Author: jenniferstell

Hailing from the nether regions of the mainland of the U.S.A. I often keep my mouth shut and eyes open, over ten years in this profession, with nothing to show for it but a good set of true friends and memories to last a lifetime... Tattoo Shop Proprietor, Artisan, Enthusiast, & nerd.

The 3rd Annual West Texas Tattoo Convention

Last weekend in San Angelo, Texas, a small town in the center of western Texas where the trees don’t get much taller then six feet, and there is probably more livestock then people, some world class tattoo artists converged to offer the locals a chance to get something from outside their local community.  The show is put on by two brothers in town, Alex and Aubrey Trufant,  they also have a shop and both tattoo full time, they are not some production company looking to cash in.  It wasn’t a huge show, it was just right, not so busy that we had to turn anyone away, but busy enough to still be tired when the floor was closed each night.

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Bottom Line: it was a good show. Each day food was brought in to an “Artist Only Area” so everyone could grab a bite to eat of something not concession stand made. There were after parties each nite, and get togethers pre and post show to say thanks for coming out….

Our booth was situated around some all out badasses: Tony Hundahl, Grant Cobb, Casey Corklic,  Anthony Montemajor, Matt Arriola, Daniel Albrigo, Inkmasters, and Texas’ very own Oliver Peck, and Florida’s very own Mike Wilson.  There were a lot of Texas native and Border State Shops representing…As well as a group of guys that tattoo and put on the Rome convention.

I didn’t get to walk around too much, as I was either running around taking care of errands, or busy helping in the booth. We had a good weekend, albeit the rocky start we had getting there.  I took a few photos from the event, but nothing too epic by Texan Measure… It was nice to finally get to meet Albrigo, and Arriola, as I have been a fan for a while.

And as with most shows Oliver attends it all wrapped up with a game of C-Lo, and Oliver didn’t win this time, Arriola did… It was a good time.

Does your monkey say, Aloha? Well it should…

I have been hoping to put some badass blog entry together, in hopes that I would hopefully make a good impression, or at least not harsh the vibe…

Four SIX attempts later, I was sitting where I usually am: The Tattoo Shop.

Only this time I found myself in Minnesota! Yes it was 11:04pm, not too late then, it was 9 degrees outside, a nice 68 degrees inside The Aloha Monkey Tattoo shop in Burnsville, Minnesota, a small town on the south end of Minneapolis…

Where a lot of History, Art, and LOVE come together like a Beatles song…

So… If you didn’t know the following: you soon will.

The Aloha Monkey got its name from an old Sailor Jerry tattoo design, which is fitting as Mike Malone, the original tattoo artist that founded this shop worked for Norman Keith Collins AKA Sailor Jerry for a pretty good chunk of time, took over when Collins passed, Malone moved around a lot, but he’d always revisit Sailor Jerry’s Shop out in Hawaii.  Well Malone has passed on, but the Monkey is still here, only Josh Arment has been passed the torch, and it’s a new flush of different generations making this place vibrate nowadays.

We only got to hang out with Arment for like an evening because he was heading to Milan to work the Convention…  But, it’s always a good reminder when you realize damn, I missed this dude, Richard said he didn’t get enough time to chill with Arment, so another trip is in order… But when it’s warmer riding weather…. I agree 100%!.

I often talk about magic, the magic within a tattoo shop, I mean a shop can look cool, and feel pretty, but the vibe has got to be there, and there has got to be a funk about the place that leaves a lasting impression on the taste buds of your psychy… And this place has the magic. It was a good night. I had never been to the “Monkey”, but it like a handful of other truly unique places, like: Spotlight Tattoo in Hollywood, or Electric Ladyland Tattoo in NOLA, or Jinx Proof in DC, or Rock of Ages in Austin… I could go on and on….