I pretty much use Hanky Panky’s 1995 Amsterdam Tattoo convention as a yardstick to judge every convention I’ve been to since. As such, few live up to it. In truth, I don’t really enjoy conventions that much anymore. They’re too crowded and full of people who seem more interested in being at the ‘tat con’ than folks who are there to get tattooed and have a good time.
So you can imagine my surprise when I decided to jump on a bus and go down to Richmond for this year’s Richmond Tattoo Arts Festival. Mostly, I just needed to take a roadtrip and the event gave me the perfect excuse. With that in mind, I booked a hotel and a bus ticket and headed down south.
As promised, I didn’t really break out my camera. I meant to, but… you know how it goes. You find yourself dipping into conversation and never really think to grab the camera out of your bag and start snapping away.
Which is a shame. The convention seemed a little slow this year (but that could have been due to the impressive amount of space the producers of the event laid out; you never felt crowded and there was always a place to pull off and talk) but everyone seemed to be busy, and there were a lot of really great tattoos being done by a roster of really world class tattooers.
For my part, I got to reconnect with old friends I don’t see often enough and make a few new ones, which is what it’s all about. More than anything I got to stretch out in a hotel room a few hundred miles away from home after a long weekend of great tattoos, even better conversation, some classic shit-talking and even a very surreal trip to Hooters with my friends Hannah and Cooter T.
I’ve put the request out for pictures from folks who attended the convention, but hopefully they were all having too good of a time to think about it!
Oh. The photo above is from Rick Lohm’s booth. The drawings are his and I think the tattoo pics are from Beau Brady…