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

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

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