and Zinc. Some people cannot tolerate zinc supplements alone--in which case a multi-vitamin supplement containing zinc would suffice. Pack enough tablets to last the duration of the trip. NUTRITION: Without sounding too motherly, eat yer vegetables! Vegetables and fruits are particularly healthy and help cleanse your system prior to your trip. Your digestive system tends to go haywire on the road, so eating fiber (bran cereal, etc.) will also help. Stay away from particularly spicy or greasy foods while you are traveling as well. WATER: Most importantly, you should drink what you might consider *excessive* amounts of water during your travel. Airplane cabins are notorious for their aridity (sometimes as low as 10% humidity), and most experienced travelers recommend that you drink eight ounces of water for every hour you are flying. This will help your body flush out toxins, and keep your skin fresh and hydrated for your new tattoo. CLOTHING: Regardless of your mode of travel, if you are going to be on the road for many hours, try to bring clothing that will let your new tattoo breathe. LEATHER: While a tattoo convention is a great place to look cool in your heavy duty black leather clothing, these do not pack well. Try to limit your heavy duty leather to just your jacket. If you must bring more, choose those which are lighter weight. Bring an extra large diaper pin (or a kilt pin), and use it to hang your jacket label up on the seat back in front of you on the plane. This way, you will have arm room in your seat, and will not have to risk having someone squash it with their vanity case in the overhead. Remember also that leather does not breathe well--if you are getting a tattoo, keep in mind that you will not want to wear leather over it. MOISTURIZER: The air in the cabin is EXTRA dry--pack a moisturizer in your carry-on bag. FRESH AIR: If you are a cigarette smoker, try to cut down on the amount you smoke while you travel. At the convention, try to get outdoors as often as possible--to get some natural light on your skin, as well as to breathe some fresh air. Unless the building is zoned as non-smoking, the convention floor will be a mass of ashtrays and smoke. POOLS & HOT TUBS: If you are staying at a nice hotel for the convention, you'll notice the swimming pools and hot tubs. Enjoy them before, but not after your new tattoo. Your tattoo is simply too fresh to risk immersing in public water. STRESS: Excitement and tension often accompany long-distance travel. Did you remember your airline ticket? Is your hotel room confirmed? Did you forget anything? Just remember that most things can be fixed in a pinch. Some stress-reducing suggestions: o Try to pack as little as possible, and take all your essentials with you in your carry-on (I always travel with one carry-on only). o Make sure to leave your complete itinerary, as well as photocopies of your tickets, with a trusted friend or relative. o Most artists will accept traveler's checks as cash. Convert your cash to these handy checks prior to traveling. Record the check numbers, keep them separate from the checks themselves. o Don't forget to confirm your flight 24 hours ahead, both before you leave, as well as a day before you go home. o Make sure to jot down your hotel confirmation number. With this you should be guaranteed a room. o Special meals on airplanes are HIGHLY recommended. These are available at no extra charge, and include things like ovo-lacto vegetarian (dairy/eggs), vegan (no dairy/eggs), Kosher, seafood, Hindu, low fat, low sodium. Airlines will differ on some things (United offers McDonald's Happy Meals with a toy for the kids or kiddies-at-heart; American offers a Weight Watchers entree). My favorite is the fruit platter. Guaranteed to be the freshest meal, these usually include sliced melon, pineapple, grapes, strawberries. Requests for special meals must be made 24 hours in advance. Special meals are served before all regular meals (remind your flight attendant prior to meal service). o Wear ear plugs on the airplane to reduce engine noise. I prefer the squishy spongy ones that snuggle right into your ear canal. Remember that listening to your walkman will only mask the engine noise, not reduce it. o Many travel stores carry inflatable neck pillows shaped like the letter "C" that crook your neck for napping. These will prevent your neck from getting stiff and sore. o Always ask for a glass of water along with your drink. Or bring your own bottled water. o Stay away from caffeine and alcohol during the flight. These will dehydrate your body and potentially give you a headache (which, if you remedy with an aspirin, would be a bad idea for getting your new tattoo). TATTOO CARE KIT: If you get a new tattoo during the convention, it may be a few days before you get back to the tranquility of your home. Take along a "tattoo care kit" with you to begin caring for your new tattoo while you are still at the convention. I have outlined what I personally use when I travel (Johnson's baby products travel pack) in the "healing a new tattoo" section in the FAQ. I particularly recommend products that are very mild and/or hypoallergenic, so you have less chance of skin problems. Many pharmacies and mega-marts sell one- or two-ounce travel bottles of soap, lotion, etc. I suggest you try some of them for a while on a test patch on your skin to make sure you are not allergic. Red, itchy swollen rashes due to an allergic reaction to skin lotion is not a nice way to be traveling with a new tattoo. If you are going to be flying for many hours, you might want to find a way to cover your tattoo so it doesn't stick to your clothes. Any barrier is fine (tissue, handkerchief), but put this on before you fall asleep on your flight. If you return home with your new tattoo and find that it is not healing as quickly, dab a little bit of antibiotic cream on it for a couple of days to see if it settles down. Whatever problems you're having with your tattoo are probably attributable to travel stress. --==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==-- This ends "rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ Part 4/9: Tattoo Conventions." This should be followed by "rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 5/9--Artist List."

User Contributions:

Yusuph
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Aug 16, 2012 @ 12:00 am
I real to know much the history of tattoo, from the begin. Please send for me the all details/summary or imformation of tattoo. You can find me also on facebook as Toto mbata chico. Thank u

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